Everything hurts. Lower back, hips, heels (blisters are a bitch!), calves, everything. I’m running back and forth, feverishly trying to keep track of all the things I need to keep track of. Print the bill for table 60, bring three glasses of water to 62. Don’t forget the drinks for 13! And the food, they ordered food too. Shit!
The glasses are shaky, the tray is uneven – or is it just my hand? Oh God, someone wanted more nuts, too! Who was that?!
New job, new challenges. Did I think waitressing was going to be easy? No, I wouldn’t say so, but I guess I didn’t give it that much of a thought.
I was offered a job as a bar attendant in a cocktail bar in downtown Sydney and last week was my first week on the job. Within two hours of having started on Valentine’s Day I was thrown out on the floor to serve drinks that, to be quite frank, I had never even heard of. Sorry, sir, which one did you say you want? Could you please point it out on the menu, thank you.
Shit, I totally forgot to ask if they wanted to open a tab!
Maybe this is not for me. Maybe this was a big mistake and I should to be doing something completely different.
The first two days were busy, however not in a bad way. Learning by doing seemed to be the way to get by, so I grabbed a tray and threw myself out into the arena. Having had lunch at 2 pm and being used to eating every three or four hours I was starving by the time I got to take a break at 10.30 pm. Everything hurt, and my blisters made me walk like a robot.
Day 3 was quiet, so there was time to get to know the others a little. I talked to one of the girls I work with about the pros and cons (cons, mostly…) of working the night shift. You wake up late (presumably; I woke up at 4.30 pm on Sunday!), have breakfast, work out or clean or go to the grocery store or whatever, relax for a couple of hours; cook, have lunch and go to work. You spend your day glancing at the clock to make sure not to miss the last bus or train that will get you there on time. You run around like crazy for 8+ hours and by the time you get off it is past midnight and you’re completely exhausted, meaning you want nothing more than to crawl into bed and leave the day behind you. And so they pass, the days.
After the rain comes the sun, however, and vice versa: after the sun comes the rain. Day 4 was one of the worst things that I have ever experienced (although it now feels like nothing but a distant memory…). Every single thing that could go wrong did so. I felt like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong things, all night. The bar was packed so everyone was running around like crazy, no one had time to help me. They’d quick fix my mistakes to keep things going which, at the end of the night, would be tracked down to me, labeling them as mine. Anna, what happened here? I have no idea. I’m so sorry but I have no idea, I really don’t know…
Shit. What a disaster!
But don’t take it personally, Anna, don’t take it personally, you’ve only been here for three days.
Well, that’s easier said than done. I found myself thinking that I’m not going to make it, I am not going to make it. I was close to bursting into tears, that’s how bad it was, but I managed not to, thank God. I felt miserable, though, completely, utterly miserable.
What was I thinking? This is not for me!
I seldom have a headache, but when I woke up on Saturday I felt like my head was about to explode. Having been asked if I was fine with working the same shift Tuesday through Saturday, it was going to be my fifth and last shift of the week. After a slightly traumatizing Friday night I went to work thinking that it cannot get any worse than that. One more shift and I’ll have two days off.
You can do it!
To my great relief Saturday was super quiet. There was quite a few of us working and I had someone with me all night, which gave me time to actually think through what I was doing. People were less stressed and I felt that I was getting better at it, one customer at a time, which added up to quite a pleasant shift.
Maybe this isn’t so bad after all…?
Today is Monday. I’ve had two days off and slept a lot, so I’m finally starting to feel alive again. Maybe it’s a combination of not having worked in over six months and starting in a job where I’m supposed to be on my feet for over eight hours a day, five days a week. To go to work when everyone else goes home… For a morning person like myself that is quite the change.
Maybe it’s just the start, one that I would have in any job, and it will get better… Maybe. Remains to be seen how it goes, but for now I really hope that my blisters are going to heal before I go back again tomorrow.
Reminder to self: Embrace the suck, and one day…
How in the world do I always end up working in Food & Beverage?!