My Work Stint At Holiday Villa!

By Jennifer Guan, November 2003

  Hmm… Me? Work? Holiday time? Yes… that was exactly what I felt when I first heard about a job opportunity for us at YAC to work at the Coffee House in Holiday Villa. Although I was a bit skeptical about it at first, I decided that there wasn’t any harm in trying a bit at being a waitress and besides that I would earn extra cash for Christmas plus get to use up my holiday time effectively together with my group of friends. To be exact, we would have to work from 3pm to 11pm and earn RM4 per hour. Sounds easy? Think again… that was what I thought! 

The first day I started my new job was on a Monday. If I have not mistaken, I was placed on duty at the smoking area at the coffee house. When we all arrived, our first duty was to set tables and fold napkins. Most of my friends have already started work a day before me so it was pretty easy for me to catch up. We even had name tags which wasn’t really our names at all because we will only be working for two weeks they found unnecessary to get us brand new ones. My name was then changed to Hayatie. I didn’t really mind what my name was because I thought no one will actually take note of it, but once the guest started coming in, I had all sorts of questions concerning my race and why my name was Hayatie and so on. Sooner than we realized, it was already ‘buka puasa’ time. The guest came in to the coffee house non-stop and soon we were all on our feet. 

All we had to do was basically, clear plates, clear tables, attend to what the guest needs, top up the water, wiping cutleries, set new tables and most importantly smile and be friendly! Although it sounds really simple, we hardly had time to breath (well, that was how busy I felt)! Every second, there were LOADS of plates to clear, water to top up and so on. And to top it all up we only had around three or four of us in one section with a full house. To my shock, most of the guest wasted A LOT of food that would have been able to feed hundreds of children who go hungry everyday! They probably don’t realized how much food they wasted but to all my friends and me who are constantly throwing away good food which included, rice, prawns, veggie, meat, desserts in perfect conditions, it was just so hard for us to throw it in the dumpster. By the end of the tiring night the dumpster was FULL! This was just DAY ONE for me! 

 Apart from that, we got to know loads of new friends from the short working experience there as well, especially all the wonderful seniors! It was fun getting to know them and to be working along with them. After the first day, working wasn’t as tiring anymore. I got used to the heavy plates and definitely, seeing a guest’s plate pilled high with prawn shells, oyster shells along with other food wasn’t as strange anymore. Besides that, I managed to learn the method of pouring water without spilling it anywhere J. It was hard for me though, to keep on smiling throughout the entire night because by the time it was 9:30pm, I was ready to go to bed, but somehow I managed! 

 It never struck me though, how much a simple thank you could effect me! I felt so happy to be acknowledged for what I have done after such a tiring evening. It was very nice to hear guests thanking you or even nodding and giving you a smile, it lifted up my spirit to know that I wasn’t completely invisible and was appreciated! 

My first payday was definitely one day I will remember forever! It was very exciting to be getting your own hard earn cash for the first time and just by holding it, not even using the money, I felt so happy! As a bonus from our work stint, Uncle Sabri decided to double our earned money and the whole group decided to donate one hundred from each of our earned cash to MCPCSA! 

Tough customers you asked? Definitely! One I remembered gave me such a hard time. The guest started demanding for drinks, which I had to go and find although he knows very well that it was a buffet and everything is on a self-service basis! The other one was a bit rude and was a bit unfair to my friend and me by asking us to clear the whole table although he saw our hands full of big plates! Through these types of guests I now know how to handle them with plenty of patience and am more aware of myself when I go out to eat at restaurants. 

I worked for a total of eight days… What seemed in the beginning like a tiring and boring job, it turned up to be quite the other way. Sure, we were definitely tired out but the experience and knowledge that we gained was definitely worth it.  I finally now know how difficult it is being a waitress and now remind myself to be the perfect guest, by saying thank you and to not waste any food on my plate! Apart from all those, I met quite a number of new friends and realized that everyone worked together as one happy family. SO remember, whenever you and your family and friends go out and eat, a simple thank you or a smile to the one serving you can go a very long way! 

          Last but not least… THANK YOU to all at Holiday Villa for giving my friends and me the opportunity to learn and grow during this holiday period. To Uncle Sabri and Aunty Wati as well, thank you for the support and encouragement throughout my working period. I now can proudly say that I did use my holiday time effectively! And after that period of being a waitress, I really wouldn’t want to work as one, ever! Try it, you’ll see…