Student bartenders are at the party, but never a part of it
by Nicole Livingston
The 21 and over crowd, including college students, spend time at bars, but some of them are not always indulging in the beverages.
Tiffany McCann, a senior, works at Goofy’s on First Street. She said it fits her class schedule perfectly because all of her classes are during the day, so she can work the night shift.
“If I have labs or class or whatever, I don’t really have to schedule work around it,” said McCann.
Monica Kullman, manager of Goofy’s and Wild Bill’s Longbar, said that she has not had any issues when it comes to scheduling with her student employees. She said that it is just like any other job. If students have tests or homework, they take care of it before they come in or they ask for the day off in advance.
According to the website for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, any establishment that serves or sells alcohol must have employees, managers and bartenders go through Mandatory Alcohol Server Training. Employees have to obtain a permit within 60 days of being hired. Online and in-person classes are available.
Ashley Johnson a junior, just started working at Goofy’s about a month ago. She said it took about three hours for her to complete the course online.
“It wasn’t really what I thought it was going to be, like teaching you how to make drinks and stuff like that. It’s more of the laws, because it’s such a huge liability to be a bartender,” said Johnson
Two different forms of permits are available depending on which position a person is in.
If the employee is only going to serve the alcohol, a Class 13 Servers Permit is required. An employee must be 18 years of age or older to obtain this certification. A Class 13 Servers Permit allows an employee to take alcohol orders, carry alcohol to the customer and pour it in a glass at their table.
If an employee is 21 years of age or older, they are able to also gain Class 12 Mixologist Permit. This permit allows for all the things a Class 13 permit does. It also allows for drawing alcohol off a tap, mixing drinks and managing a business that serves alcohol.
McCann said bartenders are responsible for “cutting people off” if they have had too much to drink because they have an obligation to not over-serve patrons.
“It was more of an educational class, kind of to scare you, I think, so you’re not over-serving people,” said McCann
McCann said that she has not had a lot of trouble with people when she has had to quit serving them.
“For the most part people are pretty nice,” said McCann. “I learned how to approach cutting people off in a [way] so it’s not so embarrassing for them. Because sometimes if you yell, tell someone that they’re cut off, [or] make it a big scene in front of other people then they freak out because they get kind of embarrassed.
“They [a]might call you names or whatever. I always just try to tell it to only them and not make a big scene and still be nice about it, but let them know that they can’t have anything else or they have to leave.”
McCann said she did not learn about making the drinks until she started training at Goofy’s. She said she had some opening shifts and weeknights, so she was able to learn in a more calm environment when business was slow.
“I had a couple training shifts where I worked with the manager,” said McCann. “I just kind of practiced, like as people ordered she would tell me and she gave me a list of some common drinks and I would kind of memorize those.”
McCann said her favorite part of the job is always having money.
“It’s seriously a perfect job for a college student, I think,” said McCann. “Since I work on the weekends mostly … I’m making money instead of spending money and I get to just watch.”
Though McCann said she likes her job she also said this job is not for everyone.
“I think it takes a certain kind of person to be a good bartender,” said McCann “You have to have a lot of patience, definitely, you’re the only one who’s not drinking. It was kind of scary for me at first because I’m pretty shy. So, it definitely took me out of my comfort zone a little bit because I’m the only bartender in here when I’m working.”