by Olivia Welch
Olivia recently finished a week-long work experience at The Black Watch Castle and Museum with a focus in the cafe at the Castle.
I chose to work at the Black Watch Museum mainly because I really wanted to gain some practical work experience and it seemed like a really nice, friendly place to do so. My week started off by getting a tour of the museum and I was blown away with how much it has changed. My last visit to the Black Watch was in 2009 and since then so much has been done to make it into what it is now.
After being introduced to the lovely people working here I was then thrown into the deep-end working in the Copper Beech Café. I really like the café here having been several times before, it is always busy and has a lovely warm atmosphere, with really friendly staff and volunteers. Despite this, I then proceeded to spend the rest of the day in blind panic, calm on the outside but paddling furiously underwater.
Within 5 minutes of being here I was instructed to
take a tray of 4 teacups, a teapot and a plate of shortbread to table 2, a simple job surely? A wave of horror hit me. How does one do such a difficult task?! Should I try and balance the tray on one hand and serve with the other? Out of the question. I am known for my clumsiness and there was no chance that would work out. Should I put it on the table behind me then serve the tea that way? I realised in dismay that all the tables were taken. I tried to use what I had learned in school but quickly realised no such dilemma has been covered in physics or chemistry. Trigonometry could not help me now.
Before coming here I thought I was a perfectly capable person but after being in the café for 4 days I have come to realise how hard these “Invisible Jobs” are. You have to have a job in a café to realise the real trepidation you experience while trying to balance a latte glass on a coaster. Needless to say I had my fair share of latte disasters! Thank you everyone at the café for being so patient with me!
My last day consisted of polishing the silver with Nicola, the Museum Collections Assistant, where I discovered a real passion for making things really shiny. After spending almost an hour polishing one trophy I have gained a lot of respect for anyone who decides to take on the enormous task of polishing the museum’s silver collection!
I have enjoyed every moment of being at the Black Watch Museum. I loved meeting all the café’s regulars and have learnt so much through working alongside all the amazing people here. A massive thanks to everyone for being so kind to me and making me feel so welcome, I hope I’ll see you soon!