You are all probably aware by now that by daytime and regularly night time I am a waitress at a local village restaurant. I say restaurant because it definitely isn't as tacky or low-standard slap-up meals as you may find in a pub, and the word 'pub' seems to suggest (or from experiences as a small 6-year old) dingy rooms full of smoke and beer bellies. Minus the smoke nowadays, some village pubs still aren't the nicest of places. Anyway, step into this restaurant and you're transported away to a beautiful French-styled restaurant, highly expensive and elegant chairs that I can only stare at with jealousy, old fashioned duck-egg shutters on the walls and delicate lace curtains in the conservatory room and exquisite grey/lilac velvet curtains in the piano room. I do love where I work, and the chic decor definitely makes up part of the reason why I've kept my job there for the last year!
I'm certain that anyone working to serve people every day will agree that you definitely meet a highly 'interesting' range of people, not all 'good' I must add... But these people keep my shifts turning and pass the night away and the more people I get the quicker it goes. So I shouldn't complain really.
I can only roll my eyes and scream VERY LOUDLY (inside my head) at some of the antics and words our customers come out with, and yesterday was no exception. We start the shift tying on lunchtime's apron, and polishing some cutlery. Polishing cutlery must probably be the bane of most waitresses lives - I was delighted to discover upon switching from a previous pub that the waitressing staff didn't have to polish cutlery (drying and polishing every piece of cutlery that has gone through the wash), and that was down to K.P. ('Kitchen Porter', AKA pot-washer, another one of my side-line and occasional jobs!). But this evening KP wouldn't be in for another half-hour, and we were already out of knives so I got my white towel out and started the mission of polishing. (Oh, it's a mission alright!)
Back to the bar and we're busy catching up with each other's busy lives. Sorry, I mean, getting to work on the many important jobs prior to our guests and customers arriving, such as wiping sauce bottles, polishing salt and pepper shakers, checking ashtrays constantly and making sure all the cutlery laid out in the restaurant is perfectly aligned. This is where OCD habits are applauded and creates a natural eye for the high-standard of neatness and perfection that is upheld at this restaurant. So whilst standing around at the top of the bar, welcoming guests and waiting for our next bookings to arrive I find myself stuck in a conversation with someone very intent in telling the whole world every single item in her household made by Apple. Did you know, she has two iPod Nanos, 2 touchscreen iPods, they all have iPhones, mac computers.... did I mention their iPad? And oh yes, of course, their iPad2, and... you get the picture. Breathing slowly and keeping calm - it's only the beginning of a very long night. I lovingly think back to my MacBook and trusty iPod which has survived a washing machine and a very hormonal cat. I bet theirs isn't PINK.
On with the evening. My worst nightmare, of fourteen cronies coming through the door, and into my 'section'. I spend the evening losing my voice having to practically spell out the soup of the day, and take a simple order. Upon putting the first drink down, the man-in-charge is all set to order. 'Just let me finish getting your drinks over and then we can sort out ordering!' I HAVE TWO HANDS. Later on, the man-in-charge is all set to get onto dessert whilst half his table are still eating. Does he want me fired??
And so continues the evening. Table six don't want bread but want bottle water. Still. No, sparkling. No, still. Actually sparkling. I wait oh-so-very-patiently by the table whilst all my other tables are demanding dishes, drinks and desserts as well, and I'm STILL standing at a table who can't make up their mind over WATER. Table three need steak knives before their steaks arrive, table eight are sitting with open dessert menus but I know they're too busy gassing to have even noticed they were put in front of them. The lovebirds on table two are quite happy sitting, staring borderline-obsessionally into each other's eyes, which is all very well but I need to spray and relay it for the next booking on that table who have already arrived and are waiting at the bar. Meanwhile, in other news, table one are tugging on my apron (WHO DOES THAT?????), the kitchen bell for food is ringing and table seven are waving at me for the bill, Jedward plan to make a movie about their world takeover and Lindsay Lohan begins her house arrest with roof-top sunbathing. I think by this point it would only take for an old granny from the W.I. party to patronisingly pat me on the arm, yank me down to her level and squawk 'KEEP YER HAIR ON LOVEY' for the screaming to actually start coming out from my mouth.
By the end of the night I'm manically laying up tables, perfecting the straightness of cutlery and blowing out candles like a very excited six-year-old. Chairs are linted (see what I mean about high-standards?!), ashtrays washed and polished and the outside chairs brought in, and with that I think it's fairly safe to say we can all sign out and depart. UNTIL NEXT TIME. I sprint to my car and shamelessly speed all the way home - I DON'T CARE about low-emissions and saving fuel, I JUST WANT MY BED!
the crazy happenings in my life