Friday, 23 November 2012

A new start!

I realise I haven't posted on this blog for a while, and that's for many reasons. For example:

1) I've been busy. Working full time and working weird hours does silly things to all of my free time!
2) I've lost all motivation and haven't really had anything interesting to say. Nothing I felt I could portray on here anyway!

Now however, I've realised I really miss blogging! Not just for other people to read (though it's a nice bonus if they do), but it's nice to have something to refer back to now and then. I don't keep a diary, and don't use Facebook as much anymore, so it's nice to have a record of what was going on in my life at the time!

Since June I've been working at a coffee shop in a hospital (not going to say where or I'd risk losing my job!) and I hate it. I don't mind the job as such, but I'm expected to do a lot more than I actually get paid for and volunteer to do more on top of that. Again, I don't mind that so much; that's always been the case everywhere I've worked. I'm an awful mixture of being incredibly reliable, desperate for money and I have a bad case of not being able to say no to anything. An employer's dream, but my nightmare.

I've got a bit better recently though, and I wouldn't mind that if the work environment was nice, but it's really not. It's just like being back at secondary school; everybody there is two faced, bitchy and really immature. They slag everybody off behind their backs but are as nice as pie to their face, and EVERYBODY knows everyone else's business. Now I couldn't hack that in high school, never mind amongst grown adults, and it just makes it a really uncomfortable place to work; I don't feel like I can be friends with anyone, and to say I spend over 40 hours/week there I think that's a really sad state of affairs.

It does however, provide me with some entertaining stories which I'll share at a later date. For now though, I'll leave you with my top ten hates about working in retail (and yes, they all involve customers!)

1. People talking on their phones when they come to me at the till. Yes, I am still a human being, and no you can't communicate with sign language or just ignore me whilst you continue talking to your friend. Please finish your conversation, and THEN I will serve you. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to not serve them, so I just kill them with kindness. I ask them as many questions as I can, upselling and talking really loudly so that they can't ignore me, whilst giving them a very pointed look. Whilst this doesn't stop them talking on the phone, they do look awkward and it gives me great satisfaction.

2. If I put my hand out for your money, please put it into my hand and not onto the counter so that I have to scrabble around trying to prise it up for 5 minutes. I don't have a disease and I do wash my hands frequently. IT'S OK TO TOUCH ME and your sale will go much quicker!

3. I do not set the prices for the products. Yes we're expensive, but we're a hospital and companies tend to overcharge a captive audience I'm afraid. Please don't take it out on me as I definitely don't get any of their profits!

4. The inability of people to clear up after themselves. This is a bit hit and miss where I work; we do get a lot of people on crutches who I totally forgive. The majority are perfectly able-bodied however, but will still leave stuff on the table for me to go and collect and put in the bin which is two feet away from where they were sat. I know this doesn't sound much, but it's the principle of the thing. I am employed to make you coffee, not be your skivvy.

5. People who don't read signs. We have signs that tell people what all of our cakes, pastries and pasties are right next to each product, but I will still get people shouting at me whilst I'm trying to make drinks, to ask me what the pasties are. LEARN TO READ! Said people also can't read opening hours or the menu board. Which brings me onto...

6. When I ask you "What size is that; small, medium or large?" please don't answer regular. What the hell is regular?? I've given you THREE options, choose ONE of them!
Me - "Small, medium or large?"
Idiot - "Just your regular one please."
Me - "Is that small or medium?"
Idiot - "Oh I don't know, just regular."
Me - "Medium size then?"
Idiot - "Oh no, haven't you got anything smaller?"
Me - "......"

7. If the shutters are down 3/4 the way, half the lights are off and the yellow tape is across the entrance and you have to get on your hands and knees to get in, we are most definitely closed. Even if you say "Can't I just get such and such?" we are most definitely closed. I'm not going to say "Oh well done, you saw through our charade of being closed and crawled through the shutters to get to us, of course I'll serve you for your chewing gum and chocolate bar. First though, you have to scale the drainpipe, shimmy across the roof and base jump off the other side. Then you'll be worthy of my service." Idiots. And no, you cannot use the cash machine, we are closed. All my takings are spread out across the counter, I cannot let anybody in, please take no for an answer.

I am aware that this problem would be solved by closing the shutters all the way but we can't - you can only open and close them from outside the shop. Madness.

8. If I apologise and tell you that the seating area is closed, then the seating area is closed because I've got to do some extra cleaning in it, not because I'm being annoying on purpose. Yes, we close at 8pm, and yes that is 40 minutes away, but I don't care if you'll be gone by then. I need to scrape all the chewing gum off the bottom, deep clean the bases, pull all the furniture out, sweep and mop it, all whilst serving customers. I only get paid until 8.30pm so unless you want to pay me for the extra half hour I'll be here if you sit there, you can go and sit out in reception.

9. People who smoke in our tiny outside courtyard. There's no ventilation apart from back into the building, and it's still on hospital grounds so there are No Smoking signs everywhere. Also, common sense/decency. This is a children's hospital; there are sick children and very heavily pregnant women everywhere. This is also a food preparation area. There is a designated smoking area two minutes away; come on people! Also, I am not a jobsworth or a bully for telling you to stop smoking, I'm being a decent human being!

10. People who expect waitress service. We're a coffee bar attached to a newsagent that sells coffee and cakes in takeaway cups. If I'm on my own, you might have to wait a minute or two whilst I make your coffee, but if you go and sit down and expect me to bring it to you, that means that next customer will have to wait even longer, and so on. I'm sure you can stand next to the counter for a couple of minutes; again, whilst I work in retail, I am NOT your skivvy.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the top 10 for now! Let me know if you can think of any!

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