London: The fight for a piece of the pie

We all know that in the capital, life is bigger, louder and schedules, are tighter. That being said, there is a majorly naive presumption that there is more opportunity.

There is no wonder that there are so many people flocking here to get a piece of that heavily carbed capitalist pie – that is London in its essence. The naive presumption comes in when you think there is so much opportunity, that you are as entitled to a piece of the pie as anyone else.

Why? Well because you have worked hard enough to be at the table. The education, the experience, the burning ambition to win!

You see the competition here starts way before you have the job, or even during the interview stage.

The moment you come across that first job description, know one thing, there is more than meets the eye and you have literally signed up to the hunger games!

What they don’t tell you Is that this city is full of over qualified dreamers and scarily competitive employees. Once they sniff out competition, the hunger games are on and you have to fight a good fight in order to sit at the table.

By working here, you will notice there is alot of smoke and mirrors, and dont think that behind the scenes there is someone cheering you on. If you are good, you have to be brilliant!

Picture a calm office on the surface. Very quiet, people sit silently and focused. Laser beamed on the task ahead.

Your lucky to hear a pin drop. It’s silent and you can almost taste the stress and anxiety. Behind every banging drum beat of people slamming their fingers into keyboard oblivian, is a floor trembling undercurrent of hatred, jealousy and greed. Nobody says a word. There’s no small talk, just focus and straight faces. Every conversation is calculated

An email too far, a “fuck off” under the breathe and mix of oversized egos are a normal part of office life here.

Everyone is gunning for that position, that title and that intoxicating piece of that pie that smells so good on this boiling melting pot of concrete.

I can see why, as everyone wants to be that somebody, the somebody that makes the decisions, gets picked up by their driver and avoids the overcrowded traffic of savage commuters and sits comfortably upon a pedestal of wealth.

I’ve yet to experience the uplifting northern atmosphere of office banter. I’ve actually been truly spoiled in Manchester, because during my past office experience there; the employees are real people, humans. Not relentless working machines with no soul. When your bored, get up and walk over to another desk, for nothing other than a chat. It is normal for the girls to be chinwagging about boyfriends and big brother in Manchester.

But here in London, where the crown is so heavy and the power is so close that it’s almost as if you have it, here, everyone has this imaginary piece of the pie.

Well, until they really don’t.

Yesterday I turned up for work and got fired: A quick story from an Ex Restaurant Hostess

image

There are some moments in life when you just know that you are reaching the end of a specific stage. You have exhausted all avenues, ran in a relentless tirade of circles and reached the stage where you can no longer do the same thing anymore and you move onto something new.

Then there are times where you turn up for work and get fired and your manager tells you:

“Your everyday late, you have been warned and again your everyday late so you show up today on time and you are supposedĀ to show up 10 minutes early, so you can take your uniform off and you can go”

Word for word this is how it was said, with a smug smirk and bad English. I just stood there until the first response that came out of my mouth was:

Will I still get paid?

She confirmed, and after telling her I had no other clothes as I was silly enough to wear my uniform to work, she told me to bring it back another day. She later threatened me and told me I would not get paid If I didn’t bring the dress back, which is highly unethical and unlawful, but I digress.

I share this because I want you to know that you are never safe in this city. One day your in, the next your out and the people here take pride in positions of power no matter how low or high they are, and they will abuse it.

Restaurant turnover is high anyway, and in this specific restaurant there was so much going on behind the scenes that I understood why people left so frequently. Despite these faults the doors continue to sway, and people turn up in the truckloads to be seen and be seated in this place which is purely smoke and mirrors and verging on the slippery slope of going one turn away too far.

Regardless, my time here was short and sweet and I learned so much. But one lesson that I am glad I have finally mastered is to not be late!