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[00:00:00] I remember waiting tables at both ends Bowden's restaurant and Oriental Bay and the Travelodge, it was cold. And some years ago and there was really pompous two couples came and sat at the table. And, I mean, they were sitting there and they were ordering me around. And I mean, I can do see if I can like I can scrape I can crawl if I know I'm going to get a sale at a summer. Or if I'm just going to make people laugh or make people happy. But I just hate snobby assholes, and this guy was just right up, right up design. And he said to me, You know it, can you pull the champagne, poured the bloody champagne? And then he says to me in his pompous voicera, can you can you caught provide and Sir, can you cook the wine and dessert breathe and I'd already caught the bloody wine and the breeze and that's I picked up the bottle gently my hands and put my hand over the top of the bottle, and shook shut out of this bottle of red wine and put it back on the table to have hora and said to him, sir, after that little jaunt, I'm sure will pendant and spin on my healing staff. I've always wanted to look back and see the look on his face. But I'm sorry about the been devastated. But I was so sick of his pompous behavior. And I got told off at night, but I hit did hit the floor, at the Travelodge at that time for selling more booze than anyone else. So I was kind of a bit of slack. [00:01:37] hospitality, I suppose, lets me put up a mask to other people. So the Matthew they see in the hotel in the sales and marketing role, or formerly, and the front desk role is not the same person that goes home and, and watches TV and eat soup and goes to the gym and things like that. Certainly, when I say at this hotel, I was dealing with the whole gay issue, and didn't really want it to, I didn't want the fact that I was gay to have anything to do with my work. And it came up quite by accident. And I was really worried about the time that it was going to stop me from succeeding in the industry, or getting myself a mafia role that I could take anywhere else, you know, not hospitality. So the mask, and being superficial was just so easy. It means that I didn't have to have real relationships with anyone. I had working relationships with everyone I'd be working ridiculous times of the day, I'd go home and talk to my flatmates and go to beat. And I'd get up in the morning, I'd be one person I'd come home and be another person and go to my room and sort of being myself. But being myself was sort of a fairly lonely thing, I suppose if I was just doing it behind closed doors. [00:03:11] And gay culture was tops and bottoms. Okay. And I think we we do tend to do subservience quite well. I mean, every gay man is not a bottom. I think that's really important to put out out here at this point. But we can do subservience quite well. From that perspective, I think we were quite good at reading people and working out and how people want us to be. And a lot of straight men would find it difficult to find out what someone's needs are in a restaurant. And a lot of straight men don't have the eye for detail it gave me in him as well. Because of our true nature, and what some of us are enjoying, and when we have to be in shape to read, whether it's safe to be gay, and particularly our environment. I mean, we have to do that all the time. [00:04:01] I don't feel that I'm subservient. And I mean, certainly there are people that treat you that way. treat you like, you know, you're a slave and you're there to wait on them hand foot, which to a certain extent we are, but then there are people that are just completely unreasonable about it. [00:04:17] I think I think there's a much higher ratio of guys in, in the tourism industry, tourism and hospitality industry. Because when, when we when we're at school, Well, I certainly wanted to get away from school as fast as I could. And I know there's a lot of young came in, we need to get a job, but you can't leave school and get not you know, you got to get a job straightaway. So the hospitality and tourism industry means itself very well, to leaving school, getting a job and a really nice environment. You know, I mean, especially if you can get a job in a five star hotel, we can work with a glance, you can develop a lifestyle around that, that has smatterings of success which we're kind of like needed straightaway. So because we're, we kind of leave school with low education, and we can get a job in the industry is then that said, I mean sure there's other people who go on and get fabulous jobs by going to university and everything else. But for a lot of young gay men, it's kind of a really good place to start. [00:05:18] My stock standard spiel when selling the hotel is sort of along the lines of walking into the room. I prefer doing a visual presentation rather than standing down at the desk and trying to explain it because it's always better when you smell see and touch things. So I'll take them up to a room and sort of wave my arms around Hillary Nestle, and say as you can see, each of the rooms has queen size bed, we have rooms with fantastic hub of us around marvelous little city and harbor you'll find our standard and in room facilities include tea and coffee making facilities with plunger coffee, none of that instant rubbish at this little sarcastic comments. You know, other hotels don't have plunger coffee, complimentary fruit complimentary, sweet stationery kid in your discs, bathrobes, and in the bathroom, we've got a marble bathroom with separate Sharon bath, and the marriage doesn't fog, which is fantastic. And people just love them or doesn't fog that that just gets them if nothing else does. The marriage doesn't fog. That's amazing. [00:06:20] The certain benefits for gaming working in the hospitality industry. I mean, you can start off quite low in terms of waiting or housekeeping staff. And you can if you show it to showed if you show personality, perseverance, certain amount of for one of the bit of weird ass liking, you can, you can actually get up in the industry and work your way up to middle management. From near it's a little bit limited, because unless you're particularly good at what you do, you may be not going to go so much further. But initially you can get you can get to be wearing nice clothes, working in a nice work environment out the front in you if you're working in front of house that is quite good. And generally working in the hospitality industry, you'll meet other gay people. And it can often be a supportive environment. [00:07:15] It doesn't happen very often being propositioned, and [00:07:20] in the hotel, and certainly I've never taken anyone up on the offer. I mean, certainly there have been kissed. I've been like, oh my god and like melted it at the side of them. But one of the first experiences I had was a member of the US military asking me we at the gay bars were in in Wellington. