Advertisement
Munchies

How I Watched My Manager Lose Herself to the Hospitality Industry

The thing with all the drinking and general lack of care that can come in the hospitality world is that it hid the fact that my manager was depressed and had been diagnosed as bi-polar.

by Anonymous
Apr 27 2016, 12:00pm

Foto von Kamal Hamid via Flickr

Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals, where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favourite establishments.

I think most people imagine that working in the hospitality industry is hard, with endless hours, but essentially one long party of drinking and fucking. And it can be, until hearts are broken and so are people.

I lost my virginity to my manager and she eventually lost her battle with herself, assisted by easily accessible alcohol and long, unsociable hours.

We met when working towards the opening of a new restaurant, a high street place with good food and cheap prices. The build-up to opening was a long one—she was the general manager and I was her assistant. I had just finished an engineering degree, disliked everyone on my course so figured a career in the field wasn't for me. Having been a waiter throughout studying, I decided to continue this path and see where it would lead. The company was great and I liked the way everyone seemed really organised and passionate. It had a "family" feel.

READ MORE: How I Lost My Virginity to a Line Cook When I Was Underage

My manager and I bonded over "Restaurant Bingo." This was a game she and a colleague from another restaurant had devised. The aim: to sleep with one person at every level on both sides of the pass (it might be worth adding that my manager was married.) We talked (flirted) about the game for weeks. There was a lot of leaning in to whisper in each other's ears about new rules we had come up with. A casual hand on her lower back as I walked past and offered another name to add to my bingo card.

I was a virgin but didn't want to let on, I wanted her to think I was cool so I played along with the verbal banter around the game. One night, we were working late and drinking rather a lot, and one thing lead to another as they say, and I invited her back to my house.

I lost my virginity to my manager and she eventually lost her battle with herself, assisted by easily accessible alcohol and long, unsociable hours.

Things got awkward, as they do when you lose your virginity. Although usually there is awkwardness on both sides, but I was a little late to the cherry-popping game. Also, you don't usually imagine it with your married boss, eight years older than you.

She picked up on my awkwardness very quickly and guessed correctly that I was rather inexperienced. This didn't throw her and she directed the whole affair with precision—after all, she was an excellent manager.

I thought it was this beautiful moment, but afterwards she got up and went outside for a cigarette. I was love-ridden, I thought we would lie there together but she just left me in sweat soaked sheets, for a fag.

We continued to sleep with each other but it's not surprising to guess that things got a little complicated. I tried to be "cool" and alluded to the idea that I was playing "Bingo," but she saw through it and decided that we shouldn't sleep together until my "Bingo game picked up." It didn't and so a few weeks before opening, I decided to go away to clear my head.

READ MORE: What It's Like as a Bartender to Watch Your Awkward Tinder Date

I came back much more level headed, and I managed to "pick up my game," I think partly to make my manager proud. Things seems to be going well. But the thing with all the fucking and drinking and general lack of care that can come in the hospitality world—a world of late hours and after work drinks—is that it hid the fact that my manager was depressed and had been diagnosed as bi-polar

By this point, we had become good friends, having put behind us the complications of losing my virginity and general naked times together. The combination of antidepressants and alcohol took their toll and it was devastating to watch her unravel in front of me. At this point, I had moved to another restaurant—higher end—as a waiter and it was more money. But we stayed close and I would often spend days with her, just lying in bed talking, making sure she was OK.

One day, I decided to go see my mother, who lived overseas—I hadn't gone to see her in years. The day I arrived at my mother's house, I got a phone call. My—now ex—manager had committed suicide.

To be honest, no one who really knew her, which was only a few of us in London, was surprised. But all I can think about is why did I decide to leave the country then and what if I had stayed? Would she still be here?

I miss her.

As told to Anna Sulan Masing.

This post originally appeared on MUNCHIES in September 2015.