Against Monotony: Sleep, please!

15/11/2014 § Leave a comment

After five full days of helping out at the Club Lounge, I couldn’t be any more happier to finally have my rest day. I would be honest and say that working in front, attending to guests face to face, and carrying out duties in a bigger working space was draining out all the energy I have. Despite all the troubles, like preventing my uniform from getting we, or having my shoes know what milk tastes like, or smelling like coffee even though I haven’t drank any, I could still say that I actually miss doing physical labor with all the food and beverage duties.

For the past three years since I returned to Singapore, I have been hidden in the office far away from the very life of a hotel. I have been helping in the front desk every now and then, but never permanently. By right, our section’s uniform is that of office attire, but I am the only person wearing a front desk uniform there. If new staff were to be attached on our side, or other staff I do not really work with on a daily basis, asked me why I wear uniform, I have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes I feel offended, as if they were saying ‘stop wearing the uniform’ or ‘know your place’. Sometimes I feel confident by having the upper hand because I know how to perform the jobs of different sections. Sometimes I only feel depressed knowing that my current operator job will give me difficulties to advance or progress in my career. I always give them the answer of ‘I sometimes help out in front’, which would usually end the conversation.

If I were outside my original section, I always get the question ‘which is better?’ or ‘which do you prefer?’. I try to avoid giving them direct answers, or at least not to give my honest opinions. I always tell them that the job scope is completely different, and the kind of stress are also different, so it is not really comparable; that it is good to have different work experience and to learn more; and all those answers which would be related to the question but not directly answering the question. I don’t tell lies when I answer their questions, I just do not give my honest opinions.

And now that I am actually doing work without always facing the computer, or answering the phone calls, I am torn between feeling happy and hesitant. Physical labor is not exactly required in Operator. I get to have a lot of time doing things I like to do, so I am always feeling satisfied, and feeling like I have a lot of time in my hands. Now that I am in front, I do not even have the time to think about what to cook for dinner while clearing tables and washing coffee cups. I only think about work during working hours. Maybe because I am still new to it that I am still in the process of comprehending how to handle the job better. I am always preoccupied in thinking whether I have enough food in the buffet counter, or if the water of the coffee machine is enough, or if that is Mr. so and so who like to have omelet without cheese and served with tomato sauce. Yep, my mind is completely occupied with work that I don’t have the time to stop for a few minutes and daydream. I can finally relate to my friends who says that their time is mostly consumed by work. And I am not sure whether that is a good or a bad thing. The ‘life of a working adult’ just sounds awful at times.

More than half my working time, I have to stand up and walk back and forth in a broad area. I am allowed to wear flat working shoes, but that wouldn’t lessen any tiredness you feel, just the pain of your feet which is also a good thing. For some reason though, I do not feel tired while I am on the floor and working, whether there is a guest in front of me or not. But by three in the afternoon, when I am about to get off work, all of the effects of the energy-draining duties will all show up. I start to feel grumpy, and uninterested in anything, not even to the section briefing. I just wanted to go home and think of other things, and rest in my own bed with my mini-stuffed toys, while my legs are leaning on the wall to relieve the stress from my veins. I feel sleepy-tired but I try to stay awake until a little later in the evening. If I happen to sleep right after I get home, I would definitely wake up at wee hours of the day, which is not good if I want to survive a day at work without feeling all groggy.

And as I am still getting used to talking with the guests in person, I find my level of performance to be very poor. I need to interact more with the guests. I need to improve my skills in terms of socialization and communication, trying to start a conversation and getting the guest to warm up to me or something like that. I really am not used to talking to people, so I sometimes wonder why I am in the service line with my kind of introvert behavior. Well, there are always rooms for improvements in a human so I will bet on that. My objective for now is to get my name mentioned in the feedback forms. I would feel really happy with that, because in my years of service in the hotel, I only managed to get my name mentioned about two to three times. That is while I was working in the Operator, so I may not be so bad in doing my work. But I really feel that my real talent will be better polished by going out in front instead of staying hidden in the office. I need to step out of my comfort zone to improve myself. Literally.

14th November 2014
All photos were taken using Samsung Galaxy Note II


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