The sad, lonely life of a club PR rep.

We hate ourselves as much as you hate us, rest assured.

Yeah.  I’m that guy.

That guy who hangs about outside the union, trying to cram tickets you don’t need for a club you don’t like down your throat as you leave. That guy with the fake smile and the ill-fitting club-branded shirt, trying and failing to sound enthusiastic about the fact he can offer you “Special Deals on one of the best nights out in Dundee”. That guy who clogs up your facebook feed with adverts that range from the desperately chirpy to the chirpily desperate.

I am, in other words, a student PR rep.

So I realise I’ve just identified myself as one of the lowest forms of life at University, and you are now automatically- and maybe justifiably- prejudiced against me. But hear me out. Contrary to what my jaunty manner when I’m harraunging you might suggest, I don’t do this for fun. Picture it- there you are, a naïve, impressionable and (to be brutally honest) most likely unemployable fresher, on the lookout for a source of income that isn’t dependent on…y’know…long hours. Shifts. Real work. That kinda thing. So obviously, obviously, when some second year tells you that he has a route into that, you don’t just accept. You snatch the opportunity, along with a fat sheaf of leaflets, and some stickers and tape for good measure, and run off to talk, hawk and blag your way into some easy money.

Ah, you poor poor fool.

Soon, you begin to realise that this ideal job isn’t so ideal after all. In fairness, you probably should have guessed that most people aren’t going to hand out money to a relative stranger, to pay for tickets for a night out in another town a bus ride away, on a Thursday night. But what you couldn’t have counted on is the way in which your fellow students look at you. Once you share that first GREAT NIGHTS OUT status, once you change your profile picture to that pastel-coloured advert, you’ve basically crossed the rubicon into the realms of isolation. You’re no longer a person in your own right, just an empty vessel spewing out deals and offers.

And you know what the best part is? No matter how much you demean yourself, you’re never going to make much money. Hell, chances are you get paid on commission- and a shit commission at that- so your wages don’t depend on hours worked, but how often you bump into those stupid, weak and gullible enough to purchase a ticket off you. Even now, that checkout job at Tesco which you so airily passed up is looking more and more appealing. At least that gave you a steady income. And a shred of dignity. Tesco checkout staff, you’re pretty sure, have never slipped in someone elses vomit while running away from some irate second year who you tried the hard-sell on a little too hard as he was coming out of the Union.

Not only that, but after only a week or so, you feel yourself changing, mutating into a stranger and darker being- like a vampire, only much more pathetic. (And more likely to be run away from). You start to judge everyone you see by how likely they are to take your tickets. You start to arrive deliberately late for lectures, because, lets face it, the kind of reprobates who buy from you aren’t really the type of people who’re going to get to class on time. You start trying to hang out with said reprobates, the people who can talk about literally nothing other than how, when and where they can get smashed. Is the pittance you get worth putting up with them for? For the sake of your sanity you tell yourself it is.

Even if you don’t notice the changes in yourself, you can’t ignore your coworkers, the veterans who’ve been doing this while you were still in school, blissfully aware of the indignities Uni life held in store for you. The ones that say things like “I’m like a predator” or “They’re more vulnerable when they’re drunk” with apparently no awareness of how dodgy they sound. Or your boss, some friendless, joyless third year with a job description only marginally less shit than your own, who one day turns round and utters the must tragic phrase of all “You know, I started off where you are. Keep at it.”

Trust me. Don’t keep at it. Get out, and get a real job while you still can. Cause if you get stuck, in this job, you’ll turn into something you don’t like.

Oh by the way, that reminds me, if you’re interested in one of the best nights out in North East Fife, then do I have an offer for you.