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What My First Job Taught Me

I was 16 and my family has recently moved to a large house in a very small village.

It was an ugly new housing development, all of them looking the same, all too close together. Inside the house was very spacious, my room in particular was massive, but we were all rather cranky for being taken away from our home town, because it made seeing friends and going to our schools much more arduous.

There was an old part of the village about 10 minutes walk away. It was made up of a pub, a post office and an Indian restaurant. I got a job at the pub.

The pub thought that it was fancier than it actually was, but I suppose they did have some wealthy customers to cater for (literally). It was pretty good, the food was yum, but it wasn’t anything special.

half and half = one massive fuck up

There’s one shift I distinctly remember in which I fucked up big time. BIG TIME. It was a Sunday lunch shift, so pretty much every single customer had indeed ordered a Sunday lunch, and there were two large tables in the same dining area. I ended up getting their orders mixed up as I carried the (heavy) plates to the tables, half of one table had the other table’s food. It caused quite a ruckus, and I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself.

My boss, the manager of the place, didn’t scold me. She saw how ashamed I was and let me punish myself for her (she actually said that). I was so mortified, I almost didn’t go back after that.

Just another manic Sunday

On a different Sunday (a better one), I was asked if I could stay on to do the graveyard shift (Sunday night). I said yes because I was actually enjoying myself and I would get a free roast dinner out of it. Plus, it felt super grown-up to do a double shift.

The evening shift began and it was all fine, very quiet to begin with, until my angry dad barged into the pub. He demanded to know why my manager was exploiting his daughter into working all day on a Sunday (I hadn’t even told him I had decided to work the double-shift, let alone complained about it to him). I was so embarrassed, my poor manager was apologetic to my dad, and we left.


I had had a crush on the sous chef since I met him. He was 19 with dark curly hair and dark eyes. He had a pimped up BMW that he sometimes gave me a ride home in. I was really dumb with my crush and he very much did not fancy me back.

A year or so later, I very much considered him a mate. I also was newly single and a different chef asked me out (he was a creep but I ended up dating him for 6 months, absolute train wreck). I had just started out with the other chef when Dark Curls asked me out, very casually. So casually in fact that I thought he was just asking to hang out as mates, so I said yes without any kind of anxious giddy-ness.

Weeks later and I was in deep with Train Wreck chef. I cancelled on Dark Curls because I realised it was a date he was after, and then people at work realised Train Wreck and I were dating and well, it caused a load of drama. I wish I had dated Dark Curls instead, even though he probably would have broken my heart too.

lessons learned:

  1. Accept your mistakes, they’re not the end of the world
  2. Angry dads aren’t your fault
  3. Don’t shit where you eat (and if you must, pick the guy that is more age-appropriate and hotter).

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