Summer is here! I have decided to spend my summer in the UK this year, both for travelling and work purposes. I have a friend who coincidentally has a spare room to rent in London, which is the perfect location for me to experience the UK. Although I have previously tirelessly applied for numerous engineering internships and eventually got an offer from a small firm in London, I decided against taking it last minute because I didn’t feel like an internship will provide me the experience I needed.
Having done internships already for both previous summers, I’m looking for an experience that enhances my soft skills and allows me to have ample time to explore the European culture. So ultimately, I applied for part-time jobs through an agency that provides work in hotels and events. I have never done any waitress jobs so the work has so far been extremely interesting and fun.
Learning all the waitress-ing skills like, serving food from the left, how to clear the table professionally (without breaking plates) and improving my customer service skills is priceless. I love how customer service is so highly regarded over here, the fact that it not only makes the guest have a pleasant time but also make yourself happy to serve is invaluable. Moreover, I feel like the culture here is much more polite and basic etiquette like saying ‘thank you’ (despite it being my job to serve you) is frequently exercised. Being in Malaysia, I truly believe that customer service skills development requires a lot of improvement. It is a daily occurrence in Malaysia to be served by a cashier that looks like she hates her job. Over here, they always ask ‘how can I help you’, ‘hello, how are you?’, simple greetings like this can uplift your day entirely. The entire customer service culture in Malaysia that does not put emphasis on the customer facing skills, creates a bad cycle and atmosphere that results in both an unhappy customer and an unsatisfied server (that could also be due to the extremely low wage being paid).
London is such a strategic and unique location to be in for the summer because it is the capital! Touristy landmarks (museums and buildings), numerous events (concerts and talks) are just nearby. Also, working part-time allows me to have a flexible schedule. I will be travelling to Austria and Greece for 2 weeks in the beginning of August, Switzerland and Italy towards the end. When is the better time to travel than now, right? 🙂