Monthly Archives: August 2013

The realities of hotel work in the Lake District


So the blog kinda fell by the wayside, probably because I’ve been writing on actual paper (yes people do still know how to use a pen, as it turns out!)

A lot has changed since I last wrote. I am now a GRADUATE with a 2:1 degree in languages. I am not bored of telling people this, partially because I have to keep saying it aloud and writing it to confirm it’s true and partially because I’m actually very proud of myself which also doesn’t happen a lot. 

So now I’m living in Windermere in the Lake District. I wish it was as classy as it sounds, but it’s far from, and once I leave this place, I intend never to come back for as long as I can. Bowness is now a tacky tourist town, polluting what was once a beautiful lake with ice cream wrappers and breadcrumbs for the thousands of pestilential birds which swarm like locusts at the pier. it is also a little bit like Beijing. I have never seen so many Chinese people in my life, but they seem to go crazy for Peter Wabbit. In this village there are 4 chinese restaurants, one thai and two Indians, not that I’m opposed to varied cuisine, but if I went to Asia, I sure wouldn’t be going for fish n chips, I’d be trying out the local cuisine….

I am however a bit hypocritical in that I’m currently sat in a Costa Coffee Shop, however that’s because it’s the only place that I can sit for hours on the wifi, undisturbed because their swimming pool sized coffees will keep you going for hours and no one will lift an eyebrow at you unlike the local ones where you can definitely overstay your welcome if you milk the free wifi for a bit too long.

Sadly the high-flying career which tends to go with a degree hasn’t quite taken off the ground yet. I am on an afternoon break from my daily split shifts at the hotel job I’ve taken for the summer which is sadly very very unglamourous. Picture this:

Me on hands and knees trying to use a damp towel to get the little black curlies off bathroom tiles; or crouching over a toilet scrubbing away at crusted on excrement with a brush. Yep it’s not pleasant, but I suppose I’m in a better situation than some, those who have run out of places to look for a job, no matter how tiring or disgusting just so long as they don’t have to eat cold, smart-price beans out of a tin because the electricity’s been shut off by the utilities company… I have to keep telling myself that before I pluck up the courage to hand in my notice, but it’s ever so hard. 

I used to tell people I’m a real people’s person, I’m not sure that’s so true. Once you see how other people really live when they think nobody’s watching, your opinion of them changes a lot… Working in a low-skilled job definitely makes you want to generously tip every-time you go out for a drink or a meal, because you know that at some point during the day, the waiter or waitress has had to deal with many condescending or patronising comments, which are probably about things far out of their control. 

It’s not all bad though, sometimes you have the nicest guests who make you think that what you’re doing is almost worthwhile. They leave their rooms tidy, they ask you about your background, your dreams and hopes for when your contract ends and hug you when they leave, genuinely wishing you all the best for the future whilst silently slipping a five pound note into your pocket. 

These people are my heroes, realising that just because you’re a waitress or a toilet cleaner, you’re not a lost cause nor are you incapable of intelligent conversation, wit and humour.

I think I’ve covered all the corners now… maybe my next post will be more upbeat