Thursday, 4 September 2014

Culture Shock, Long Shifts, And Lots To Learn!

Hello again everyone!

I know I said that my updates would be weekly, but I am afraid that I have so much to tell you about the last few days that I can't hold it in any longer!

So, I left the last post at a cliffhanger! That being how my receptionist work is going. Well... I will tell you all about it now!

Starting a new job in a foreign country is definitely not easy. I will tell you that! However, it has been made much easier and pleasant as I have lovely colleagues who have made sure that I know what I am doing and have made me feel very welcome. Working in reception is much harder than I thought it would be because the computer systems used to check customers in and out of their rooms, to record payments, and to recharge room key cards are very complex. But I found today that it was all making much more sense and I was starting to be able to work some of it out for myself. I did a nine hour shift yesterday and an eight and a half hour shift today and have found that I have learnt so much in that time! I even put some of it into practice today and managed to successfully check two customers out of their rooms! Believe me, I was very proud of myself :)

As well as  reception work, I have been doing what is known as service. This is basically waitressing in the restaurant at the hostel. Service involves taking orders from customers, taking the orders to the chef, serving meals, and cleaning up. I really enjoyed doing this today as I was able to use my French a lot and I also like talking to people so made conversation with some of the customers as I served them. I was very nervous at first as each customer has an identity number that they gave me when they ordered. As I am not the best with French numbers, my brain had to work very hard to write down the correct number on my pad of paper. However, I only made one mistake during that shift and luckily the chef corrected it when I got to the kitchen so I felt that was not too bad for a first try!

So there you go! I have coped with very long shifts in a French speaking business! My language competence and confidence were my biggest concerns when I started my work placement but I can see that it will get easier and more normal every day. I am currently at the most difficult part of the placement as I am adapting to a different country and culture as well as the demands of a full time job. However, it is such a good experience and I know that it will benefit me in many ways in the future. I am working again tomorrow and Saturday and then have Sunday off so I shall enjoy the next couple of days at work and then enjoy my day off when it comes as I still have much of Grenoble to explore!

I will update again sometime in the next week but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading this post and looking at my photos on the 'Photos-Grenoble/Rhone Alpes' page of the blog.

Bonne nuit!

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