Good Morning Mr. Albiston - by Rourke Albiston

As a lady in hospitality, I am eternally grateful that my job has tricked my mind into being joyfully happy and welcoming all the time. “Fake it ‘til you make it”, as the saying goes. The public spend their hard-earned cash to be in your company for a snippet of their day, so best to deliver their flat white, glass of Viognier and cheese board with a smile that feels like a warm hug.  

BUT! What most people don’t see behind this lady’s happy eyes are the 3 hours sleep I got last night because of my impending period, or the burning rage I just felt as I opened my emails to another “Dear Sirs” or “Good morning Mr. Albiston.” Or the number of times a guest would like to “Speak to the manager” and I am the one already stood in front of them taking in round one of their complaint. I’ve walked into a scheduled meeting that has been met with “Oh, no, sorry - I’m waiting to see the manager?” Yes I’m sorry pumpkin, I am the manager. You’re stuck with me.

I guess after so many years of coming up against this I’ve developed a thicker skin, but I still feel this underlying determination to prove them wrong. The main goal is to open up people’s minds and start to show a balance between men and women in this field in senior roles. If you can change one person’s mind, then hopefully we can move further away from the faces of shock and awe when a woman asks how she can help rectify a situation.  

Spend five minutes with any woman in the restaurant industry and you’ll realise we’re pretty badass. We’re always expected to be that little bit kinder, warmer and more attentive. And I would like to think we are. I’ve enjoyed managing teams of all women, all men and a mixture of both and I can tell you one thing for sure, a team is a team. You spend more time with these people than you do with your loved ones at home so get tight, get strong, stay kind and support one another! My team know I am pretty self-sufficient and cutthroat when I need to be, but they also know exactly how to make me a cup of tea when I need that extra support after another guest has been surprised by my feminine shape.

 

 

Natalia Ribbe