Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Other Side of the Story - Blue Anchor

You know what I think is the most galling aspect of being let go? Not being able to have your say! I was recently let go of a pub I have worked in on and off since for the last five years and has been a big part of my life and the local community for as long as I can remember. I can name every landlord that has been in it during my lifetime, I have even worked for most of them. I know most of the regulars by sight if not by name, my family and friends drink there, and most importantly I care about what happens to the pub.

Most people my age grow up without a sense of community, it’s the times we live in, personally I feel like I have had community shoved down my throat during every meal and I think I am a better person for it! I believe I have the best of both worlds, I can go to work in the City and be anonymous but when I come home to my little village, with its little local pub, I get a sense of peace that is hard to describe to those who don’t know it. Some of the people I work with have lived in the big smoke their entire lives and have a real ‘London edge’ to them, this only proves to make me more grateful for living in a place where you can say good morning to a complete stranger and not receives an icy stare in response.

Now, having been a part of something for such a long time I find it particularly distasteful for an outsider to muscle in and tell me I don’t belong. It just makes my blood boil to hear stories that said stranger is running around telling people that this is “her pub” and that “she is the boss and people shouldn’t forget that”. Am I missing something? Correct me if I'm wrong but you wouldn’t have much of a trade if you continued to make your customers feel unwanted and unappreciated. That sort of you-can-like-it-or-lump-it attitude may be fine in a big city where you trade is different everyday but in a small country pub the locals and regulars have a say, well either they do or they will vote with their feet.

The Pub in question has been through a lot recently, the poor thing, one landlord leaving, a new set, then them leaving and then two sets of holding managers that leave a lot to be desired. All in the space of a year! Now no business will thrive with this much change but as long as they continue to do the basics i.e. serve beer, it will limp along, but no one ever stops to think of the staff. Every pub is run differently, this much I have learnt during my short years, everyone has their own style and how they want things to be done. As in every new job you get a probationary period to learn how to do things a certain way, but what if you are expected to just get on with it? New people, every other week but the staff is the same, desperately trying to please their new owners by learning as fast as they can how to do things their way.

Needless to say it didn’t work out for me, I was fired for doing something one way when she wanted it done another. Must have forgotten to power up my psychic powers that day as I didn’t quite manage to read her mind on that occasion. When I pleaded for another chance she informed me that this was “her licence” and basically that meant she could do what she pleased. Even when a valued customer implored on my behalf she retorted quite rudely that “she was the boss” and that “people should remember that”. Well my response to her is that she should remember that we have had four sets of Bosses this year alone and we aren’t the ones that are disposable.

As I started off by saying is that the most galling aspect of the whole situation is that while I am cast out in the cold she is sitting pretty inside her ivory tower, she is free to say whatever she want to deface my character and I cannot defend myself! Well, I'm afraid that just isn’t good enough! As ridiculous as it sounds I have been extremely upset by the whole situation, because you see it’s not just a job, I don’t do it for the money (although it is handy). I do it because I loved being part of something, and now that has been taken away from me, taken away by someone who doesn’t understand what that pile of bricks and mortar means.

So this is my way of fighting back! My way of getting my thoughts into the world and pushing back on those who would have me limp meekly away. This is my side of the story!


  1. Start a petition

  2. Aw Siobhan, that sucks. Although I don't drink at the Blue, from the few times I've met you, and seen you behind the bar at The Plough, all I can say is that it's her (and the village's) loss.

  3. Chin up! Every time there's a new landlady there's a change around of bar staff. It happened at The Chequers at Crouch and the Blue Anchor (with the exception of course of Alan and Eileen). The number of times Kim and Ellie were in and out like the beer bottles each time there was a change over.

    Like you said; it seems to be the "bosses" that come and go which makes the bar staff all the more important. We like having our LOCAL bar staff, bar staff who are a part of the communitym bar staff who know the customers. If the Landlords and ladies can't get their heads around that it really is their loss. They might find that the customers go where the well loved bar staff go instead!