Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Tirade of a Bitchy Waitress

Waitressing is an unfortunate but necessary experience that a large majority of the world must endure at some time in their lives. It isn't glamorous, enjoyable or particularly lucrative but it is a job that will always be found somewhere, and so we find ourselves filling this unhappy role in the hospitality industry as a "step" in our life plans.

A place holder in our lives, often explained as " just until I get,- my big break, -on my feet, - something better" type position.
It is a very educational job in many ways but that is a small comfort when you are actually toiling away as a modern day servant. 

You learn how to prioritise, multitask and develop your "work smile" which you will most likely need to don every single work day for the rest of your life. You will improve your people skills and learn to read a person as well as understand how best to approach them. 
You learn to deal with arseholes, basically.
How best to placate that one miserable human being who is simply determined to be a total prat and ruin you day. A warning to you - I normally get more than one!!! 

It is a job that I have a great deal of difficulty with. 
I'm not very keen on human beings as is, being a waitress has only served as a catalyst for my increased dislike. My ideal job is one where I need to interact with other homosapiens as little as is possible, so you can understand how working is a fast paced coffee whop constantly occupied with idiots from whom I must take orders is a trial!

I flatter myself in saying I am rather good at acting so no one is wise to my hatred for humanity. I smile and greet everyone, I laugh, I crack jokes. I know all our regulars by name and enquire in a caring and friendly manner as to how their poorly dog is, or "how was your grandson's birthday". Holidays, homes, pets, family and town scandals. I know them all! 

What drives me crazy is how tremendously rude people can be. Forget common courtesy! It's a thing of the past, my friend!
I have folk snapping their fingers at me and calling, "Waitress, waitress!" to me daily. THEY KNOW ME BY NAME! Yet still, they seek to make my position in life so crystal clear that they can beckon to me with a snap of their fingers and have me tripping over myself to serve them. Really? Where  is the need? In the words of my lovely eccentric dope-smoking granny, "manners don't cost you anything,". This is something I think everyone should be taught!

Yes, I'm a waitress. It's my job to serve you but that is no excuse to treat me horribly! People of the world I implore you!! Be kind to the young person who is serving you! If they can go a full day of dealing with the mean people of the world and still smile genuinely at you when you come in then they are deserving of a break - AND A TIP!

If any of my readers are the finger snapping kind, please stop. 
You're an overwhelming prat.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Oh, Vicious Cycle

As a young job hunter living in the UK I would like to let everyone know that recruitment agencies and potential employers suck.
Let me give you a little background information.

I haven't received any qualifications other than my highers and if I heed the warnings that are being published in newspapers daily, it's possible that I might not bother getting any. Unfortunately, without getting a degree of some sort I am doomed to packing shelves in Tesco or answering a telephone in a contact centre, in which cases, I'll not be earning more than, say between £13000-£15500. Now, a job is a job is a job. I know. I appreciate being employed and getting a stable wage on which to rely. It's fabulous. However, earning what I'm earning, makes it pretty hard to live.

Thing is, as a young adult you are urged from every angle not to study tertiary education because there simply aren't enough employment opportunities to handle the enourmous influx of newly-graduated young adults, BUT you can't possibly get a good job and earn a decent wage unless you have qualifications.

Oh, oh!! And another eternally annoying sentence to be read on job advertisements is " relevant experience for this role is a requirement". Well, isn't that just bl**dy fantastic? How on earth am I to gain any experience if NO ONE will hire me without my having any experience??

Do you have any idea how tremendously frustrating it is to be rejected for so many jobs because you don't have the relevant experience required and then not being able to get the blinking experience they keep asking of you because you are unhirable because of having no experience?

I ask you! How on earth can you be expected to work!? Left right and centre I have folk whinging in my ear about everyone being on benefits but really, it's not an easy task to undertake.

I am 20 years old, I am over 6000 miles from my family and I need to survive by myself in this big scary world. I moved back to Scotland in September, 2011. I managed this giantly courageous trek across  the world all by my lonesome when I was 19 years old. I'm a proud, confident and forward young woman. I'm capable and smart and I don't scare easily. Despite all this, the only work I can get is as a waitress in a miniscule little coffee shop.

I've been here over a year and it has been nothing more than a struggle. I can't even better myself through some sort of education as I lived abroad all my life and (despite being a Bitish national) cannot study in Scotland until I have been in residence for 3 years. On the wage that I am currently earning, I can't buy groceries or make any new additions to my wardrobe in the same month. I simply couldn't afford the costs of any education or the travel and stationery costs it might incur.

I would like to appeal to any readers I might have. If you are an employer, recruiter or are looking to hire any new staff. If someone applies for the position and they don't have the experience you are asking of your applicants, if they look responsible and capapble and like they truly want and need the job. GIve it to them. Every action you make in life has a consequence. It might be unnoticable or hugely obvious, either way it's a consequence. Giving someone a chance could be the big break they need.