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, and the whole us and military thing. And I was like, this is a bit strange. And why are they asking me why I'm asking one of the other four people on the desk? Do I look that too? I look that guy. And then there was another guest who said so we said go out and Wellington. And I was like, Well, what are you looking for as well? What do you think I would like? And I'm like, Well, I'm who and I mean, I didn't know he was gay. I just really didn't know anything about the guy and and, and I was like well, corny places that was really good. There's plenty of things to do down there lots of different types of bar and was being about as general about as I possibly couldn't assign. Matthew gave in us. And I'm like, Oh, okay. And as regards being propositioned by guests, I haven't really been lucky enough to have that maybe indirectly, maybe a little bit naive and didn't pick up on it at the time. That's probably what it was. That's what it will be. But gay guests, I think rarer than Okay, hospitality workers. Especially in a corporate hotel, I think. I think perhaps if I was working Mr. leisure orientated hotel, I may see a few more people. [00:09:05] There was a guy once who used I shouldn't use his name, but he used to come to the Travelodge bar all the time. And he was a particularly wealthy gay men. But he was also hideously drunk. And there's nothing worse, I think, than a gay man who's drunk, nothing more and appealing. And he was always hitting on me. And I used to have to try and flirt with him to maintain the business. But at the same time, just make sure we keep this filthy hands off me. One day, I was trying to get through the bad, the travel the Travelodge, bauuer whole tray full of glasses, I must have had about 22 glasses on this tray. And he was there. And I tried to avoid him. And I begged at the wrong time and my traders flipped. Flip the name of the horrendous crash Harry was sort of drawing all this attention to the fact that he was lunging at me at the same time is completely lost that [00:10:15] I should think front line after a while. I mean, at first the people contact was amazing was fantastic. I loved it. But I just really came to hate people because it's also superficial. And I mean, a lot of, of what we do is superficial. Anyway, a lot about me superficial, but just the monotony of smiling even though it hurts, and just being jolly. This is the 10,000th person you've checked in this year, and still giving them the same old spiel. He's hearing Kunar have five or six that surrounds the right on the fifth floor. Enjoy your stay with us. But imagine our assignments are more along the lines with more inflections. And welcome, it's so good to see you. And I'm so stoked to have you here. And I've never had a guest quite as fantastic as you before. And in that sense to chicken. Yeah. So I, I came to low the front line, even though I would always get his comments card saying he's fantastic. He's wonderful. He's just so helpful. so charming, well presented, and all these things. And for my employer, that was fantastic. They were getting a lot of goodwill out of the fact that I was frontline, but I was dying. At the same time. [00:11:37] I remember going to going to Nusa and I was going to stay at the youth hostel. But my my new husband decided that we were going to stay at the Sheraton. So we cruised into the Sheraton. And I mean, we had literally flown from New Zealand where we had been weird. And we're staring at the lobby. And obviously quite quite because I used to work for sure I was terrified of, you know, what, what people might think. And my husband, my new husband, brazen as hell, waltzes app and stats and stats to negotiate for a accommodation which I would have thought I would have be better at dog. But he was really good. And he am he got us a non smoking room and a non smoking floor which is what we wanted. Then he presented with the fact that it was their honeymoon him that he wanted to know what that would mean well, we got champagne in the room, we got upgraded to even nicer room on it even better for and we had the most wonderful room. So I think that if you want to get upgraded and you're traveling as a gay couple, just tell them you just been married, but it really does help if you have some nice shiny rings as we were afforded the fair on occasion as well. [00:12:57] With gay Yes, checking in wouldn't give them preferential treatment, I don't think that would be that would be wrong. But I probably am a little bit more we have a little bit more to talk about I suppose then then your average guest will just sort of want a key and beyond the merry way these people generally want to know a little bit more about the city they're in quite often their international guests, they want to know a little bit about the same they want to know [00:13:29] about you and things like that. [00:13:32] Another way that you could get upgraded is to just ensure that you make them feel incredibly uncomfortable when I realized that I've put the two men in a twin room when you really wanted a double room and I have known that to happen where people have these now have a doubles available and and the establishment so they end up in the suite at the same price to the twin room [00:13:55] to get upgraded and hotels is there there are people that probably their whole lives staying in hotels sort of three or four months out of the year and they'll never get upgraded once and they are always the people that when they come and stay with us look I say so many