I have rearranged my life to get to work for 9am, based on the information given at interview. The kids start school across town at ten minutes to 9, so I am accumulating favours I now owe people, in order to sort this out. Thanks to help from the wonderful secretary at their school, I can drop them off at 8.30 am, so it was going to be a sprint to get to my own work, but do-able.
What the guy who interviewd me and gave me the job neglected to say is:
- You are not allowed to wear your uniform to work, you have to change when you get there and change to leave.
- The black shoes you simply have to have and pay for out of your own pocket are another item that cannot be worn outside of the kitchen - no wearing them home.
- You need a good twenty minutes to mill past two or three other girls in a locker room the size of a shoe box, to get changed. Trousers, T-shirt, pinny, it's a full strip & swap.
- 9am start means 9am changed and out in the kitchen, not 9am through the door, so I am screwed. I need to owe favours all over the place AND catch a taxi (no payphones or taxi rank near school, so it needs to be pre-ordered.) Thats at least one hour's wages knocked off the total, every day.
- The hours might technically include half an hour unpaid, for lunch, but I am now told that no-one has time to stop, so it doesnt happen, I guess you are just expected to give half an hour for free.
- Because the break doesn't happen, the 'meal provided' doesn't happen either.
- He never got round to telling the supervisor that he had employed me, so she didnt know who I was.
- We are understaffed anyway at a full compliment of four, and currently down 25% on that because someone quit and he couldn't find another newbie to take on. The supervisor is trying to get me swapped with someone at the other site because they have enough trained people to cope and she hasnt got time to train me herself, if she and the one other regular (who wants to cut her hours) are going to be doing the work of four. If this happens, then without a car it will add another half hour/more taxi money to my journeys to and from work.
- There were no deliveries today, so no sandwich fillings etc could be made up for tomorrow when school starts back and it will be a double work day. At least we got away 1 1/2 hours early today, because of that, but tomorrow will involve three people doing in 5 1/2 hours what, even with a 'streamlined' staff, should take four people 7 hours.
- The new headmistress prefers another catering firm for teacher training days etc so today we scrubbed down the kitchens, boil washed tea towels and removed six weeks of dust, plus.
- The strongest cleaner used in the kitchen is industrial washing up liquid, applied to a plastic scourer or a scrub bud. I'll work out how many scratches there are on my right hand when it stops feeling spongy.
- You have to change pinnies and wear a hat when serving and there are three separate serving sessions between 10am and 2pm. For kitchen work we have plain blue pinnies, for serving we have to wear ones with a huge harlequin pattern like an outsize circus clown.
- In between the child and adult break times and the full on lunch sitting, we not only have to keep cooking for today and keep prepping for tomorrow, but also nip out round the canteen, disinfect all the tables and sweep the floor. It can't be done during sittings as we don't have the staff.
I need this work, I want to get fit again and I have specific plans for the money that involve having a known minimum coming in to the house every month for a period of time, however tomorrow I fully expect to be sworn at. All I will be able to do is sympathise and not take it personally - there would be a lot more trouble if there were only the two of them, two very nice, if stressed, women.
Tomorrow we have the youngest year of pupils in, as start dates are staggered, but it will increase on Wednesday and be full blast by Thursday.
Never mind wishing me luck anymore, but if you wanted to PRAY for me.............