Thursday, 17 August 2017

Dan // Hotel Waiter

There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to cut down the 3000+ words of righteous anger sent to me by Dan, so this is part one of a series!

The first job I had after I moved to Eilat was working in a big Hotel. It actually somehow worked under the brand of a notable chain of hotels, so I was surprised when they immediately hired someone they found sleeping on a large rucksack in their lobby at 4am. Place turned out to be kind of a hole but there we go.

The first job I had in that place was as a waiter in the large main dining hall, a buffet. I’d never done any kind of waiting work before and I fucking hated my boss. Haaaated the guy. Names will be changed sometimes to protect myself so lets call him Alan because that sounds a lot like his name anyway. Fuck Alan. Alan was a fucking caricature, most of the management at that Hotel actually all seemed to come from the same central casting for greasy stuffed shirt assholes with huge fucking rings who couldn’t convincingly smile if their life depended on it and transparently held everyone
below them in the chain of command with the utmost contempt. The worst part was that he tried to convince you that you were friends, brothers struggling together against the customers. Like fuck you Alan you are not on my side of that line, get your hand off my damn shoulder.

The main job most people did in this giant buffet hall was to keep on top of the breath-taking mess that our guests left behind after dealing with a breakfast buffet that served something like 14 different types of soft white cheese and sour cream, alongside such breakfast classics as 'almost scrambled eggs' and spaghetti marinara. Appearances were very important to Alan, so he spent a lot of time theatrically widening his eyes and stage-nodding at some messy table or another. I never did a damn thing he told me to - at the time I had no conception of it as a political thing, I just hated my boss and the terrible, terrible customers and wanted to make them hurt like I did, Randy Newman style.

I found that given the slight fast-paced and harassed nature of the work environment, I could pretty easily avoid a huge amount of work by purposefully carrying around a single object. The first day I did it it was accidental, I was carrying a clean glass to some table at the far end of this buffet hall, and on my way I walked past Alan who tried to get me to go elbow deep in some sour cream swamp of a table. Without slowing down too much I just said I needed to get this clean glass to a table way over there and tried to look a bit hurried and purposeful. It worked, and he just let me go off, got someone else to presumably burn that filthy table. I tried it again later but this time without a table to take it to. I just walked in a huge circuit around the buffet hall holding a single glass, staring determinedly into the distance, and Alan didn’t bother me.

I tried it at dinner with an unopened bottle of Coke but that was a mistake; I managed to keep Alan from asking me to do anything, but all the guests were up in my face asking for a Coke. Lesson learned, by swapping the coke out for a glass of milk I managed to get interest to drop back down to a desirably low level, especially given the 32 degree weather. I kept up this single item mission thing the whole time I worked in that particular role, breaking it out whenever I wanted a free hour.