Posts Tagged ‘Artisan’

Have You Tried Turning it Off and On Again?

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Exciting times, kiddliewinks! It would appear that I have decided to make 2013 the year of doing jobs you’re supposed to do when you’re 16. I have spent the last four months working as a waitress and being paid minimum wage to carry heavy plates, be yelled at, and clean up after rich people’s children (and rich people, for that matter.) Four months was sufficient time for me to establish that I never, ever want to do that again. I enjoyed the company of my fellow food-slaves, the music was good to dance to and there were occasions where I actually had some nice chats with some very friendly customers. I was even told by a very drunk 50-something-year-old man that I was the best server he had ever met. I like to believe he really meant it. But finishing work at 2am after cleaning flecks of pizza dough out of the cracks in the tables is really not my thing and I will forever more praise every staff member of every restaurant I eat at. They work hard (well, most do) and get paid poorly. Tip them handsomely, my friends.

After searching high and low for alternative sources of income and realising that my accordion playing skills just aren’t good enough for me to become a professional busker on Market Street, I was offered the opportunity to take the job a friend of mine was leaving. A fellow Aussie, Eli, had been doing a part time office job for the Co-Operative (a bit like Woolworths but with a few more morals) but was having to leave in order to further her career at the Art Gallery. I met her for lunch on a rainy Manchester day, I was feeling depressed as I had just said goodbye to my brother at the airport and I was hungry. Oh so hungry. Anyway, after I had whinged incessantly about my great dislike for my serving job, Eli suggested I replace her. And within 48 hours, I had applied for her job, been offered it and resigned from Artisan. WOOHOO!

Last Saturday night was my final shift at Artisan (finishing at a record late time of 3am Sunday morning), and I have spent almost one week in the super-shiny office building of the Co-Op. I wish I could say that my new job is more glamorous than my last, but the truth is I am one of the IT crowd. Got a problem with your computer/printer/phone? Call me. I will log the call and if I can’t fix your problems then I’ll pass it on to someone who can. While this isn’t my dream vocation and I have to wear a stupid Bluetooth headset, it is part-time from 9am-1pm, giving me adequate time to do some writing in the afternoon and it pays significantly more than minimum wage. Also the people I work with are friendly computer geeks, which is one of my favourite brands of human.

I am currently completing two weeks of full-time training (I need to stop changing jobs as they all require two weeks of training) and am slowly understanding the various different programs, systems and codes for all things IT. I am seeing that I will need to draw upon every gram of patience that resides in my body as some callers appear to barely know what a computer is, let alone where to find the off switch.

Hello August

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

I’m not sure where July went but August has arrived and with it has come a realisation that I have been neglecting my blogging duties. No longer, my friends. I am back. Prepare yourselves for regular news from sunny Manchester.

I am currently listening to the BBC commentary of the Ashes test that is happening at my local sporting oval. I run past Old Trafford at least twice a week and I am quite excited by the prospect of running into (stalking) the Australian cricketers. Honestly, I just want to see Glenn McGrath. And maybe Warnie just for laughs. I had hoped to watch a game but the ticket prices are not minimum-wage friendly so I am making do with the radio.

Speaking of the radio, since moving to Manchester I have been heavily influenced by my extended family members and have become a radio listener. I turn BBC Radio 4 on every morning and listen to whatever interesting discussions are happening about arts, science, politics or general life. I have learnt a lot of random facts about topics I knew nothing about. My mind is being opened by old school technology! Wow.

I have officially passed my server test and am now a fully qualified waitress! I am proud to announce that I am yet to drop food or drinks on any customers (Touch wood! Touch wood!) and had one drunken business man tell me that I was, “The best server he has ever met.” Now that’s a compliment.

Manchester has been suffering from heat exhaustion resulting from the presence of this thing called “The Sun.” With temperatures in the low to mid 20s, the Brits don’t know what to do with themselves, complaining about it being too hot and  humid. I will admit that it is particularly warm inside buildings as air-conditioning is non-existent here and most places have been designed to keep warmth in. Windows that open appear to be a luxury. But thankfully some rain has arrived and everyone is calming down. Life can return to normal.

The sun!

The sun!

Who Has Two Jobs? Jess Has Two Jobs.

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

I don’t know what has happened to me – all of a sudden my life revolves around making sure I get to Artisan 15 minutes before my start time, serving food with a smile, and then trying to get enough sleep to do it all again the next day. Last week involved many hours of serving practise and I had my first REAL shift yesterday. The good news – I didn’t drop anything! I consider this to be a huge success and came away from yesterday’s service thinking that maybe I can do this waitressing business after all.

I am working tonight so am spending the day in my other office attempting to write. This was side tracked by the discovery that it is my friend, Nate’s birthday today and I was horrified to discover that he hadn’t eaten any cake by 10.30am! JESS AND A PIECE OF CHOCOLATE AND GUINNESS CAKE AT TAKK TO THE RESCUE!

This cake solves all problems.

This cake solves all problems.

The weather in Manchester has been relatively good and I have managed to wear sleeveless tops on occasion. That said, my temperature tolerance appears to have shifted dramatically and a 20 degree day feels hot. I am still a lovely whiter shade of pale but I have officially booked plane tickets to Croatia for my birthday. Beaches, sunshine and hot weather – these are the best presents I could ask for.

Sunshine equals picnic lunches in Piccadilly Gardens

Sunshine equals picnic lunches in Piccadilly Gardens

I’m a Working Girl

Friday, June 14th, 2013

I deserve a slap on the back of the hand for my blogging efforts recently. My excuses involve getting a job, having a social life and trying to do things other than sit in front of my computer. But I feel I am letting everyone down and I don’t like doing that so here I am, providing you with exciting updates on my life à Manchester.

The biggest thing in my world at the moment is my JOB. Yes, I, Jessica Davies, have a JOB. I haven’t had one of those since 2009. It is a server role at a new restaurant called Artisan that is opening on 24 June. The entire staff is being trained for two weeks prior in order to get us to a good enough level to be able to make the restaurant ultra cool. This has involved study sessions and me needing to memorise things which I haven’t done since 2002 so my brain has exploded through my ears and is currently scattered across my apartment floor. It has been great though – lots of friendly people, plenty of laughs and the prospect of delicious food is getting closer and closer.

The past two days have involved food and glass tray carrying exercises and my left shoulder is in agony. The plates are very heavy (there are some cast iron plates/dishes that come straight out of the oven and on to the table) so carrying a tray with five plates is a bit like carrying a small child with one hand for long periods of time. And glasses… oh, the glasses. I am going to drop them all on a lady wearing a fancy dress, I can just tell. But apparently that is all part of the ‘fun’ of the job.

I am looking forward to the restaurant being completely functioning. There are still builders working there and it is a bit of a mess but soon it will all come together and I’ll have to start serving people. SCARY. But anyone in Manchester should come and have a bite to eat after it opens! Ask for the Australian waitress – and then leave a big tip.