As the day turns into night, the nightlife on Welch gets pretty interesting. Tyler Van Kley, an employee of Superdog, has seen everything and served anything your drunk stomach could desire.
By Destiny Esaw
Ethos: How did you become an employee for Superdog?
Tyler Van Kley: It was 2014 when I started working here and I was very drunk. I came up to order a Superdog, I put my information onto the tip saying I wanted to work here. I was hired right away and so here I am here now.
E: What’s your hours and do they change during the winter?
TVK: Monday–Wednesday 10 p.m.–2 a.m. and Thursday–Sunday: 9p .m.–2 a.m. We have this rule where we must serve everyone in the line. So it could be 2:05 a.m., or 3:00, 3:30 — the latest I’ve been out here personally was 3:30 a.m. So it just varies on the day. And of course we’re open during the winter.
E: What’s it like in the winter?
TVK: The hours stay the same and we will still be out here. It’s so cold. The job tests your toughness. If it is below 20 degrees by 8:00 p.m. we open at midnight. If it’s below 10 degrees at midnight we don’t open. If it’s 11 degrees at midnight and drops below that we will still be out here. So I wear like five sweatshirts, hand warmers and sometimes 3 coats at the same time.
E: What’s the drunkest person you’ve encountered while working on Welch?
TVK: It was last Halloween and someone was just running around naked and the cops were chasing him. I’ve witnessed really bad drunk breakups while in line and the boyfriend crossed the street and punches the pole (in-front of Pizza Pit) really angrily. I’m just like, ‘Hey I just wanna serve Superdogs.’
E: What makes you guys so popular?
TVK: It seems like an Iowa State tradition.I think it’s just the fact that we can make Superdogs extremely fast and we can get through a ton of people really quickly.
E: Most students says that Superdogs is expensive when you only have to pay with cash. Do you think it’s worth the money?
TVK: It definitely worth the money! It’s a lot that comes on the Superdog and they’re also pretty big. I also thinks it’s more about the experience as well. You know we’re out here in the cold at late hours serving them good hot food.
E: What’s the weirdest request you had from your drunk customers?
TVK: Someone has asked to have the Superdog but without the bun. And so I’ll have to get the hotdog, put the chips, bacon and all the sauces on it using a thin sheet of paper but no bun to catch everything so it’s a mess. And I just give it to them — it’s what they wanted and so I gave it.
E: Have you ever gotten angry at one of your drunk customers before?
TVK: Yes! It was game day and I’m serving a line that’s about close to 100 people in the line. I see someone come from across the street, totally skips the line. She grabs a Superdog and claims she paid for it. We then argued for like 20 mins and she was just yelling at me and I’ve even threatening to calling the cops. So, I have to keep it together but I knew that I had to keep a smile but like at the same time be very blunt with her. I saw you steal the Superdog and you didn’t pay for it and you cut in line.
E: Do you enjoy your job?
TVK: I really enjoy my job. Being a student at Iowa State, I think it’s fun to work here. And I always have a blast. There’s always something interesting going on, on Welch.