The Back Bar Bibliography

I am a 20-year-old non-Greek (GDI, if you will) college student meets reporter meets DJ who rarely wears anything but sneakers and t-shirts. I have no patience for idiocrity or immaturity. I have several good friends, but even more acquaintances. My life is consumed with the campus newspaper, my radio show, my friends, my boyfriend, and academia sometimes. In January, I needed a job.

Previously Mulligan’s, the arguably most popular bar in down had been closed down for months after months for a supposed renovation. Just as the college students began to settle for Buffalo Street parties and El Patron margarita night, the bar reopened as the classy yet sassy “202 Bar & Grill”.

Everyone wanted to work at the bar. Who wouldn’t? It’s a stone’s throw from campus, and even when you’re not working you’d be there anyway. You would have fun, slinging pitchers at tables of sloshed frat boys and pushing your way with trays of food held above your head through the sweaty masses of skin that pack the building on a Thursday night. Everyone would love you; you provide their beer. You are the crucial element in how their night plays out. That pitcher of Natty that you’re serving is the keystone of their evening. Whether it’s the first of many or the last of a few, that pitcher is golden. They love you.

I applied as a joke. My friends and I giggled after I dropped off the application. Not only was I not 21, I had never waitressed before, wasn’t part of the Greek community, didn’t own a Vera Bradley wristlet, and, above all, was a reporter.

But I got a call back. An interview was held, I was hired. And I have worked 2-3 sweaty, disgusting, fun as hell nights a week there ever since, cleaning up broken bottles, breaking up fights, cleaning up puke in the bathroom, scrubbing Greek letters off the stalls, and becoming that girl’s new best friend when her friends have left her on the bathroom floor, passed out until I wake her at last call.

It sounds horrible. It sounds like it’s more than what was in my job description, and it’s true. But I love it. I look forward to sharing my adventures with you. Farmville in the summer isn’t as unlike when school is in session as you think.

Because no matter what, people will always be drinking.


2 responses to “The Back Bar Bibliography

  1. matthew mcpartland

    Doesn’t sound very fun to me. I applaude you resilience. I’ll make sure to visit and make things easier…..or I will at least try.

  2. Wow! This seems like a combination of “high school janitor” (who observes all, and therefore knows all) meets “Fight Club”. We wish 202 and our intrepid heroine all the best. We have wondered what it takes to kill the only bar in a one-bar town. Clearly, the “Thursday only” buisness model does (did) not suffice. I hope that at least some of your young charges realize that life is about relationships, and do not treat you as a reported-headed Pez beer dispenser. In my younger days, I rarely paid cover and rarely waited in lines, because the 1 – 2 places I was a regular, I made sure to take care of the door and bar staff (you know you’re a regular when they have you work the door during the door guy’s dinner break). Other key rules: don’t order a drink with more than 3 words in the title a) if your bartender has visible ink or b) it’s a blues bar. Also, don’t buy wine or cigars where they also sell gasoline. I look forward to more pearls/perils of bar wisdom.

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