About 5 years ago I started working in hospitality. Even though I swore I would never do it.
This was mostly because as a child my Mum imprinted on me that being a waitress was the worst possible career choice I could ever make and insisted I look into studying to be a nurse. I was about 9 at the time.
In 2007 I started working at Kingsleys Steak and Crab house in Canberra. Pretty much just to help me get through 4 1/2 years of study. Which it did.
Other than the pain that most hospitality jobs inflict on it’s employees, this particular job has a number of perks.
I moved to Sydney to specialise in cinematography at the International Film School Sydney, I decided to transfer to the Sydney branch of the restaurant and continue my hospitality slog. The Sydney restaurant was somewhat busier than the Canberra one and took a bit of adjusting to. It generally received a higher class of cliental and quite often celebrities.
It wasn’t unusual to see John Laws, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and even Russell Crowe. We did of course see a whole array of celebs, my high moments being Neil Diamond, Metallicas’ James Hetfield, Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett and Leo Sayer amongst a long list of others.
It started with two grown men having dinner together. Between the two of them sat a Gumby figurine on the table.
The opportunity to spark up a slightly interesting conversation to help me get through another night waiting tables was too strong. I asked about the Gumby toy.
The men replied that they were on some mission to bring Gumby back. They wanted to get Gumby back on the radar and to get as many people to have their photos taken with Gumby toys and to upload them to a website. I thought that was pretty cool.
Later in the evening the two men asked me about the celebs that visited. I told them about John Laws, when Lady Gaga had to hide from the paparazzi and the restaurants neighbour Russell Crowe. Their eyes lit up.
They begged me to take their Gumby toy and give it to Russell Crowe. The condition being that he had to promise to upload a picture of himself with the toy to the website.
I explained to them that I couldn’t just go up to Russell Crowe and give him a Gumby toy. They pleaded with me to give it a go.
I don’t know why I did it, but I took the toy and told them I would try.
About 2 weeks later I heard that Russell was coming in to dine. So that night I brought Gumby along in the hope to rid myself of being a fraud and actually try to give him the Gumby toy.
I dropped the drink down in front of him. Russell thanked me and continued his conversation with another guest at his table. I stood there a moment, feeling as if the weight of the Gumby in my apron was holding me firm to the spot. I realised I just couldn’t do it and turned away before I made a fool of myself.
And that was that. For the remainder of the evening I felt like an idiot. Not for not giving him the toy. But for even thinking about it in the first place.
So now I have a Gumby toy. But technically, It’s Russell Crowes. I just didn’t get around to giving it to him. Can you imagine what he would have said if I had. It’s insane!!!
I suppose the lesson here is, if I didn’t ignore my mother, and never became a waitress, I would not have Gumby. It’s a valuable lesson… well, not really. It’s just a bit of silliness.
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