All I could think was, as if.
As if I had actually moved to London, as if I had found a flat in Wimbledon, and as if I had just been hired to work at a pub. Back in the Canada, the chances of being hired to work behind a bar with little experience is slim to none. That said, when I applied for the position here at The Ship I was not confident I could secure the job.
The interview started off casually; however, within seconds Oisin had turned into a
detective-esqe character, and the overhead spotlight was on me. The questions he posed were interesting, diverse and will remain a secret but I must have answered them somehow to his liking as he hired me right then and there.
I will never forget walking out of The Ship that afternoon. Those passing me in the street must have thought I was insane because I was actually screaming like a giddy school girl. After a quick purchase of a celebratory wine, I went straight home to share the exciting news with my family – I was now the newest employee of The Ship!
Immediately, the managers threw me in the deep end. With about 4-hours of training under my belt, my first legitimate shift was on a Saturday (keep in my mind I had little experience, and was not ready for what was to come). G&T? Bitter? Special? 1664? What confused me the most that night was how many terms there were for each drink. Factor in all the different types of accents you folks have and it’s safe to say I was pretty overwhelmed. The rest of the crew were great though and helped me along.
Then it was time for the biggest test of them all – a Sunday Session. I could not believe how up-tempo The Ship got that night. I had never seen anything like it, could not compare it to any bars in Canada; it was amazing to see the amount of people doing their best hip-thrusting from on top of tables. Did these people not have to work tomorrow, and why are they so obsessed with Jaegerbombs?
Fast forward 12 months and I can easily say that I have a fondness for Sunday shifts. I love serving families in the restaurant, checking out the ridiculous fancy dress outfits in the bar, and of course pouring round upon round of Jaegerbombs. It’s also a great time to catch up with co-workers, some of whom have turned into really close friends.
When I describe the Ship to friends and family back home, I often use the word ‘crazy’. Here’s why:
1. It’s crazy to believe that a pub can have over 8,000 followers on Twitter.
2. It’s crazy to believe that a pub’s busiest time is on a Sunday.
3. It’s crazy to believe that a pub can sometimes run out of tonnes Sunday Roast – because it’s that good.
This August when my parents and sister came to visit they quickly realized why I described The Ship as such. Before I knew it my father had turned into one of those gyrating-grown-men often seen on Sunday nights, thank goodness he didn’t attempt to stand on the tables – how embarrassing would that have been!?
As my one-year anniversary slowly creeps up I can confess that working at The Ship has exceeded my expectations. I have acquired the skills needed to be a successful waitress, as well as learned an immense amount about wines, ales, spirits and food. Along the way I have also had the opportunity to work at some fun Young’s events, which allowed me to visit spots in London I would not have otherwise seen.
If I had to pinpoint my favourite memory of the last year it would have to be working the Scotch Egg Challenge. So much effort and teamwork went in to that night, and even though I left with half an egg in my hair, I would do it all over again!
I can’t imagine how my experience living abroad would have been if I had taken a position in another industry. I have had such a fun year, and look forward to what crazy adventures come my way.
Kristi Bejczak, Supervisor