Lets throw it back to three months ago. I’m here Danielle, complaining to my housemates about how much i dislike working as a waitress in central London. I’ve lost sight of why i even wanted live in London anymore, I’d become one of those people who works purely to pay the rent. Then one day. I woke up. Not physically, i mean, i obviously did wake up that morning but i kind of emotionally woke up, if you get me? Let me explain, when i woke up, I said no more. No longer can i stay in this repetitive job, no longer can i stand being on the tube to work and already counting down how long it will be until I’m back home with my cat. I’d lost all of my creativity, all of my confidence and all of my want to give myself the future i deserve. Sounds very big-headed right? The future i deserve. Well, id now argue that no. No, that does not sound big headed. It sounds motivating and my goodness did i need motivation right now.
I think that sometimes it is very easy to get caught up in what is easy. I’d found a job quickly when i moved to London, i was in a new surrounding, living with my two best friends and i was making enough money to live happily. I was happy. I didn’t know however that i was in the honeymoon phase of living in London. See, skip forward about 6 months and i was becoming bored of my job already. I was stressed with working in such a huge shopping centre. I was missing out on social events because of my work hours. Ask anyone that’s ever worked as a waitress or bar tender the hours are definitely not why you choose to work there. I started looking for other work, more theatre based. Going back to what i had just trained in. I had interviews at theatres, casting agencies, local performing arts groups but nothing ever worked out. I did often hear that i wasn’t experienced enough for the job and to come back in a few years and try again with more material/experience. Ok i thought, i guess I’m a waitress then.
Feeling low whilst working in a job you don’t enjoy going to is hard. If you haven’t experienced that then, i would say you’re very lucky indeed. It’s not fun. It’s not fun at all. It’s hard enough going to work when you feel like you could be doing more. It’s even harder when you just got turned down from an interview you really wanted and you’re back to serving stubborn teenagers. Rejection really does suck. This took me a while to get over. Luckily i had started to make some pretty incredible friends whilst working as a waitress. I had met people who were in the same position as i was, others who were local students trying to pay for their degrees, many who had come to England to learn English and head back home with more languages in their vocabulary and others who too were just a little bit lost right now. I noticed, very few people here want to actually be in the catering industry. Yet we all leant on each other for support and above all FUN.
Work was made bearable by my colleagues. As time went on and people came and went at work i stayed for nearly two (long) years. I lasted that long because of the people. I had made a solid friendship group and above all that i had met some of my best friends even to this day.For example, Scott and I went over to visit our friend we made at work Flor in Ibiza. You know what, In all honestly without my bestie Scott by my side I don’t think I’d have stayed half as long, or at least stayed sane this long.
I think as a person i like to learn about people. I’ve always had a constant curiosity bubbling inside me. Always full of questions, buts and what if’s. I like to listen to people, i like to learn about people and i like to help people. I admired like-minded people and i adored people with different opinions to mine. I lived to hear stories of people’s upbringing, their relationships, their culture and their passions. For example; I adored how Grace spoke so passionately about things she stood for. I loved watching Maria and Yoli chat to each other in Spanish. I loved knowing that Flor was probably thinking the exact same thing I was at any given moment.I found nothing funnier than when Scott would roll his eyes at some dumb question a customer asked, Joni would know all the gossip and Laura would have a hilarious story ready to lighten the mood at work!. I think when you’re working in an environment you’re not completely happy with, keeping the mind simulated and intrigued works wonders. This helped within our work environment, especially when english isn’t everyone’s first language. I’d often find myself playing google translate to everyone in the workplace. Though my outcome of spanish is pretty poor to say how many spanish people i worked with ‘estoy borracha’ was the best phrase i learnt so thanks for that Yoli. I’m drunk did actually come in very handy when i went to Ibiza. Without the love of some wonderful people, i wouldn’t have lasted that long.
Now this isn’t an all sunshine and rainbows post. Don’t get me wrong. This job was the first place i had someone tell me to my face that they hated me. It felt horrible. Why did they hate me? My opinion, because they are an asshole. Their opinion, i think im better than them. Truth be told, he was right. I mean i never said it out loud, but i absolutely thought it. He was horrible so i at least hoped i was better than that. In most workplaces there’s probably someone who doesn’t like you, or you don’t like them. Learning how to overcome that (even if you’re like me and the only way you can do this is by completely avoiding the fact you see them as a human) you have got to just suck it up and get on with them whilst you’re there.
I battled with how people in higher authority than myself organised shifts, spoke to staff, reacted to customers and the all round lack of respect from one or two that popped up often. Now, how did i survive this? I used my voice. Sometimes i should have kept it shut, but i can’t. I feel like I’m always the voice of reason in a group. I always take every opportunity to voice the people. This time, a bunch of overworked and underpaid sleepy waiters who just want some praise. Alongside this i often found myself taking the blame for more errors than were my own. Why you ask? My heart wasn’t in this job, i don’t think saying sorry is a way of losing rank or being made to feel small. In fact i always think it’s the opposite, i couldn’t stand to see my peers feel so nervous about errors so I’d simply say it was me first. This soon began to spread around the workplace and everyone became more constant on having the other persons back. Survival of the fittest was no longer a thing and the team was closer than ever.Always keep in mind however, that this person is still your manager they can literally fire you at any point. So don’t push it too far. It’s not worth it.
I had my fair few moments at work where I cried and this really was the final straw. I don’t think anyone should be put in a position where they feel so low in their workplace and that is when I said enough is enough and we made the choice to pack up and leave.
Now, another way to survive working a job you hate?
Go out with the people you do like! Some of my most fond memories of living in london are going on nights out with my work friends. Taking us all out of the work environment and having fun was the best! It also made work more bearable when you’re all hungover together. Or if you’re Hannah and I, there’s nothing a good brunch can’t sort out!
You have to remember that this job is just temporary, keep hitting refresh on those google searches, keep reaching out to employers who you truly want to work for, keep the faith and know that an opportunity is out there for you!
Anyway, here’s how I survived a job I wasn’t completely happy in. I hope you find this useful.
Thanks for reading Danielle Jade x