When I was searching for work in Peterborough, I was offered two jobs practically simultaneously. In my great wisdom, I decided to work both of them, and I have somehow managed to keep things together for the last 3.5 months, but now fear that I am quickly unraveling (just in time for Christmas).
I worked an extra 16 hours at Christmas parties this weekend. I actually felt like I had a hangover today, and seeing as I've only had one glass of wine this week, I know it must just be exhaustion. Either that, or my system is far more sluggish than I have realised.
I thought I would share a snippet of conversation I had last night while cutting bread for a couple of buffets. It went something like this:
I was cutting bread (and I also happened to cut my finger, but that is actually unrelated to my story) and I had to switch the side the bread was being cut on as well as move the knife so that I, a left handed person, could cut the bread. I was muttering under my breath about this and some of the kitchen staff were listening and one of them called over the service line to me, "You're left handed?!"
I called back, sarcastically, (while clearly cutting the bread with my left hand) "No, no I'm not left handed!"
He got it, and then one of the other kitchen staff asked, "Hey what's it called when you can do stuff with both hands.?"
"Ambidexterous," I said.
"That's right," he said. "Ask the one who went to university, she'll know." I smiled, chuckled and nodded.
"What did you go to university for, anyway?" he asked.
I looked up, raised one eyebrow, and said "Education." Clearly this was funny, so everyone laughed.
"Oh, for like what? Like, just general education, or what?"
"No, I'm a teacher. I've taught before." I answered.
"So, like you teach little kids, or like high school?"
"But what subjects, like just a little of everything?"
At this point a couple of the other guys were chorusing things in the background like "No, of course not, specific subjects!" and "Subjects! Subjects!" Bless them.
"Well, technically I teach History, and Drama," I replied.
"Ooooh! An actor!" he shouted, brandishing a glazing brush, and everyone cheered. "No! No! An actress! An actress! I'm sorry!"
"Well, actually, with gender equality and neutrality these days, you can use the term 'actor' to refer to women as well. We're moving away from the use of the word 'actress.'"
"So, uh, if you're a teacher, what are you doing working here?"
And that, my friends, is the million dollar question.
Another fun moment (and during a 9 hour shift, there can really be a few), was when I was resetting tables with another banquet staff member. She was talking to a couple, who are members of the Golf Club I work at, about school and the possibility of pursuing graduate studies, and the elderly gentleman she was chatting with remarked, "Surely you're not old enough to be in fourth year!"
"I am, I am!" said the girl I was working with. "If don't think I'd old enough, you'll never guess how old Emily is!" Yes, this is a funny, funny, joke. I never tire of this one.
"Oh, I don't know," mused the man. "About sixteen, maybe?"
I sighed. What else is there to do in that situation, really?
"No, you'll never guess," I said with false gaiety. "This is a fun every time! I'm twenty-eight."
You'll never guess what they said next.
"No! Twenty-eight?! My goodness, dear! You hardly look it! I would never have guessed that" (and I would never have guessed your hair was real, but hey, who's looking?).
"Yes, it's true. I'm actually twenty-eight."
"Well, you'll appreciate it when you're older, Emily," said my co-worker.
Yeah, when I'm ninety and people only think I'm eighty. It'll be grand. Can't wait.
I'm just going to start telling people I'm 23 and buy myself some more time in my 20s to figure out a career, it seems.
I'll get back to you when I'm 30, in about another 7 years.