My first proper job, was when I was 18, working in a Hotel with 3 of my secondary schoolmates. One person got the job first and recruited 3 of us. It was the summer holiday before I started university. We were called ‘Silver service,’ a fancy name for waitresses who cleared the tables after the guests had eaten.
We worked the morning shift which was 7 am till 11 am. We wore uniforms, a white chef-like shirt, and a black skirt, and we stood by the corners of the dining room watching for the mostly Arab guests to snap their fingers to beckon to us. When we cleared the tables, if we were lucky, we got tips, but we often didn’t and it was usually pennies.
The music playing in the background was the same every day. It was the instrumentals of a ballad and would play on repeat for the entire shift. Years later I would hear the same instrumentals on the soundtrack of the movie ‘Jackie Brown.’ It was the song, ‘Didn’t I blow your mind this time,’ a classic hit by a 70s band, The Delfonics. That song remains embedded in my memory forever.
On one fine work day, we were invited to a party at a club. The club ended at 5 am in the morning, so we figured we could pull it off before work the next morning. We packed our work clothes to the club. We left the club at 5 am and got to work in time for our 7 am shift. We were feeling high and flying. In just an hour into work, the battle with sleep began. We were a hot mess that day, and a few plates got broken. When the clock hit 11 am at the end of our shift, there was no banter or gist or plan to window shop that day. We all went home immediately to catch up on our sleep. You can try but you can’t cheat nature.
Every Friday morning, we got paid. So before we finished our Friday shift, we would receive our payslips indicating, that money was in our bank accounts. And every Friday, we would walk Oxford Street, looking for bargains, and thinking how much we needed to save to afford a few things we wanted for ourselves. We all worked till the end of the summer holiday. I eventually bought the JVC TV I had been eyeing.
It seems like yesterday when we were so young and so free. I smile and I want to laugh but then I also cry. It started with 4 of us, teenagers working in a fancy hotel, today we are just 2 left on this earth. Sadly, 2 of my classmates have passed since then😢. 1 a few years after in a car accident and another, just a few months ago, to cancer.
This was supposed to be a story of my first job but I guess it’s a story about life.
Life is about youth, work, priorities, decisions, and about death.
A work ethic is developed early.
Your friendships influence your life.
Decisions have consequences.
Life is unpredictable.
Life is about living. Carpe Diem! Seize the day!
#work #careerstart #careerstory #career