Serving Up Hobo Day Stew


Carrie Feistner & John Hult

If you think Hobo Days are a good time for all students, think again. Let’s get this straight: most students really enjoy the festivites. There are options for nearly everyone. If you don’t like football, you may like the Monarchs. If you don’t like the Monarchs, you may like the Parade. If you don’t like parades, you may not be human. And there is always that alcohol. But anyway …

There are those who don’t like Hobo Week because its just not their style. Some of them don’t like to drink or don’t like crowds.

Others don’t enjoy Hobo Day because they’re helping you enjoy yours. While most students are out having fun, others are stuck working to make it a good time.

“I don’t like working on Hobo Days. I’d rather not,” said Keith Dunn, a waiter at Perkins and an SDSU student. “It was horrible last year working.

“People are usually drunk or hung over and are hard to deal with.”

Dunn said he notices changes in the restaurant during homecoming week.

“[The restaurant] is usually messier and there’s a longer wait,” he said. “More accidents happen with more people working in the back. It makes my job hectic and makes me not want to work.”

Brad Tofflemire, who tends bar at Skinner’s Pub in Brookings, doesn’t mind Hobo Day work much. The work is busy, the work is stressful but it could be worse, he said.

“I almost think graduation is worse,” Tofflemire said. “May graduation always seems worse.”

Tofflemire pointed out that people often start drinking really early on for Hobo Day, leaving fewer hardcore party people out by the end of the night. There are a few other factors that make Tofflemire’s Hobo service guy experience easy:

“It’s like any other busy night, so it goes quick,” he said. “It’s stressful working for that many people that quick.”

Bryan Jaske, who works at Jim’s Tap, has bartended through two Hobo Days and confirms the stress of working when it’s busy.

“The numbers go up a bit, and people start going out earlier. The bar is packed from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. and you’re working hard the entire time,” Jaske said. “The shifts increase to about 12 hours each compared to the normal 5-hour shifts. That’s quite a bit more.”

He said he also sees a difference in people coming into the bar that week.

“People tend to get more drunk [during Hobo Days]. People go downtown and want to celebrate. It makes my job much less pleasant,” he said.

“It’s normally fun to bartend when it’s busy, but too many nights in a row can be too much sometimes.”

Attitudes of students also change during the week, he said.

“You watch the people’s enthusiasm peak throughout the week. Saturday is a let down in a way because you can tell people haven’t been living right all week,” Jaske said. “People aren’t looking all that chipper anymore.”

He suggests dealing with the stress of working Hobo Days in a few ways.

“It’s no different than finals week or anything that is with a lot of stress – you put it out of your mind and do what you can,” Jaske said.

“Drink coffee, sleep when you can and realize Sunday will come.”