Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Food and Beverage Exposé

There's something about public transport that gets me writing. Maybe it's the forced hour of spare time in which I can either fall asleep and drool on a stranger, Facebook till I get annoyed at spelling errors, or check out photos of True Blood.. and drool on a stranger. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Heading for a job interview, I find myself pondering, not only about how much you have to work out to get those abs, but about how I wound up out of a job once more. Battling for the best, or any, Event Coordinator job is not easy. Working my way up from Food and Beverage Operations, has proven even harder.

Food and Beverage operations in a hotel is like... throwing something in the bin from far away and no one seeing it. If you talk to people about it, they will say "good job", but no one actually cares. At the end of the day, it's a jazzy way to say, "I feed, water, and clean up after people".
I can't figure out if the final straw for me was being understaffed on purpose while running 2 three course dinners and a night conference, carrying glass tables down 2 flights of stairs, or the monotony. Set coffee station. Take out coffee. Refresh conference room. Bring coffee in. Take coffee out. Make espressos for entire team, because instant coffee is shit. Refresh room. Repeat 3 times daily. Reset coffee station. It takes mental strength not to throw your hands up in the air sometimes, singing "ayo, where'd my life go?".

What I knew for sure was this: I could no longer be made to feel inadequate by a Manager that couldn't spell. "Cloths". THERE IS NO "E" IN CLOTHS!!! I will NOT place the dirty oval CLOTHES anywhere!!! One day I had enough and thought, I can't be undermined by stupidity any longer! I have a diploma!
My inner self says, "Relax Miss C, everyone has a Diploma". Everyone.... Except that guy!

Sure, the people were pretty great and the pay was good, and the America fund won't be growing for a while,  but you can't put a price on piece of mind!

So what did I learn?

- Being the super nice staff supervisor with the spine of a gummy bear does NOT earn you respect. It seems that everybody gets off a little on some tough, sadistic love and punishment. Not me;
- I'd prefer praise and hand shakes over "we'll discuss this in your probation meeting" any day of the week;
- Being hobbit-like in stature and eager to please does not make you fit for room set ups and pack downs;
- Being a manager of a team isn't easy. You actually have to be a prick to get the job done. The only difference is, some people enjoy pricking more than others;
- I was ready to pack in my hospitality smile and go back to organising people's lives- I mean... Events;
- If they had posed the job the way it was, I would have said no thanks. Then again, who would really say "Actually, it's a job anyone can do. You won't get a promotion till you prove yourself (by giving us your first born), and you'll be expected to work 10-12 hour days. Of course, we only pay you for 7.5 of those hours. My response would have been, "I would rather sit at home and shove a pencil so far up my nose, it impairs my vision. Could you please validate my parking?".

My way of learning is not to be pushed, tried and tested like a criminal. I thought I was ready to build my career one heavy brick at a time, like Jerusalem (except, replace the sacred with the plate-scraping, chair placing, bowl cleaning, coffee pouring ugly reality of food and beverage).

There IS an easier way. Get your boss to admit he pushed too far, and say you've been with the company for a year, when you're still on probation.
Just this once, I'll save the sweat, and rest assured that I've done enough time to know what I need to get to the top.

AND I can spell.

Thank your waiters,

<3 Miss Coordinate