You don’t realise what staff go through for your night out
I worked in a Brighton nightclub for two months and can safely say I would never go back. I was hard up for cash and thought it would be great to learn bar skills. Sure, I would miss out on weekends and student nights but it was nothing I hadn’t done in first year.
I was asked to stand outside from 10.30pm until two am in heels, hearing the same chat up lines from leery drunken lads. I’ve lost count of the amount of times some creepy guy has tried to kiss my hands, invite me back to his, ask for my number, you name it.
The sea breeze made it more intolerable, one girl cried because she couldn’t feel her limbs even with a flimsy club coat on and a security guard replied that she should toughen up more. I had told them I didn’t mind standing outside on a few nights but permanently was too much, however every night I found myself huddling by the door with the icy air immersing my body in continuous cold.
I began to miss so much uni, suffering with a constant chest infection and fatigue where my body clock was so messed up.
The zero hour contract which I assumed to be flexible increased my hours more and more. I was basically working full time, five nights a week, getting home at five in the morning for a nine am the next day.
The money was great (I earned nearly a grand in two months) but the more I worked, I realised how little staff were valued and it was taking up all my time to even be able to consider doing any work for a degree.
One main issue I found appalling was the emphasis on beauty. If you thought beauty standards were bad for customers, they’re probably worse for staff. Girls were only allowed on the door if they were good looking. Something that some girls who were asked would find flattering, but I found completely discriminatory. It’s not uncommon for clubs to ask for photos along with cvs.
I know one girl who was employed at a different club, purely on submitting a photo. I overheard my manager commenting on my colleague: “Get that thing off the door, I don’t want to look at it”. I couldn’t hide my absolute disgust and he saw it, he explained: “we don’t let ugly people on the door”, as if that made it any better.
My colleagues were the only thing I could praise, it sounds completely cliche but they saw themselves as a family and welcomed everyone with a real sense of morale. I gained some good friends, which was my only regret about leaving.
Every member of staff is banned for a few months after they leave, which is the same for most places. But after seeing how brutal it can be to attain a certain image and dealing with people completely off their faces on the regular, it is most definitely not for me.
Published: 12/11/2015 for The Tab Sussex: http://thetab.com/uk/sussex/2015/11/12/working-brighton-nightclub-hell-6864