Hospitality is exhausting at times; you represent the sunny face of the cafe/bar/restaurant. You are agony aunt, coffee fix, five minute friend and uphold a certain duty and responsibility to the public. You are a rock of solidarity and cannot falter or grumble. When asked ‘howya going mate?’ the answer must always be positive and chipper.

Upholding this unspoken responsibility is all well and good in the beginning. In fact it doesn’t bear any weight at all; your job is new and exciting. New faces and new challenges absorb you, being the new kid is fun. Life is good! However…at some point far down the track the joy may begin to dwindle. Things that had previously gone unnoticed now become heinously irritating in your increasingly jaded eyes.
You may sadly notice that you have begun to hate other humans; this is the first sign. You may feel guilt as you snap impatiently at the sweet old lady who comes in for the same thing everyday, yet takes half an hour to decide. Silly questions seem more irritating than usual and the ridiculous demands of the ‘yummy mummy’ lunchtime brigade become almost unbearable… “is that gluten, dairy, sugar, lactose, fun free? Is that egg organic? Are those flowers organic? Does that mean I can eat them?!” But the real hair in your soup is the empty greeting. ”How are you?”, usually followed up with a nonchalant, generic reply such as ‘that’s the way’. You could have told him your entire family were eaten by cannibal pygmies whilst holidaying in the Maldives, and they wouldn’t even notice. Knowing that your answer is unimportant, that the perpetrator isn’t really listening and couldn’t give two hoots how you are feeling, that’s what cuts the deepest! You are becoming more bitter than a bad coffee and nobody likes a bad coffee.  When you can say yes to all of the above you know its time for a holiday, one far away from the general public!

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