The employed life

Trip Start Dec 11, 2012
Trip End Oct 17, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Salzburg,
Saturday, December 15, 2012

We knew it would be a steep learning curve. Let's face it, a course in the theory of super yacht stewardessing does not a waitress make (I speak of myself here - Claudia has one or two 14 hour shifts at Beluga under her belt). But our employers don't believe in the curve as such, more like the vertical incline of "this is the bar, those are the tables, there's the kitchen and - oh look, guests have arrived! Go take their order."

Our first day started well. Like the responsible employees we are, we set our alarm for 6.30am in order to be there for the breakfast shift at 7.20am. Blindly stumbling around in the dark, stabbing our eyes with eyeliner, it took us a full 20 minutes to realize that it was only 5.50am - time difference can be a real bitch sometimes. We went straight back to bed in the position of the rictus, so as not to have to redo any makeup or hair.

Breakfast is a buffet and all we have to do is offer coffee and eggs, reset tables and generally blend into the background. That, and try not to dig our fingers into the cake (only Austrians have Marmur Kuchen for breakfast. Such a civilized people). Lunch can either be your best friend, i.e. all the guests are on the ski slopes! Whoohoo!, or your worst enemy i.e. all the nonguests have come in from the neighboring ski slope and you are the only person on duty with a table of 7, 5, 4 and another 6 for good measure. And they all order drinks you've never even heard of, let alone know how to make. Here is a quick Austrian beverage guide 101 for you: Spetzi (the most popular soft drink would you believe) is half Fanta, half Coke; a Radler is beer and Sprite; a kleiner Piltz is simply a small beer, it is always assumed that mineral water is soda water and almost 98% of the time juice (think stuff like Mangobango and Erdbaerbodler) orders are "gespritzt", meaning they are half soda water. Now just think that nothing comes in a bottle and that everything is on tap. You feel our pain? My table of men couldn't believe I didn't know most beer types - they might have been making fun of me, but I don't understand the Austrian dialect half the time, so I can't be too sure (I'm pretty sure). Supper is my happy place, as you keep busy, half the time there is a set menu and you charge to the room - no having to split the bill here (unlike in South Africa, here the waiter has to split the bill so that each customer gets their own individual slip. Try that with a table of 7!).

And I suppose you want to meet the rest of the staff? There are five of us waiters. Gigi* the gastronomical godmother is our new favorite person in the world. She is the mother hen, shows us what to do, helps when you don't have a clue as what to do and makes sure you eat. Gigi has been here for four days longer than we have and is therefore all-knowing. Next up is Eloise* from Slovakia. She's hilarious and we've become glass polishing whilst jamming to the bar's looped mix CD buddies. Last, but by no means least, is Guy*, our token guy. In his last job the cocktail menu had 50 pages. He is our drink guru. We've nicknamed him superman. Now if you'd be so kind as to follow me into the kitchen. That's Suds* doing the dishes in his dishwashing room. Brutus* in black over there might seem intimidating at first (it's the earring coupled with the rugby player's physic) but he's quite cool. The one that looks like the stereotypical white haired chef is Frankel*. He claims that he's not the head chef, but he is. Frankel is always making jokes at our expense to Brutus that we don't catch, due to his ability to lay on the Austrian dialect as thick as Claudia's breakfast Nutella ("Zum Glueck can die Raphaela ja nicht so gut Deutsch" - "at least Raphaela's German isn't that good"). He's a bit like your grandpa who isn't afraid to give you a good kick up the arse. The poor dude running around doing stuff goes by the name of John*. His job is to run around and do stuff. And now if you'd turn the corner to the sugary section, you'll meet Anton* the desert chef. Anton always wants to know how we're doing and will purposefully brake a few Vanille Gipferl so that we can eat them. Anton is amazing. We have food crushes on Anton.

Now that we have two nine hour shifts under our belts, things seem a lot less scary. Claudia became a little girl's hero when she killed a spider, being the Namibian plaas meisie that she is. Gigi and Eloise were practically standing on the table. I survived the hellish two hour solo lunch shift and managed to fluke my way (somewhat unsuccessfully) through the drinks orders, while Claudia bathed a customer in chips.

And now to go off to Hinterglemm's only disco (not a nightclub - nightclubs here are brothels) because we have the day off tomorrow. Oh yeah.


*code names have been given
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Louisääää on

Das Beste an diesem Eintrag ist, dass du den einzig deutschen Satz falsch geschrieben hast :D

aquirkybunchof2 on

It's the touchscreen keypad. Makes you go crosseyed :p but i hang my head in shame.


Louisäää on

haha! ich vermisse euch!!!!! <3<3<3

Judith Herbig on

I am so impressed with you both for tackling this amazing adventure! Wish I did it when I was young! All the best - will keep reading the blog!

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