So what did I do after graduating from university?
I got a job in a nightclub, that’s what.
No, it wasn’t a famous or glamorous club; there were no celebrities or well-known DJs. It was the run-down club in my hometown, the only club in my hometown, where everyone swarmed to after the pubs shut at 11.
Yes, it was as grim as it sounds; I manned the cloakroom, checking in people’s coats while they drunkenly danced the night away.
I was stuck there, halfway between the entrance and dancefloor; deafened by the thumping music, unable to join in the fun, feeling like a naughty child who wasn’t allowed to go to the party.
The end of the night was awful; handing coats back to crowds of shouty drunk people, with dazed eyes and flailing limbs.
One night one of the bartenders failed to show up, so I was asked to take his place; it was horrific.
Trying to hear above the thumping music what drinks people wanted to order, calculating totals in my head, my shoes sticking to the floor behind the bar, clumsily pouring pints of beer, measuring shots of spirits as if I knew what I was doing, looking hopelessly at the swarms of people all rushing towards the bar, not knowing who to serve next.
That night couldn’t end soon enough.
Do you know what the most depressing thing was?
The harsh ugliness of the place was only fully revealed after everyone had left and we switched on the lights.
All the empty bottles and glasses strewn around, the sticky carpet, the cheap furniture, the sweaty remains of dancing drunk people.
The magic of the club only lives during the darkness and strobe lights.
Thankfully, I quickly found a full-time job; I went from the nightclub straight into a call centre.
What’s that phrase?
Out of the frying pan into the fire.