Working in a Winter Wonderland

I am officially in the red now. Doesn’t feel great as everything else seems to be going okay. Have been having to resort to the evil credit card to pay for the rent and other items of late. It all started after the monopoly pub crawl. I really didn’t have the money to go out that weekend but I was determined so I took the weekend off work and went out knowing I couldn’t afford the rent that week. I had grown tired of being responsible and figured that even if I didn’t go out that weekend I’d still be too poor to cover the rent so fuck it. I may as well have a good time, which I did. We started out meeting at Elephant and Castle tube station with the first pub on the board being Old Kent Road, unfortunately for us we ended up walking around for an hour before alcohol even touched our lips, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren’t going to see all 26 destinations on the monopoly board even if we did start at 11am. So after a quick half pint we were on the bus headed for Fenchurch Street Station unfortunately for some reason the pub we were meant to visit on the list was closed despite being a Saturday at lunchtime what the? Luckily the alternative pub on the list at the station was open, it was really dead inside and funnily enough once we got in there we saw another group doing the exact same crawl as us. As we pushed on more and more people were joining our little group. Next stop was Whitechapel where we walked in to find a bustling pub full of blokes watching football and being rowdy – was quite difficult coaxing the gents into the next pub once we had gotten in there. Then onto a funky little pub with a theatre on top can’t remember which stop that one was (started to lose track after the first few pints) Then had a cider up the road from the theatre pub as it was walking distance between those two stops. Then it was off to Liverpool street station and the pub was huge and right outside, the kind of place you would never normally notice it had a big bar menu and high ornate ceilings. We couldn’t find the exact pub at Kings Cross Station for the following stop so just went into a random one. By the time we reached the pub at Marylebone Station we were actually not so much drunk but tired – so we kind of made an unspoken agreement to find another pub for a feed and call it quits. I ended up chatting to a girl from the hotel job who had come along that evening and found out that she was over here for virtually the same reason as I was (looking for production work etc) and we traded stories. She was down because with the strange hours that she was working with the hotels it was very difficult for her to apply for internships or even do internships as they are unpaid.

Afterwards her and her flatmates invited me back to theirs as they were across the road from the infamous ‘mansions’ in Acton Town. I say infamous because they are an estate run by the working holiday mob that helped me get set up over here and are a block of apartments that are only populated by Aussies and kiwi’s in the program and they notoriously have a lot of parties. I was almost going to look at an available room there but changed my mind after hearing tales of housemates coming home at 2 or 3am from a hotel shift only to find a huge party in their house. I was determined to see what the parties were like and also had made friends with a girl on the pub crawl that said she would meet me there later as she randomly had to look at flats to live in halfway through the crawl. So anyway, not much to say about Acton town. The place that Cassie lives in (that’s the girl who is looking for production work) is smaller than our place in Tooting and sits above an indian restaurant – however they are a nice group of people and the place is close to the station which is a bonus. I sat on a mattress in the middle of their lounge room while we waited to cross the road to the mansions and we listened to Fleetwood Mac, Don McLean and enjoyed the repertoire of 4 out of the 10 songs one of the guys knew how to play on their guitar. *Please note I would use names more but people stop introducing themselves/asking for names after a while as it becomes awkward after you’ve worked with them half a dozen times and you should probably know their names by now but you don’t so you carry on hoping you don’t get anyone asking you questions about specific people. It felt like we were there for ages, not that I wasn’t enjoying myself but I was anxious to see what these mansion parties are all about. We rocked up to the mansions and I could see quite a few familiar faces there was a huge amount of people drinking outside the mansions as it was so packed inside that it simply wasn’t comfortable. The block itself wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it would be, it was pretty plain but livable. The most off-putting thing about the party was the fact that supervisors from the hotels were there, one tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘You were late for your shift today’ at which point I panicked for a second as he started drunkenly laughing as I hadn’t even worked that day. Next thing the Italian guy from the pub crawl was trying to pick me up but his English was so bad that I could barely understand him and was far too sober to feel comfortable. I caught up with Laura who was the girl hunting for flats outside and she introduced me to her two Canadian friends she had met at her hostel and they told me about being stuck at some pub job in a remote town in countryside England and how they felt as though they were prisoners and would plan their escape each night. They also told me about couch surfing, which to the uninitiated is a worldwide community of people who let travelers sleep on their couch and are reviewed online. I was skeptical but they swore that it was safe and after looking at the website it’s a properly established company that’s been going for a long time now. We ended up sharing a toilet inside the flats Lauren, Canadian girl (so sorry can’t remember her name!) and I naturally had a poke through their medicine cabinet as if expecting to find vibrators or a giant tube of lube as they are this mad party house and do nothing but have crazy sex parties.

Got home around 2am after my first night out. I enjoyed myself but the verdict is – need more money next time as had to stop drinking halfway through the night.

So the assessment day for the job I mentioned briefly in the last blog was for Sealife which is the aquarium in London and by assessment day they mean silly group exercises and an awful role play with your would be future boss where he gets to play the angry customer and you get to deal with him in front of the entire crowd of interview hopefuls quite possibly the most awkward interview setting I’ve seen myself in and I’ve been in a few. And then if you make it through that day you have another interview and shadowing day before you even get offered a job which seems like an awful lot to me for an entry level job. On the plus side I got to see the entire aquarium for free afterwards (it’s quite expensive to visit) on the downside I never heard back from them which was a shame as the people going for the job there seemed genuinely nice and we all had a photo on a penguin together (blue screen penguin just to clarify we didn’t straddle an actual penguin after the interviews)

Work on the production front is going really well though. We did a test shoot for the project the other day which was great experience but very tiring. We filmed in studio’s famous for recording acts like Queen in fact Freddie Mercury’s actual piano was still there. I was basically a dogs body on the day running around getting tea and coffee and co – ordinating the talent as they arrived onset. We started at 8am and didn’t finish until about 10 that evening. I honestly felt like I had worked so hard that day I barely sat down – every time someone saw me I would be asked to do something and when I wasn’t asked I was trying to see what needed doing and just do things wherever possible. I felt exhausted by the end of it, but happy because I felt like I had really helped that day. Only bad side was I lost my iPhone that day and my house key shortly after – wasn’t the best week for that stuff. Luckily the iPhone was found a few days later and the key well I just got another one cut.

I have had a few interesting shifts with the hotels recently. Haven’t been working nearly as much