The definition of NERVOUS

  • 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”!