Have a heart, man.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Hey Again!!!

Well, hello there!! It's been awhile! It's my fault, I know!! I am completely to blame!! Sorry! Sorry!

Not good at writing habitually but I am trying!

Just wanted to check in with you all and to let you know IT SNOWED!! Whoohoo! Whoopee! Snow!!
I don't know about you but I think there is something completely magical about snow.
Coming from a land where snow is practically a fairy tale your mum tells you about at bedtime, to actually SEE snow is like stepping through the wardrobe and straight into the wintery wonderland of Narnia. I half expect to see fauns, wood nymphs and hobbits scurrying about the place or singing songs and dancing with fairies.

 Okay, so I'm might be disappointed on the magical woodland creature front I have seen many a stag and deer whilst trekking out in the woods! I was ever so excited when i first sighted a few but apparently this is not an uncommon sight in the untamed countryside of Scotland.
I was hiking a small section of the cateran trail from Blair to the Bridge of Cally with a few mates when we came across great shaggy beasts grazing in a paddock on top of a moor, never having seen a highland cow before I was absolutely mystified as to what this hairy monster could be.
I was certain I was face to face with a Bison until the "coo" nearest me let out a long, mournful "Mooooooo".

They have got to be the cutest beasts you have ever set eyes on! Big, lumbering things with round, furry bellies and long emo-like fringes blowing about in front of their giant pink noses. Damn cute... Until they start shoving their big pink tongues up their nostrils. Unbelievable , I know. Yes, they have very long tongues that can reach and awfully far way up their noses. Charming.

Still, despite the nose-licking I would recommend, if you haven't seen them already, try and wangle an eyeful of some good Scottish Highland Coo.

Friday, 12 August 2011

And the countdown BEGINS!!!

Righto. I've bought my ticket, my luggage, my passports, and new socks (don't want to embarrass myself with holey old socks). I've sold my furniture for next to nothing in my desperation to be rid of it by D-day and am desperately trying to find a good home for my books - as much as I'd like to I can't take them all with. *place miserable sobbing face here*.

Anyway, my flight is only 25 days away!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!
My best friend and I had a bit of a sob fest over facebook and for the first time since this all began I'm actually a little heart sore at the thought of leaving. Before now all my excitement and relief at finally going had drowned out those feelings- but their beginning to surface and it is not going to be pretty! For the next 3 weeks I'm going to be walking around and bursting into tears at every tiny little detail that made me life here bearable - mainly, my family, friends and ice-cream.
And you know, I can't do the attractive crying thing. I don't have a single tear trickling slowly down my cheek, I don't set my chin bravely, lift my head high and deal with it like a war heroine.Wanna know my method? I crawl around on hands and knees grasping at the skirts and trousers of all I love, blowing my nose on their coat tails and crying hysterically. Yep. Not. Attractive.

Going to visit my ex's mum tomorrow so she can wish me well on my "journey" and stuff - I'm rather apprehensive at this, I won't lie!

In other news, my crocheted cushion case came out wonderfully! Absolutely darling! I'm just finishing up with Steff's (my ex) scarf and then I'll get going on some more cushion covers for Nicci!

Love it!!

Keep smiling,
Your Aspiring Gypsy

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

On the road again... or the sky, I'm not picky!

Okay, so, as a young woman in South Africa it has been difficult to get everything sorted and organised with regards to my plans to immigrate to the UK. It's been an absolute struggle actually, lets be honest, when dealing with this kind of situation when do things ever run smoothly??
I've always wanted to go. I don't want my only lifestyle to be the one that I've had thus far in SA. It's a beautiful country and all, but I'd be a big fat liar if I said the living conditions here are ideal.

I have duel-citizenship, thank heavens! My father is South African and my mother British, which I thank Merlin's knickers for. Getting my British passport was a pain in the pants but I was willing to go the distance, wouldn't you be?? You can't do a blooming thing with a South African passport... and I'm not surprised. Not the most jolly and cheerful of pasts... also, we have the crime capital of the world. Do you know that when people find out where you are from THEY ACTUALLY PAT DOWN THEIR POCKETS!!!! So anyway, after a great deal of research and absolutely no help from those prats at the British Consulate, I received my British Passport in the mail. I was so overjoyed I even did my happy dance in PUBLIC! That's right, public. I was over the bloody moon!

Next step was to get my South African passport. Now, if you live in South Africa you will be groaning at that previous statement. The Department of Home Affairs is not a fun place to be in SA. Heavily perfumed with a combination of stale labourer sweat and public loo cleaner... it doesn't really feel or smell fresh. The rooms are always crowded, the queues serpentine and unending, the staff unhelpful and bored and your pen is almost always dry and no one else wants to volunteer their own for fear that it will never be returned (see paragraph 2, line 4 and words 12-16).
I made the arduous trek to Malmesbury Home Affairs, filled in the backward and confusing applications, took the photographs and was told by an "ou vrou"  that "moenie worrie nie, almal lyk soos 'n kriminele" which means "don't worry, everyone looks like a criminal". Isn't that grand!?!

