First up, the Glasgow Hilton on Bishop Street. One of my first shifts ever working in Glasgow, I was sent to the Hilton Hotel on Bishop Street to do a plate waiting shift in a large function hall ( a big room with 30-odd tables seating about 1000 people). Fine… I arrived there, and was told to find my way round to the back to sign in. I was then led into the back door (the code for which I’ve forgotten…shame) round a maze of corridors, into the lift, up the the 3rd floor, and then round another maze of corridors, to where I was given an ill-fitting shirt with buttons missing that looked more like a very small jacket… I was then expected to find my way to the kitchen. I eventually caught up with someone that I recognised and she led the way there.
The kitchen was horrible. It was dirty, smelly, cramped, and far too hot. No wonder the Chefs have a reputation for being grumpy, moaning b*****ds! We were then asked to circle the room and check the table settings. That would have been fine if there was more than 4″ space between the chairs! I dreaded to think what it would be like when the guests came in and sat down.
About 15 minutes later, once they’d established exactly who hadn’t bothered to turn up, we were called over to the corner of the room an put into groups of 4, and given our tables, which were in the opposite corner of the room! We were then given our briefing and told that we were to be serving the conservative party for some big meeting, and we would be asked to leave the room and collect ourselves well out of earshot at some point during the meal. I didn’t like the sound of this… Anyway, we got to setting up our work stations (where we serve from and clear to for each course), and deciding who would do what.
When the guests came in and seated themselves, we set about placing their napkins on their laps (I hated this) and asking them for dietary requirements. Then we served the meals. With each course we served, we became further and further behind. The tables were far too close together, and I have no idea how many times I nearly tripped on wires and things littering the edges of the room. Not to mention the weight of the trays before they were loaded up with a minimum of 6 heavily laden plates.
One woman in particular got very annoyed because we had to ask her to pull her chair in every time we passed, and she decided to stand up instead… She eventually complained to our manageress and we were told not to ask her to move again, but to ask the man behind her, who was already sitting quite close to the table. Did I mention that she was sitting one the very edge of her seat, with the edge of the table level with her kneecaps?!
When we finally got round to serving tea & coffee at the end of the meal, we were alreay 1/2 an hour over the 4 hours we were supposed to be working. We then discovered that one of our workmates had disappeared because she was too stressed to bother anymore, then we found out that all the tea and coffee was gone, so we had to try and serve 60 people with 2 teapots and 3 coffee pots. The milk machine was empty, the milk jugs were gone, as was all the sugar, and when we asked one of the managers where to find more, he didn’t answer us, but instead asked us why we hadn’t finished already.
After an hour of this rubbish, my 2 remaining workmates and I decided to leave it. Most people didn’t get tea or coffee, some didn’t get desserts, and we definitely didn’t get paid for 5 1/2 hours! I made a point of being stubborn thereafter, for every shift I worked at that horrible place! I eventually got barred from the place after working 3 shifts with flame red hair! I have to say that was a relief. I can never work there again, I never want to, and I advise every living soul against it!
Have you had a hard time working at the Hilton? Post a comment and let us know what happened to you.