Since graduation in November 2015 I have working the real hustle. I’ve started my own business, which may well the smallest business in Scotland. I’m a dog walker, with about 4 regular clients. Alongside this I took a job as a waitress in a 4 star hotel with big brand name, which I will not go into details about. Except in the work that I do there…
I started at the very end of November, which incidentally is the start of Christmas party season. I have put together a small guide of how to behave at such events, from the point of view of the people working there. Please, feel free to share this around the office when Christmas time rolls around again. Or spread it around passive aggressively after the fact. I will even put the headline in Christmas song format, so they will be easy to remember.
He sees you when you’re sneaking,
Booze out of your bag.
(Santa Clause is Coming to Town.)
So here’s the thing. We’re all adults (apart from the KPs who are generally under 18) and we know that adults will imbibe fermented fruit in alter to temporarily alter their brain chemistry. And it’s Christmas, so rock on. But don’t think for a second we won’t see you sneaking your guilty bottle in to avoid drink prices. Most hotels will allow you to bring in your own alcohol, providing you don’t mean a corkage charge. And there’s a reason. Your company will probably pay around £15/$30 per head for a Christmas meal. When you consider how that money is split between the cost of the food, the labour hours involved in prepping it, the chef’s wages to cook it and the waiting staff’s wages to serve it, £15/£30 doesn’t go very far. It’s no secret that hotels will make the most money from the bar, and that’s why we have to charge corkage to bring your own booze in.
I’ll be frank, if we see someone sneaking booze in we don’t think “Oooh, how edgy and system-breaking.” Instead we will roll our eyes and think you’re tacky AF. Sorry about it.
I bump and grind in front of my boss, a lot…
Remember, you will be the talk of the staff room not only at your own place of work, but mine too. I know a lot of office romances blossom at the old Christmas do, but you have to face these people again. If you’re the one crying at 10:30 because your boss capped the bar tab at £400/$800, please rethink your life choices. By all means, get lairy, get messy! It’s Christmas so fuck it. But just know when a good night out with work turns into a Gincident that marks you as a wild card at work.
And taking off your shoes and all is fine, but don’t wander about my hotel in and out of the bathroom in your ratchet tights, ladies. It’s not cute. Bring flats in your bag, like a lady. Alternatively, make sure you can walk in your heels. Watching you teeter ever so slowly across the lobby with your large Pinot Grigio and a Cosmo in either hand is frankly embarrassing.
We’ve pulled out all the tricks ba-rum-ba-pum-pum
Weeee deserve some tips ba-rum-ba-pum-puum
(Little Drummer Boy)
I know, it’s not something that is customary in a lot of places. Your company has paid their £15/£30 a head for the 3 course meal, put a £500/$1000* tab behind the bar, what more do you want! The thing is, at the end of your tab, when all the money has been drunk, your staff tend to get a bit boisterous, and ore often than not, sassy AF. I’m sorry we’re all out of Cointreau, but Lisa has tanned our last bottle since she’s ordered 15 of them. If we have to smile and grit our teeth when you insist on leering over my shoulder to make sure I’m getting your 8th round of drinks right (females) or leering down my shirt when I’m trying to clear your table of thousands of beer bottles (men) I think it’s not whitin the realms of common decency to leave a small tip. I mean what’s £20/$40 on top of an enormous bar bill? One can only dream.
*Yes, that’s a thing that happened…
And finally a note for those you have to work at these types of events. These people are actually paying a lot of money to have a night out away from the stresses of work and to have a good time. Show them one. It’s hard to grin and bear it, but at the end of the day, it’s one (or two, or 9) evenings out of your whole year, and you never have to see these people again. And think, One night it will be YOU having one of these nights out, don’t inflict your worst customer self on other wait staff.
And wait until AFTER the beat has dropped to take your full tray of empty glasses back to the kitchen. Take it from the more experienced, it’s comical, but terrifying, to make your way across the dance floor at the pinnacle of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Have a safe and happy holiday season everyone!