The definition of NERVOUS

20 Dec
  • It’s your first day of work as an assistant waiter
  • You’re a hospitality industry virgin,
  • You’re not in any old restaurant, you’re on a 6 star cruise ship,
  • The cruise ship is fully booked with all 132 high paying passengers expecting 6 star service,
  • You’re crossing the Drake passage that is notorious as the roughest sea in the world,
  • Tensions are running high among the staff as the dining room fills up and 4 course meal orders are going left and right,
  • You’re in a daze not really knowing what to do or where anything is located, but you’re wanting to be busy and make a good first impression,
  • You’ve already had a verbal bollocking from your boss as you didn’t know where something was.
  • You’re skinny arms that haven’t worked for 11 months are aching from carrying the trays laden with plates and glasses above your shoulder.
  • The last tray run you did you broke 5 crystal glasses,
  • The words of your boss are in your head “out here your on stage”

Now you pick up your next tray of crystal glasses, the dining room is packed, your waiter tells you “be careful”, you’re trying to focus on the “care” part of that word, and not the “ful” (fall) part. You raise the tray to above your shoulder, the sway of the ship engulfs you, then you finally straighten up and look out the window to the 3-4 metre (calm conditions for the Drake) swell and feel as though your extremely drunk or on some illusigenic drug. You take your first tentative steps on the rocky dining room floor towards the narrow obstacle course that leads to the dish washing area. Like a baby learning to walk your steps are clumsy, the clanging of crystal glasses ringing in your ear as the tray rests on your shoulder. Through the ringing of clanging crystal, all the words flood your mind “your on show, be careful, be quick”, it feels like you’re in a bad dream, but then you realise “you’re living your dream”!


10 Responses to “The definition of NERVOUS”

  1. crystal December 21, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    Looking debonair, my friend! You really need to put up another before and after picture of yourself (side by side) with this photo and one of your dirty dreads. If I didn’t already know you, I would honestly find it impossible to believe that you’re the same person, lol.

    • Hap December 23, 2009 at 10:55 am #

      Yeah, got that in the plan for a coming post, i also sometimes find it weird looking in the mirror and wonder who the dickhead is looking back at me! Yeah miss the dreadies, although showering has taken on a whole new brillance, i can actually get my hair wet and it doesn’t stay wet for 4 hours afterwards.

      Have a merry Xmas!

  2. Vikky December 21, 2009 at 4:44 am #

    Hey!! Can’t believe that’s you! hahaha
    I’m so happy for you Hap!
    If you’re in Ushuaia and have some time, let me know and we’ll have some mate.

  3. Geoff December 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    If you dont make it “out here your on stage” as a waiter you could go on stage as a “magician”…its the white gloves!
    Received a quote book in the mail today.This quote reminded me of you in your quest to get to the ice.
    ” The door of opportunity wont open
    unless you do some pushing”
    Cheerz G

    • crystal December 23, 2009 at 4:10 am #

      Magician…classic! He also looks like he should be doing a foxtrot with Ginger Rogers or some other glamorous gal from years ago.

  4. Paul Matthews December 22, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    Love the quote, Geoff. I also love the picture of Hap, I haven’t had a good laugh in a while and this has certainly taken care of that. I think Crystal is right about the photo montage, maybe, you could line up the photo of you all muddied up after emptying the mud tanks on the rigs alongside the dreadlocked Hap and the penguin suit Hap. No doubt you’ve got a couple of others you could throw in there as well. Awesome!

    • Geoff December 22, 2009 at 6:27 am #

      Cheerz Paul
      Penguin suit..didnt think of that.
      Hope he doesnt go on the ice with it!
      Have good xmas

      • Hap December 23, 2009 at 11:00 am #

        To Barnz, G and Crystal,

        yep a little bulk comment to the 3 of you. I’m glad you find it all so amusing, hahaha, nah i’m laughing as well. G, guess what, those white gloves that my boss said not to loose, look after them with your life, I managed to put them in the washing machine with my red shirt, yep – Pick gloves! ummmmm yeah that didn’t go down toooo well. 🙂

        OK< you guys get back to work, and have a ripper xmas

  5. Ling December 22, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    I am glad I discovered this site –> facebook friend –> friend’s friend’s post about traveling –> link to Starledger articlet –> this site.

    I am at awe at your experience. It f#*( blows my mind! I read through pretty much all your articles. Great journey! I admire you!

    Perhaps its time for me to start before I turn 22 so I can hit your goal as well. 🙂

    Have a blast in the least travelled but most exotic continent!

    • Hap December 23, 2009 at 10:50 am #

      HI Ling,
      great to hear from Ling, and I glad that you enjoy my blog. Thank you also for you kind words.

      All i can say to you is to just do it (no I’m not sponsored by nike). Working and living in a place you get to know it better and have a totally differnet experiece from just travelling.

      Oh, by the way, if you want to get a cheap Antarctic cruise, if you head to Ushuaia and don’t mind waiting you can get last minute deals for $4000, thats pretty standard, you can even get cheaper if you willing to wait and hassle the agents.

      OK, Ling, best of luck with your future travels.


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