Sunday, November 8, 2009
Working Through Sickness
But if you want to know when I had to work when I was really sick I will tell you of this one story. The cruise ship I was working on had just completed a cross Atlantic voyage from Martinique in the Caribbean to Madeira and on to where we were to take on our first passengers in Europe in Las Palmas located in the Canary Islands.
The crew was all happy we had no storms on our crossing and figured we were home free as far as hitting any big ones. Well we all had a few drinks ashore and we were heading back to the ship for dinner service when we were told to close our porthole cause we were heading out to rough waters that evening.
Well no sooner did dinner start when we heard a loud bang which we knew were the waves crashing against the ship. Our side stand where we placed our trays full of dinner plates had to be watered down to prevent the whole tray from sliding right off the stand and breaking dishes into small pieces on the floor. People started puking at the table. We would go back for 8 salads and when we brought them out the table was empty. People were scattering for their rooms.
But to feed the experienced who were used to rough seas the waiters had to steady themselves and work through the bobbing and weaving of the floor we walked upon. It was as crazy as those rooms at the fairground that go to and fro and have you fall all over the place forward , sideways , and backward.
Well my story is I used to get seasick and I was pretty green that night so when I carried the dirty dishes to the dish pit I would puke up in the garbage can and wipe my mouth and have a drink of water and head back out to the dining room to serve more food. I would do this till the end of service or I literally couldn't work any longer. Usually in cases like this I would work till the finish of service and then do my side job the next morning.
Well this particular cruise this storm was so bad we had it for 5 straight days and when the cruise ended we actually began seeing people we didn't even know were on the ship because they couldn't venture out of their room to eat. We only hit one port the whole week. We were always behind schedule.
It was so bad that even when you slept in your bed you would slide in it when the ship leaned. I was never so seasick in my life.
There is nothing worse than being seasick but having to work as a waiter in this situation , all I can say is keep a garbage can nearby the dish pit cause I am going to need it sooner or later!
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.