I’m moving away from the hospitality circuit, and not through any chagrin of mine, but because I want to do other things with my life.
This post is not about the other things nor why i would chose them over continuing to work on hospitality. This post is the opposite and, in fact, in better circumstances, I might even return. Certainly, the hotel front of house and restaurant offer me a selection of opportunities to broaden my knowledge and appreciation of food and beverage that in other jobs I might not get.
I’ve learnt so much from working in hospitality. More, I mean, than transferable skills for another profession. I learnt, as it were, the rights and ways of being a guest. Of course, when one is an employee of a 5* establishment, one is exposed to those types of people who, wittingly or not, manipulate the system to get more experience s for free or discounted. Alternatively, there are the people who expect so much more for the epiphat of ‘five star’ that when their complaints come it’s almost predictable.
So, you learn what not to say and do that’s likely to cause offense to people who day in-day out deal with guests who might not actually pay attention to them as more than servers.
I learnt how to operate as a guest, too!
For instance, I was actually once terrified of turning up late to a meal booking. Trust me, I’ve handled the bookings in my job; we are happy of a break from the routine and a potential space in the bookings. We won’t call you until you are half an hour late.
Working in hospitality really did help me with my social anxiety and confidence – I’m less afraid to interact with hotel staff and people who surround us in every day life. The other day, I called a restaurant that I was pretty sure would be booked up for lunch to simply enquire! (It did end up booked up and we ate at Wagamamas, but that was a lovely meal anyway.)
It builds up a thick skin does hospitality; you have to be to get along there.
I have been blessed to have experienced that side of work, and I am ready now to move into a 9-to-5 job. Dolly Parton was wrong – it’s a positive way to make a living, especially when you’ve been used to 40+ hour weeks with no set weekends and near-compulsory working at Christmas and New Year’s. I appreciate those in hospitality around us – and just take a look, even if you’re not a huge fan of shopping or eating out: people on the lowest rung of work are everywhere, helping our world to evolve and run. We need the hospitality trade to function in this modern society.
In the end, leaving a job really makes you realise how appreciated and loved you are at that place. In fact, as dull as it was for my Type A, never-still brain, being a host had its rewards by the duty we were doing for others, our guests. I’ve always sought out jobs where helping others is at the core. It’s a role that I get an immense feeling of achievement and reward from. That’s why I’ll never say never again.
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