Working at the Freshers’ Fair is Awful

We suffer for your freebies.

CUSU fair Freshers Freshers Fair mugs stash tab mugs

Pity the stallholders.

Some of us at Cambridge are in too many societies. You know the types – you’re forever seeing their names on your freshers’ pages, exhorting you to just sign up to that one event in the hope they can suck you in and validate their existence just that bit more.

Well, Freshers’ Week is when we get our comeuppance.

It’s impossible to not go out this week, and even if you don’t you will almost certainly not be going to bed sober, or possibly not even alone. Or both, which is even worse for your sleep. You will be shattered out of your mind but know you have to power through. But what’s this event looming in the horizon? The fucking Freshers’ Fair is what it is. If you’re on four committees, and work for the Tab as well, like so many of us do, the purgatory of working 9-5 in a sweltering marquee is all too common.

‘Why this is hell,’ said Mephistopheles, ‘Nor am I out of it’

The people who do this are twats, but even we don’t deserve this. Dragging yourself out of bed to arrive at the fair for 8 only to find set up takes five minutes and you could’ve arrived at 10. Having to make a sign out of scraps of paper because no one in your society quite realised what they were doing, probably because they were planning for a different committee meeting. And then the freshers arrive.

Most of my friends are already hoarse from screaming platitudes at a crowd. Today I had the unenviable task to shout about punting for 8 hours, on my own, at a stall which was being rained on. No one likes punting that much. Not even the punting society committee. Hell, especially not the punting society committee.

The best freebies in town.

It reaches the stage where by the end of the day you can no longer have normal conversations as the only thing you can say anymore is the sales-pitch patter of the stall-holder, listing events and the perks of your society, and why they should definitely sign up for yours rather than the stall next door. This is what I went through:

Day one – next to the digital gaming society and the bridge society. The gamers had a screen and video games playing. We had a quiz book and a box of Roses. No competition. Even bridge had a fancy baize cover and some decks of cards – the number of people whom we accosted who actually signed up for those two was almost embarrassingly high.

Day two – for some reason punting is in between the tango societies and the tap and jazz society. Would be great if we could organise an event which amalgamated all three activities. Dangerously close to being rained out – have enquired if CUSU can be sued for laptop damage. Got called facetious.

Witness the fitness.

There are no upsides to this job. The free pizza from Domino’s is available to everyone. Freshers can leave whenever they want. Freshers get free stuff.

Enjoy the fair while you can freshers, because soon it’ll be hell.