But despite all this, for the first time ever something South African has come through for me. This morning at about half past 9 I received a text from the Department of Home Affairs. MY PASSPORT WAS READY TO BE COLLECTED!!! And the best part? It only took a week and 2 days. How insane is that? My boss joked that the ANC pushed it through faster to try and get all the white people out the country.. just a joke.. but it makes you wonder?

So, my life is FINALLY starting to go according to plan. I'll buy my ticket soon and then, I'll be that much closer to living my life. Now, I'm off to carry on with my crocheting.. I'll post a picture of the finished project, shall I?

your Aspiring Gypsy

Friday, 10 June 2011

Old Man Berry checking out my chest..

My life is not glamorous, nor is it particularly thrilling or in any way stimulating. In fact, my life is the definition of mundane and boring personified, except for my customers, that is.
I work in a miniscule little shop that is smaller than my bedroom… and my bedroom is by no means well-endowed with regards to space. So you can imagine the little shoebox space in which I work, no? My line of work –below read website description- is this:

“We are a small store that offers a big service which includes: retailing and refilling of original and generic Ink and Laser cartridges which are 100% guaranteed.
We offer professional advice on printers for your application. Print head unblocking, custom decals, canvas prints, custom printed magnetic sheets, custom mug prints, t-shirts, mouse pads, puzzles, sandblast vinyl.”

Yes, dear readers, that is my life 9am -6pm five (and sometimes six) days a week. Doesn’t that sound just super exciting?! I can’t wait to get to work every morning!
What keeps me going is the promise of money - even though my wages are shitty. Money is money and I searched for a job, any job, for a good 7 months before I was hired at Pinelands friendly, neighbourhood printing and cartridge refill shop. If you say it with a smile and a high-pitched-blonde-haired-American-commercial-tooth-glittering kind of voice, it almost sounds convincing. Almost, but not quite.

Anyway, my main reason for wanting to write this is so I can have written proof of the crudity of a Mr John Berry, Pinelands resident Mills & Boon writer. Billy Connolly once said, “Young arseholes have a great tendency to become old arseholes,” – this may be the truest thing ever said, and just a tiny bit hypocritical coming from Billy because apparently if anyone is an old arsehole, Billy is.


It started out as many days before it had. My alarm starts screaming at me and I grumble
 and protest to the best of my ability at such an early hour of the morning – which is actually a very impressive grousing session indeed. I fall elegantly out of bed and drag my way to the shower, whilst supporting myself on a wide range of objects, namely the foot of the bed and then the floor. So you see; I wasn’t exaggerating when I used the word, “drag”. It’s actually a very apt description of my method of transportation. Showers are amazing aren’t they? They can effectively turn something that is very nearly Neanderthal and transform them into an almost recognisable human being. Many tedious grooming processes follow and then, astoundingly, I leave my house and set off to work looking pretty okay – almost nice.

Now, I should mention the day that I will describe to you was a Friday, on Fridays I make a habit of dressing nicely and putting on a splash of make-up to get the weekend celebrations going. I was wearing a little light pink dress that, I will admit, might have been slightly on the low side. So after a very uneventful morning at work things soon became somewhat more eventful. A Mr “David” Berry came in for a cartridge refill and left. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to refill so they usually go off to do a bit of shopping in the mean time.
So, Mr Berry didn’t come back for quite a while, I put his cartridge in a little recess on top of my desk with several other refilled cartridges waiting for collection.  Upon his return I began to search the little “hokkie” intently. The dialogue that follows is as far as I can remember, word for word.

(I’m bent over in my vulnerable position, rummaging around for his lost cartridge)
Mr Berry: *Mumble mumble something mumble*
Me: I beg your pardon, Mr Berry? (all innocent like)
Mr Berry: I said it’s a nice view form up here.
Me: *looks down and sees right down own dress*
        Oh my gosh, I’m sorry! *shoots up to a vertical position and blushes like mad*
Mr Berry: Don’t apologise!
Me: *finally finds cartridge and proceeds with sale*
         Thanks very much, sir! Enjoy the rest of your day!
Mr Berry: Thank you dear, always a pleasure.

Very professional relationship there, can you tell? The nerve of that gross old fart!! I don’t usually mind if some old chap gets an eye-full, ‘cause, you know, they’re probably on their way out and I’m quite happy to make their last moments on earth more enjoyable. My problem is that Mr Berry commented on it and made me feel so nasty that I was desperate to take a wash. Not cool, Mr Berry, not cool.
Anyway, I’m finding this blog thing rather therapeutic. Pretty crappy first instalment but hey, everyone has room to grow!

Stay tuned for the life and adventures of your friendly neighbourhood aspiring gypsy!