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‘That’ll be £3 please…’

September 6, 2013

I’m just about to complete my last week of shifts as a waitress and bar staff so thought I would share what I’ve learnt, the good and the bad.

1)    Customers can be pretty interesting people

I love working day shifts because I generally end up on the bar and am able to chat to our regulars. An old guy called Tom was telling me stories about my father and how they used to drink together, Paul was talking about his near miss at being a band with a recording contract, Peter always has funny stories to tell about his gun shop which generally end up in him telling someone to ‘f*** off’ out of his shop. They always make the shift go slightly easier, they may be older than me but that makes them a lot more interesting!

2)    People recognise you for the strangest of reasons

Many, many people have recognised me; one saw me in a show (it was a good show so it’s okay!), one dated my aunty 40 years ago (that was a strange conversation), I’d been to one son’s 6th birthday party (how do I take that? I haven’t changed in 13 years?), one saw me in Manchester (not sure if he was lying). You see where I’m getting at there – I didn’t realise how well this 6 degrees of separation worked.

3)    Theatre’s not the only job that makes you stay up till 2 in the morning

I realised this mainly yesterday when I only got home at 1:15 and wasn’t even aiming for sleep till 3. I thought theatre had stupidly unsociable hours but at least we get a thrill from doing a show; working as a waitress I don’t get any thrill apart from the end of shift drink!

4)    There’s quite a lot of pressure to look pretty!

When I’m working in the theatre I put some make up on to make myself look respectable but I generally don’t care too much; I’m not meant to be seen so who cares if I look decent! (Slightly different when I started working FOH last year as well but let’s just pretend I’m only backstage!) However working in a pub with gorgeous girls makes me feel self-conscious so I ended up putting on a whole face of makeup for every shift, I have started to realise that if I don’t do it for everyday life why should I do it for work?

5)    I’m not very good at waitressing

I’m actually quite amazed I managed to keep the job the whole time. I wasn’t brilliant at taking orders, I can’t serve 3 meals at the same time (I’m blaming my very small hands and rather weak wrists), I forgot the order of service etc. I’ve got better obviously but I still make mistakes and I’m sure I’m not his most favourite staff member. It’s proved to me that waitressing really isn’t for me but it got me through the summer and let me save some money for university!

I know these aren’t life lessons or lessons I can put into the theatre industry but I haven’t learnt anything at this job that I didn’t already know. It’s enhanced my confidence in speaking to strangers and my ability to take notes but I generally think that’s it. It’s time to move on and devote myself to stage management and if I end up waitressing or bartending in the future, I’ll do it better and attempt to learn more from it!

Heather Sig

One Comment leave one →
  1. The Growing Artist permalink
    September 8, 2013 1:09 am

    I loved reading your post! Being a waitress myself at the moment, I can totally relate. I enjoyed reading about your experiences. I know waitressing has definitely taught me a lot!

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