Working in Hospitality and Working for a Vision

I’m living in interesting times at the moment. My week has mostly consisted of work, as I’ve worked 3 days with a total of about 33 hours. It’s a job I got via my employment agency. The location is an hour drive from Rotterdam, bordering the Dutch waters of Ouddorp and is called ‘Werelds Aan Het Strand’ (http://www.werelds.nl/). The place is pretty high-tech and modern, but has a very classy vibe to it. I suppose mostly people with money go there as some of them arrive on their yachts. There are seaside houses available for sale/rent next to it (which I don’t imagine are cheap) and there are always some luxury cars standing in the parking lot. The place is quite new, having its doors opened since June and its attracting quite a bit of a crowd.

I’ve actually found all the days I’ve worked very enjoyable. I’ve rotated between being a food runner, a drink runner and a bar backer. As a food runner, my job would be to get the food from the kitchen to the table. This was my job on the first day which I found most relaxed because often you’d be able to get your rest between waiting for the food to be complete. They have these huge plateaus where you can fit a bunch of plates on as well, and I’m pretty good with carrying all the weight and balancing the food, even with strong wind outside or going up the stairs. As a food runner, you’re also closer to munchies from the kitchen which I enjoy because the food there is pretty damn good. When I’m serving some of the creations, its fun to see people get excited about what they’re getting, which is a part of the job I enjoy. As a food runner you don’t have to clear tables or take up orders, although you can be flexible and help your colleagues out by relaying information to them, basically outsourcing most things.

Drink runners have a bit more to do than food runners because drinks go fast, and you also have to help a bit with keeping the bar and tables in order. I find it less satisfying to serve people drinks because its a more standard product than food, so people don’t really have that delightfulness opposed to when their food arrives. I like it when people ask for non-standard things however as it allows me to come up with a creative solution myself. For example, this woman asked me where she could get some ice cream for her kids. I told her, you’re supposed to find people with the PDA’s and order with them. But she said she just wanted to pay straight away and get her ice cream. As a food runner, I remember kids walking to the kitchen asking for ice-creams and they’d get it straight away from the staff there so I told her she could try going to the kitchen and ordering there. One of the bartenders overheard me (who was already being a bit of an asshole from the start) first asking me what I told the woman, then asked if I knew if the kitchen was able to do that which I gave a shrugged answer to, and he scolded me saying that I shouldn’t say shit to people if I don’t know what the deal is. I didn’t take the advice too seriously, especially when the woman walked outside later with ice creams in her hand smiling and saying ‘good tip!’ to me.

Ego is an interesting thing, especially when it comes to people’s jobs. I’m very aware of how attached some people’s egos are to their jobs, and how they operate within it. I tend to let it blow over and let people vent the way they want, although I’m also starting to point things out more to people about how they’re being or what they’re doing. Sometimes people posture in a way that’s totally unnecessary and only makes working with them more difficult than it needs to be, usually having to do with male egos. Females can also sometimes be overtly sensitive about what’s going on in their environment, although I’m better at taking that energy as I’m open to listening so they can vent a bit.

I understand that in this line of work, shit needs to be done when it needs to be done and I have a pretty good situational awareness around me when I’m working. As a bar backer, that’s important because there’s a handful of different tasks that need to be done and prioritizing activities is key. I’m very much reminded of Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits, especially when he describes the different quadrants of activities you have, and the bulk of your time being dedicated to ‘not urgent, but important’ activities which I found definitely true when I was working as a bar backer. I was good at anticipating needs, and stayed light on my feet in order to adjust to urgent requests. I understand that when people bark orders, they don’t mean it personally and they might come across as a bit of an unpleasant person, but I can see the effects of stress on some people, or rather, which people let stress get to them. I integrate my martial arts philosophy and movements into a lot of things, especially hospitality now I’m working in the industry more intensely. Its hard work but enjoyable, although its good to schedule in some off days to relax and recharge.

This is one of such days. Today I shall be playing at the Geheime Tuin, which is a sort of festival event 4 weekends long at the Westerkade in Rotterdam. Me and Menno will be performing some of our songs we wrote but also some covers to fill the rest. Probably we’ll have some live jam sessions as well because that’s how we roll when we’re making music. Tomorrow, I was planning to do a distance skate trip to the beach so we’ll see how that works out. Still need to confirm this with my fellow skater. And buy some new bearings today.

Life is good. I feel that now I’ve got this hospitality job to cash in a bit, I’m more confident about our plans of agricultural activities in Cape Verde. Going there in October means I need flexible work and the work I have now is exactly that. Hospitality experience is also relevant to realizing my dream of owning one or several Eco-resorts, so I don’t feel like I’m completely wasting my time with this job either. If I could work for myself, great, but I’m just not quite at that stage yet. There’s a lot I can learn here anyway and it gives me some space, time and money to figure things out for myself. We’ll get there. As for now, I’m going to do some tax declarations, head into town later, then get ready for my performance. Hope you’re having  a good day and I shall see you when I see you  😉

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