For Natalie Denton, junior secondary English education major, the best part about being a bartender at Beer:30 is the fast-paced environment where time flies by rather quickly.
“With some jobs, your three hour shift can take forever, but three hours at (the bar) feels like a second because you’re always busy doing something,” Denton said.
Denton has been bartending for three years, and she enjoys the adrenaline and excitement that comes with the job. She also likes the social aspect, in that she will often see her friends at the bar.
But Denton said that being a female bartender is not without its drawbacks, and that girls tend to face more challenges than male bartenders.
“The guys (customers) can be very ‘handsy’, and because I’m a woman, I’m not taken very seriously when I try to kick someone out – I’ve been laughed at before,” Denton said.
Zack Daniels, senior political science major and bartender at Beer:30, said that women bartenders do get hassled by unruly drinkers, and they often have a harder time cutting off drunk people than a man would.
Fortunately, Denton said that the bouncers at Beer:30 are helpful in these types of situations and that there is always an extra guy on hand to “watch out” for the bartenders, male and female alike.
“Since the girls tend to be harassed more than the guys, we’re definitely a little more protective of them,” said Trent Line, sophomore biology major and Beer:30 bouncer.
Daniels said that the biggest downside to being a bartender is dealing with rowdy customers, but the bouncers on hand will step in when need and that it’s also crucial to know observe the actions of drinkers and to know when to cut people off.
Line said that things can sometimes become physically violent, but there is usually more than one bouncer present to handle to the situation.
Denton said that she does witness a lot of fights at the bar, but she usually isn’t aware of the circumstances involved.
“People get drunk and fight – I don’t know what they fight over, but it’s generally over something stupid like they’ve accidentally bumped into each other or one of them was talking to the other’s girlfriend… stupid stuff,” Denton said.
There are some social implications for student bartenders. Denton said that occasionally on campus, someone will recognize her as the girl who kicked them out of the bar the night before.
Since she works until about 3 a.m. on some school nights, Denton said balancing classes and work can be tough, but she has learned to adapt her schedule to the routine by napping in between obligations. She also drinks a lot of coffee.
Denton saidthat bartenders need to be able to work well under pressure, multitask, have patience to deal with drunk and rude customers and think fast to serve drinks quickly and efficiently.
“You’ve got to keep your cool because people will be rude and say things, but you can’t lose your focus,” Denton said.
Daniels said that a benefit to bartending at Beer:30 is that he can still enjoy the social aspect of being in a bar atmosphere without spending any money, and that she gets to meet a lot of people.
“You can bartend for someone all night, and they’ll tell you their life story, but when you see them the next day on campus, they have no idea who you are,” Denton said.