Ufff, all the things you have to do for money! Why is it that money really does make the world go around, however much some people might want to argue with that?? :( I have started working at this restaurant since a month. And I've actually worked only 4 days there. The woman who owns the restaurant never tells me when to come. I call her about 3 times before she tells me when to come next. Moreover, it pays like shit and the working conditions are worse than the pay. But still, I'll work there. Because it pays me SOMETHING. I'll put up with work I'm not particularly fond of, put up with people I'm not particularly fond of and accept money that definitely does NOT do justice to the amount of work there is. Because something is better than nothing.
Besides, NOWHERE else in this country did I get a job, not even in restaurants or department stores, because I do not have any "UK experience." I mean, come on, it's there on my CV. I came to this country less than a year ago! How do you expect me to get experience if you don't give me a job to begin with?!! Besides, I used to be a teacher for THREE years in Mumbai. Mumbai, which I think is even better than London. (I know some people might not agree on that one. But well, I think we should agree to disagree. I don't deny that I'm biased towards Mumbai because it is, after all, my birthplace and the place where I lived the first 20 years of my life.) Anyhow. Surely it's not like we teach savage lingo there. And if they are worried about my language, that's on my CV too. I speak 6 languages and am an English Literature Graduate who got through a very reputed English university for her Masters. I mean, doesn't all this say SOMETHING for me? Plus, I was even ready to volunteer because obviously I'd have to get used to the National Curriculum and other systems in place here. But noooooooooooo. So, I had to apply for restaurants, bars and department stores kind of jobs. There, I was too qualified and totally experience-less. Again, it's not common in India for students to have part-time jobs like this. But, I'm a smart person and learning this would not be difficult at all. But they have too many people who apparently have learnt how to use a till when they were in their mother's wombs. So, who the fuck would care about training us international student types? But this would be a whole different post - how this country is so UNwelcoming, with many other examples apart from unavailability of jobs (because that is something not just international students but everybody is facing in general.) :/
Anyhow, going back to this place where I "work." Everything is so disorganised! I must also mention at this point that I worked in this same restaurant for 2 days before. But, after 2 days, the owner told me that she has too many people on her staff and can't really afford one more. Wow, wonder how she didn't know that less than a week ago when she hired me! I went back there because it's the only place where I'm earning something. But, it still doesn't make it any better! Last time I worked was last Monday. I kept calling her and she was never available. A few days ago, one of my colleagues informed me that my name is on the rota for working on Friday. So, I dressed up in the formal trousers and formal shoes that I hate and basically dressed up as a plastic doll to look all professional and pretty for the customers and went in to work. The owner, as usual, was not there. She is mostly away on trips or chilling at home. Only to be told that I was actually a standby and so, wasn't needed. I should go back home. I will be called if needed. WTF?
Now, I don't have a problem with being a stand-by and not working for 2 weeks at a stretch (well, I have less problem with that than I have with spending money on bus fares to get there and coming back without having earned anything at all.) But doing that was TOTALLY unacceptable. Also, another BIG (literally BIG) problem that I have with this place is an OLD, FAT, Gujrati lady, whom we call maasi and who is the head chef of the restaurant. Now this is the woman I talk about when I say "The Devil wears a Gujrati Sari." She is such a power-tripper! She likes exercising her fake authority over all of us when the owner of the Restaurant (let's call her Thin) is not there. Which, like I told you, is most of the times. Like today, when she said, "It's our system. Even if your name is on the rota, you should come only when we call you." WHAT BULLSHIT! So, you are the one who opens the restaurant and then, make phone calls to everyone saying you have to come in for work? And everyone else is sitting at the edge of their chairs, waiting for you to call, not making any plans for their evenings just in case you call? Do I look like an idiot to you? What makes you think I'll buy that load of crap?
Apart from just plain bullshitting, she also screams at everyone. A LOT. It's her way of showing that she is greater than you. I'm sure she's never heard of the concept that you have to give respect to earn respect. I may be less than half her age. But it doesn't in any way give her the right to scream her lungs out at me. And for no reason too, except that I am new and might get easily scared. Well, too bad for her that I am so thick skinned that I totally don't care about her. And I think I can afford to not care about her because I don't really care that much about the job or the money. I'm just doing it for the experience and so that I don't feel totally useless and like a loser, having spent lakhs of rupees (no wait, lakhs of education loan rupees) on coming here for a year. However, THAT is my choice and I don't regret it one single bit. Like I've told before, England is like a close, close friend. A few unpleasant experiences *so* don't define how I feel about it. If only it had better weather though! ;)
Which reminds me, it was raining cats, dogs, horses and zebras when I was coming back from work and so, decided to stop for a drink. Anyway, I was upset about the whole work thing and needed a drink. ;) So, I went in a bar and ordered a cocktail. Then, I just sat there, feeling the warmth of my drink curling around in my stomach and watching the rain. Even though I was right in the middle of the city and this would have been waaaaay more romantic if I was in the countryside, it was still quite nice. :)