In the early days of my hotel life it seemed to be a vicious cycle, I know it sounds a bit harsh, but it’s my truth at the time and for others as well. As a follow, up from the underground world, the times we spent at the staff pub after our dinner shifts were more common than I’d like to remember.
As servers, we worked hard and we played even harder. We made serious money in a short period of time and once and awhile we would treat ourselves with an expensive bottle of wine or high-end whiskey or scotch, then drink it in one night. Why save it when we could by another one? We deserved it, we had to put up with some pretty unacceptable behaviour from guests who thought they were the next best thing since sliced bread. They would talk down to us as if we were their personal servers. Yes, we were serving them breakfast, lunch or dinner, but that didn’t mean they could belittle us with snaps of fingers, pointing at us and summing us to them, oh waitress, bring me another martini and make sure the bartender puts four onions this time, he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of the perfect martini. Or so this is your career, waitressing? Don’t you want more for your life? I’m not kidding you, this is what one of many people have asked me over the years when I was serving. Sometimes I would share I’m in the middle of my BA and my aspirations of becoming a published author then that started another kind of conversation, oh a writer, I guess you do need to serve to make money for rent. I wish I could make this up. After too many of these conversations, I wouldn’t waste my time on people who assumed. I started to tell people I was in the middle of my BA and my next step was a Master in literature to become a professor, or some BS like that. The things I said to avoid the judgemental look was becoming a new art form.
It seemed like each night was the same conversations and then the same bottle of beer after work at the staff pub. The same shot of tequila or rye to stay awake only to shuffle to the after pub party at someone else’s staff accommodations. Any day of the week there was an after pub party, you only needed to stay until last call at the pub to get the invite. If you weren’t careful months could go by until you realize that you’ve pretty much poured all your tips down the drain for one more shot at the after pub party. A vicious cycle. There is a happy end to this, most of us took the beer blinders off and saw the light. Like every habit to break, it took one night away from the pub to break the routine. Much like writing, I just needed to take the first step and start putting words on the page. Now here I am twenty years after all those interesting adventures, I’m grateful for everyone one of them. My first memoir about my hotel life is in the final stages of revisions and hopefully self published in the next few months.
Until next time, keep on typing. . . .