The Caravan Lounge was as close to an Old West saloon (or the Cantina on Tatooine) as you could find in downtown San Jose. And starting in the spring of 1998, pouring drinks there was a perfect job for a 21-year-old SJSU English major undergrad aspiring to be a writer. With a Greyhound station and a by-the-hour-or-month motel just next door, the cast of characters rotating though from 6AM to 2AM was…eclectic. And sometimes violent; I often had to jump the bar to break up fights. But, fueled on pre-shift martinis at the bar around the corner as well as all-I-could-drink in-shift shots of Jameson and The Champagne of Beers, I was invincible. And sexy as hell.
[NOTE: don’t ever date a bartender; they’re all sluts.]
My schedule was ideal for a college kid: Thursday to Saturday, usually not starting until ~9PM. I pulled in more money than I could in twice the time at my previous job. And, because I had so much more free time during the week, my study habits actually improved during my ~2 years working there. This is quite shocking, given that, on shift nights, I wasn’t going to bed until 3:30AM (at the earliest).