times I never get upgraded and bitch and moan and carry on about it. But then you'll get the other people who come to the desk and chicken and they you know even though this is the first time staying their demeanor towards you, they don't treat you like you know the staff you know so often people would you know treat you as a receptionist you're just a receptionist you know, file your nails outside of office hours and what short and straight which I do but they there are people that are just absolutely lovely and treat like a human being and use your name and insist on your calling them by their first name. And people like that i as soon as I chicken will be like oh you're upgraded just like that and then you get the people who bitch and moan and because they've mentioned so much mine so much I will upgrade them just to get them off my back. And if they come back the next time I happy a human being fantastic I'll do you know probably treat them like a real human being. But if they come back and bitch and moan again that said they're on my blacklist they'll get a back room no view no window. [00:15:17] The real way to get upgraded and any establishment is despite being poisonous Lee nice I don't think I don't think people need to be assholes to to get looked after and taken care of in the in the accommodation industry. And by name dropping, it's really not a good idea. But just by being yourself and being natural to yourself and your culture. I mean, gay people we don't have to be bitches. We can just be nice to people and Lily Allen Deering nature's come through. And if you're working reception and busy hospitality establishment, you love it when people are just some selves and an afford. And the benefit of just being nice game in. We don't have to be hostile or stumpy. We don't have to be stumbling queens to get anything. [00:16:16] I'm superficial as a general rule anyway. And I've always been a very materialistic person and working in a hotel is fantastic because you've got all these sumptuous surroundings and rooms and rooms and people everywhere and, and fun toys to play with that aren't yours and driving people's cars, things like that. As a duty manager, you'd sort of have first dibs on on the cars that pulled up on the driveway. And I'm I'm not a big car person. But if it was a Porsche Boxster, or a little Ferrari or something like that, it was like, stay back Porter, this one's mine, you know, and it'd be like, the, this is what I aspire to one day have one of these vehicles. I don't know if [00:17:09] it's because I was gay or because I was particularly good with doing the weddings. But for a period of time, I did all the weddings at the Sheraton. And I was the I was just the banquet head waiter was my title. But basically, you were the the shift manager and ran any function that was required. And I always did the weddings, and I had a great time doing the weddings. And I found this wonderful thing that if you got in with a mother of a bride, you could basically do anything you want to do anything wrong, you were forgiven. But I loved the experience of people getting married, and doing the whole wedding thing. [00:17:46] And [00:17:48] going through it with them. And really making sure that everything just went off fabulously. And I found that the often if a mother was a bride was on a ride, and she didn't have a husband there. It was that time when she missed him the most. So give her that to set little bit of extra attention. And just make sure that that that was kind of acknowledged because the same does our family's always talked around that. But no one ever talked to the mother of a bride about the fact that you know, he wasn't there. And he was a great pattern that the whole thing of it's all coming together. So I always made sure I took the mother of a bride into the banquet room and did the room with her and gave her an opportunity to talk about those kind of things. Because it's such a sad time for for a lifetime partner, to have to lifetime partner to miss it. weddings, weddings are glorification and cherish and least it's so much fun. They were always so glamorous. I remember once another time there was a script. [00:18:50] Because the the families when they're happy, I think it was a [00:18:55] mixed cultural with me. And I'm very happy about these guys getting together and getting married and the bridesmaid had to whip off halfway through the winning breakfast to go to work. She was a nurse at middle more hospital or something and she had to work off to go to the to go to work. And the there was some concern that the Father for bride was going to flog all the money and disappear. So he was having to keep an eye on him because everyone gave money for the wedding and terrified that he was going to refer for money. And, and the bride was breastfeeding at the table at the head table, which I thought was particularly interesting, especially when I'm from the lobby of shares. And you could see the the elevators and his this bride and full white wedding dress with this babe in arms and two children. And this very handsome young men who was her husband to me getting on the left to go up to the bridal suite. And I'll never forget that there was this there was this gorgeous. [00:19:57] I found probably that female guests are more receptive to gay hospitality workers as opposed to sort of straight ones or even female hospitality workers because I mean, the whole cliche, non threatening, gay male type scenario comes into play. And I've always found it really easy to give people especially female guests, bad news, because they just tend to take it so much better, because I hate look, you know, I'm really sorry. But we've sold your room to someone else and we're gonna have to bump you down the road like the backpackers and they're like, Oh, that's okay. And I can even find myself being quite nasty and vindictive to these people and install walking away loving me and that's just at first I found it really hard to take I was like, Okay, I'm taking the piss out of here. As you tend to do, after all, well given good service at the same time, just being completely over the top and the guests walking away with a happy experience.
This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.