beer shampoo

The problem, or possibly the perk of not being able to get a full time job is that you then work as many hours as you can in as many different places as possible just to make ends meet. And stories are what I have…

I have now waitressed (as in worked a shift, done a pointless trial or even been employed) in 5 different places. I have worked as a receptionist where I answered the phone occasionally but spent most of the day watching daytime tv and doing an online typing course. I have worked as an English teacher: not what I came here to do, but fairly good money and last week taught 30 hours ( fairly unusual in our tefl world unless you are in Slovakia).I have worked in a pub which turns into a nightclub after 10pm who fired me for going to see the Foo Fighters.

My first night in the pub I was more than surprised to work until 3am and soon realised that my 4 months in a sleepy Somerset pub where at its busiest I might have served 4 pints in a row was no match for what I was about to encounter. I was pulling pints, pouring whiskeys and serving up Quick Fucks and Slippery Nipples for 6 1/2hours, staggering home as the birds were starting to sing at 4 in the morning. Now I no longer work there I am happy to say that I never want to pour another jaegerbomb, Sambuca shot or have to understand any drunken slurs for drunks I have never poured and inevitably got wrong on more than one occasion.

I also learnt the hard way how not to change a beer barrel. For two weeks I had been telling a supervisor when a beer ran out and almost magically, someone would run into the cold room and change the barrel. Service would continue as normal. I thought this was the way it went. Until one Saturday it was quiet and Carlton Draught stopped coming out of the tap. “Carlton’s off” I shouted to Kyle. “So change it then” was his response. “Me??” I should point out that for several reasons which I didn’t really get; I was quite disliked in this place, so most of my questions were answered with sarcasm or impatience. I was led into the cold room, and showed what to do. “Press that leaver and undo this”. This was the pipe attached to the keg. I couldn’t do it, it needed muscles in my back that were so sore from the pain I have been having that I struggled and couldn’t loosen it. “My hand is broken in three places and I can undo it, it’s not that hard” said my supervisor. Well Thank You for pointing that out. I obediently followed instructions, secretly hoping that I would indeed never have to do this by myself. And I got away with it: That night at least. We were quiet, so no more beer ran out. Until the next day…

I was pouring a James Boags (Tasmanian beer) and it stopped. I looked around: no one. Where was my supervisor? On her break. Where was my colleague? Collecting glasses outside. Bugger, so I needed to do it. I excused myself to the punter and went into the cold room, located the empty pump and undid the pipe. That wasn’t difficult. Undid the new barrel, shunted it over, that wasn’t easy. I heard a hissing sound. Had I heard that last night? What was that? Probably nothing. Now to attach the pipe to the new barrel. Yep I know what to do, then SHIT F**K BOLLOCKS!!!!! Beer sprays everywhere at high speed in my face, in my hair, all over the cold room, what have I done??????? Stop what I am doing, and it stops. I am covered in beer. My face is wet, my hair is wet, my top (fortunately black) is wet. I am shaking. How did I do that?! What the fudge have I done?? I always carry a tea towel on me (inevitable spills, you know me) so mop myself up the best I can. Poke my head out of the cold room: punter still waiting for his pint. Empty bar. No one to help me. Eventually I grab my (other) supervisor, who had been so condescending in everything she had said to me that day, and yank her into the cold room. “What have I done??? Look what happened!” She, thank goodness, did not take the opportunity to laugh ( I would have done had I seen myself: drenched, mascara running down my face) and kindly explained that I forgot to turn off the gas. That lever I was told to push before doing anything else. I ran off to clean myself up, whilst she finished my “work” and decided that losing this job to the Foo Fighters was totally worth it…

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About graceeliz

Many years ago I met someone who said: "Don't know what you want to do with your life? Teach English as a foreign language, then you can travel the world. Best thing I've ever done!" That got me thinking. Research was done. Course booked in Barcelona. Certificate gained. 5 years living in Barcelona working as an English teacher. Done! Where to next? Check out my blog! 5 years in Barcelona, 6 months in Slovakia, 2 years in Australia... and now I am home in Somerset. We'll see if I can stop the itch in my feet...

Posted on December 13, 2011, in Australian Adventure. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. hehe…ive had a few moments like that myself…glad you quit…sod em!

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