A New Chapter Unfolds

Today marks my first month in Florida. Happy monthsary! I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I arrived.

The holidays have kept everyone really busy. Emphasis on “really.” Most of us are sleep-deprived and have muscle pains brought about by too much work. Imagine serving hundreds of people daily. The others are getting worked up and sparking disagreements that sometimes turn into yelling. We are constantly reminded to keep our cool, though. No fighting of any kind is allowed. Period. That said, I never once complained. In fact, I enjoyed the holidays. Sure, we get to sleep less and work more, but that’s part of our jobs. Serving people is what I love. Making sure they’re satisfied is my priority. No one leaves without smiling.

Christmas eve was very busy, but not as busy as New Year’s Eve. We were packed with people. There were around 600, if I’m not mistaken. The event took place at the Beach Club, adjacent to Hobe Sound Beach. The Club had to rent a gigantic tent for he event. The motif was Masquerade. The tables had green tablecloths and each had various masks, pearls, golden utensils, and huge golden centerpieces. And I mean really huge. Like, nearly-touching-the-top-of-the-tent huge. For me, it was slightly over-the-top. Then again, the event catered only to very, very, very rich people.

We were briefed about the event at around 6PM. I noticed that there were a lot of call-ins. We needed all the help we could get. Tom, our F&B Director, gave us a little speech and pep talk. His main point was “teamwork equals success.” Short and straight to the point. He never fails to give us a confidence boost when we need it.

The tent was divided into two parts, the North and South, with the dance floor separating the two. Each part were assigned Captains to keep the flow nice and smooth. I was assigned two tables at the South part, a few meters away from the entrance. Lucky me.

We started doing cocktails and passing hors d’oeuvres at around 7PM. That’s when people started arriving in huge numbers. In a few minutes, the logia was filled with people talking and drinking. There were hardly any space left for passing by. Space was greatly diminished. That’s how crowded it was.

During the briefing, we were informed that the sound of a bell would be our signal to proceed inside. When I thought that more people would come and occupy the remaining space, that’s when the bell tolled. I felt relief. A few more minutes and there wouldn’t have been any space left.

The dinner didn’t take as long as I had initially thought. Thanks to everyone cooperating, everything went perfect. The appetizers, entrees, and desserts were all served by us staff, each of us having two plates and placing them from one table to another as opposed to letting only the runners do it. It saved us a lot of work. Plus, it was a lot of fun.

While we were waiting for the food, some danced to the beat of the music. Seeing everyone smile and enjoy themselves was fun. Who says you have to be bummed when working during the holidays? Certainly not me.

The countdown was really exciting. All of us counted down, screaming from the top of our lungs. 10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Everyone shouted in unison, then everyone cheered. They started dancing, greeting everyone, and partied the night away. Well, technically speaking, it was already morning. But what the heck. Everyone had the time of their lives. By the way, my friends I got to meet Erika Van Pelt from last year’s American Idol. Now that’s how you celebrate the coming of a new year.

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Happy New Year, everyone! Especially to my mother and my little sister Trixia. Everyone have a prosperous year ahead!

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