Does Working in Hospitality Make You Cynical?

(This post is dedicated to all the waiters working their asses off in hospitality)

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Short answer… yes. Long answer… YEEEEEEESSSSS!

But don’t get me wrong, hospitality work is great. It’s generally flexible on hours, good pay, interesting customers, every night is different and you become really close with your work mates.

People treat you like sh*t – As soon as you step behind the counter and put on your uniform, it apparently gives people the right to treat you horribly. It constantly surprises me how some customers won’t hesitate to yell abuse or personally insult you. I think also that some customers assume that they can treat you like this because ‘it’s your job.’ But the thing is, a lot of people working in hospitality are working towards something bigger. I’m a university student who’s trying to save some extra cash for uni and serving you food isn’t my life. There’s nothing I hate more then people treating me with disrespect because I serve them food and am therefore apparently not worthy of their respect.

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People forget the basics – Have you ever heard of please and thankyou? Apparently not! Kids tend to have better manners than most adults.

People take their food very seriously – It astonished me when people expect a culinary masterpiece when ordering a chicken schnitzel. Really mate, it’s a snitty… what did you expect? Also, calm down if your mushroom sauce is on your snitty and not on the side like you apparently ordered? What difference does it make?

People lack understanding and empathy – We’re working in a high pressure environment, it’s hot, we’re running around at a hundred miles an hour, you don’t say please and thankyou, and then wonder why we’re not giving you our undivided attention. We’ll give you a smile, a ‘enjoy your meal,’ anything you ask for, but please know that we’re human beings and not robots and therefore use a lot of our energy to get things done for you.

You get yelled at from every direction – Not only are you getting yelled at by the customers, but also the chefs, your colleagues and your supervisor.

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Guys always flirt with you – They’ve had a few beers and you’re just trying to do your job and pick up glasses, but some guys feel the need to try and become your best friend. It’s nice to know that I’m looking good whilst at work but come on! Once, one guy said to me ‘you know, for a ranga, you look kinda cute.’ Umm is that an insult or a compliment? I walked away and I think my passive aggressiveness made him feel so bad that he ended up giving me a $10 tip. Now that’s one of the perks of working in hospitality.

However… despite all of these things that cross your mind at night and get you thinking ‘why am I working in this job?’ There are a lot of great things about working in hospitality. Your work friends… they go through it all with you and at the end of the night, you can bitch all about it and they completely understand what you’re talking about. And, you can usually do it over a cold beer. So yes, working in hospitality can make you a bit cynical, but once your shift (or split shift) is over, you can appreciate all the little things in life, like wearing your hair down or getting a good nights sleep.

xxx

A

Is Christmas Really Just Another Day?

This year I was (un)lucky enough to work a split shift on Christmas. Working in hospitality, we were exceptionally busy, being both mentally and physically exhausting. Whilst the joy of public holiday rates kept me going, I couldn’t help but feel a slight pang of sadness flood through me when people said ‘aw you poor thing, having to work on Christmas,’ before finishing with a ‘oh well, it’s just another day isn’t it?’ And that got me thinking… is it?

Our Christmas Tree 2014
Our Christmas Tree 2014

For as long as I can remember, Christmas has been filled with tinsel, presents, big lunches that send us into a food coma, being with family, taking pictures and playing with our new and exciting gifts (by the way, this year I got a selfie stick and have had WAY too much fun playing with it). I have spent 18 Christmas’ with my family until last year where I was overseas celebrating Christmas with my London family at Clarendon 9, and on my 20th Christmas I was woken up early (as usual) couldn’t wipe the smile off my face at the stunning view of our Christmas tree (as usual) and then put on my work uniform and left my loving family at home to enjoy the rest of the day (not as usual). Work was busy (as usual for this time of year) and before I knew it, I was lost in a mountain of dishes, momentarily thinking, ‘yep, just another day at work.’

Our Christmas Feast in London 2013
Our Christmas Feast in London 2013

This got me thinking about how much emphasis we put on certain days of the year. What seems like another Wednesday is suddenly filled with Turkey, Tinsel and Presents… what seems like another Saturday is your birthday and suddenly you’re a year older (and apparently a year wiser), and another Friday means that you can’t eat meat and stock up on chocolate.

Whilst I tried to get through my split shift with the thought that yes, it’s just another day and I’m getting paid twice as much to do the same job… I couldn’t help thinking of my family at home. And that’s why I can’t accept the statement that all the customers said to me that day ‘Christmas is just another day.’ Because (sadly) there’s not many other days of the year that we come together as friends and families, surprise each other, talk, explore, open up, laugh, drink, eat, eat and eat and just enjoy a lovely day off with the people we love.

My (short) Christmas with my family 2014
My (short) Christmas with my family 2014

So would I work another Christmas? Absolutely… the money was freakin’ amazing! But in future, I’d definitely make sure there’s more time to relax and spend time with my family on a special day that we all get to spend with each other.

xxx A

Our little Christmas Tree in London 2013
Our little Christmas Tree in London 2013