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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Life's Too Short To Sleep Alone

What greets you as you check in......
That is the slogan of Global Village Backpackers, stated very plainly on the information board at reception. What a motto to live and work by! It definitely describes the hostel perfectly ;). Now, you could go down the dirty route (as I know most of you will, you filthy minded creatures! As Ian pointed out 'if my mind didn't live in the gutter, it would be homeless') and assume that we are encouraging promiscuous activity but we certainly don't. Not that we are judgemental if there are some innocent hook ups but before you embark on any wild passionate love affairs in a hostel, make sure to read the following guide....

Anyway, I had been applying for lots of different types of positions, as per my previous blog post on Job Hunting in Canada, and when I applied for the Front Desk Agent position here, it was on a bit of a whim, with a lot of encouragement from Gillian. Once I had posted on Facebook where I was going to be working, I got a wonderful reaction from people telling me how perfect they thought the job would be for me. And how right they were. I work with a great bunch of people and get to meet new people all the time, which can be both a good and a bad thing! There is also a bar on site, the wonderful Departure Lounge, which will undoubtedly finish the job that Fitzgeralds started in terms of my liver failure.

I would take you through a typical day but there is no such thing as a typical day at GVB. I think the best way to express what it's like working in the hostel is to describe a few of the more entertaining guests (by entertaining, I mean mental obviously), my colleagues and a few of the stand-out moments that have occurred in my 2 and a half months here so far......
  • In terms of the guests.....generally, they're pretty great. A few of the more memorable ones include the woman who carried a pile of washing out the door and across the street because she saw a limo pull up at the traffic lights and assumed 'there must be someone interesting in there'; knocked on the car window to talk to the driver and got annoyed when it pulled away. There was the man who passed out in the toilets and then tried to accuse us of stealing money from him.....while he was locked in the toilet cubicle. The staff are talented but we're not ninjas. The man who asked one too many times about why the internet connection wasn't working......and was killed (not really, he was moved to another, more internet receptive room). Let's not forget creepy condo guy.He never actually stayed here, he just frequents the bar and tried to lure people to his condo for 'parties'.
  • Where do I start with my colleagues? Great bunch of people altogether. We've got 5 Irish, 3 Germans, 3 Australians, 1 English and 1 Cornish. There's a couple of Canadians as well, so we're not prejudiced! Quite a mix but we manage to get along pretty well. Karaoke on Friday nights can be quite a spectacle when we all get involved. Many of these colleagues feature in my Top 5 GVB moments so far.....
  1. The night we shaved Tom's head - so Tom decided that he wanted to try having his head shaved as he'd never done it before and always wondered what it would look like. I was on shift til 11 and had asked that they wait until I was finished before they did it so that I could watch. They went one better and got Shaun to agree to let them do it in the bar. We all took turns taking snips at his floppy English locks until Andy went hell for leather with the razor.....
  2. Karaoke Friday Nights - it's really hard to pick just one stand out moment from karaoke, there have been so many epic performances. Tom and Andy with their Jason Beaver tributes; Gillian, Kate and Nic doing Journey proud,; Craig doing Mustang Sally after bitching that he wouldn't sing EVER. I think the winner has to be both renditions of Fairytale of New York that we kicked out over Christmas.
  3. New Year's Eve - not generally the biggest fan of New Years as traditionally, it's a massive let down. I was even more apprehensive being away from home but that didn't matter. Everyone who was there was in the same boat pretty much, the music was great and I drank way too much. And there was no Auld Lang Syne. Perfect.
  4. The night I threw the pint over Alan - this was possibly the great turning point in my time here. We'd been at our staff party and everyone was very merry with a lot of fizzy drinks having been taken on board. After the session in the party room at Sally & Shaun's condo, we all headed over to the hostel bar for more drinks (as if we needed them). A few of us were out on the patio and Alan decided it might be funny if he leaned over and poured some beer down my top. Through my shock, I reacted on instinct......and launched my entire pint over his head. Dear reader, I cannot express how tense those few seconds immediately following that were. As soon as the beer was leaving the glass, my first thought was 'bollox. I've taken this way too far'. There was pure silence from everyone else (probably some tumbleweed blowing) as we all waited for his reaction. He raised his head, beer dripping from his glasses, looked at me....and started laughing. The he high-fived me, gave me a hug and said that it was well deserved. Boom.
  5. The kidnapping saga - this incident is very recent and will require an entire blog post all of it's own but let's just say that my dearest friend Henry Brontasaurus was kidnapped by a dreadful Scouse Gangster and it was touch and go as to whether I would ever see him again. An elaborate Facebook creation, a ransom note and a Dinosaur Abduction Awareness Organisation hosting a Silent Auction later and it has all been resolved.
Me outside GVB (this was actually before I started working)
Moral of the Story - if you want to take a year out and are lucky enough not to be saddled with a mortgage/kids/other grown up responsibilities; work in a hostel. You may not make a lot of money, but you'll have some craic. And sure, isn't that what it's all about at the end of the day? ;) 

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