Sunday, 29 July 2012


'' It's all about commitment and showing people that you care '' I announce to the new intern at work the other as we leaving the spotless dormitory we had just deep cleaned.

And as usual I understand what I mean AFTER I say it.

Oh shit. Is that what commitment really means?

Thank god there is no flash back in real life like there is on television. I would have made a fool of myself in front of the the new intern.

But with you I can .... right?
I mess up and we learn from my mistakes TOGETHER. Isn't it what the deal is between us?

Flashback 3 weeks ago, Brighton

Annabelle, where is your committment and your passion gone, you used to run this place remember? It's like you're not really there sometimes'' my boss and friend announces to me over coffee.

And my world crashes again. I was just going to tell him how proud I was that I managed to achieve that much in the hostel in just a month. D'oh.

I did not get it. And when Annabelle does not get it, Annabelle cries. Annabelle can't help it.
'' But (tears) I just wanted to show (more tears) that ( I can 't breathe now) working in a hostel is a life style , not a 9 to 5 job. You have to enjoy it and be happy ( loads of tears)

Wow , now you just made your point Annabelle , well done ....... .

Yes, that's what I desperately wanted to demonstrate to everyone . Working in a hostel is a lifestyle, like a family who gets together and enjoy each other's company by making fun stuff together so they can transmit the Homely atmosphere to the guests who will then feel totally comfortable and happy , as if they were still at home but in a foreign country .

I committed myself 100 % to show them that side of hostel work. And I thought I was doing a fantastic job.
I did this and that , that was not serious. Lack of commitment was the problem.
WHAT????  But I AM COMMITTED ! HOW ABOUT ALL THE REST I VE DONE THEN? The entertainment bit , the '' we're all a big family bit'' ????

No, he could not see it . But what can I do to show him then?

Mmmmm how about you just shut up and go to your other job full time?

And just like that , I left Kipps Brighton behind and moved to Canterbury . Committed as I was.

Committed :  3. To place officially in confinement or custody, as in a mental health facility.

The following week , Kipps Canterbury .'' So Annabelle, what do we do tomorrow, how do you want us to organise it ? '' my manager asks.
'' What?'' I ask

'' The boss' surprise birthday party! ' she answers naturally.

'' You were seriously thinking I was going to organise a party for HIM when he just kicked me out of my second job for lack of serious ???? . If everytime I try to entertain people he fires me, I'm sorry I only have one job left and I don't want to risk it,  thank you. ''

She's not even listening. She knows I don't mean it and I'm really keen on organizing a birthday party.

'' . You know I could run this place with my eyes closed,still but I just wanted to bring something different this time round. I'm never going to set a foot in his bloody Kipps Brighton EVER AGAIN''. I tell her sounding totally fake but willing to make my point for about the 127th time this week.

 French pride > men's pride

'' You guys are like an old couple. Get over it Annabelle, you're the best friend , you choose the cake. ''

She managed to drag me to Waitrose and we're standing in front of the birthday cake section.

'' I'll get him the barbie doll cake. So if he fires me I' ll have a good  laugh at least''


'' They don't celebrate birthdays at f**** Premier Inn do they? If it's how he wants me to behave , you konow like the perfect 9 to 5er then ....... ''

She does not let me finish


My manager is one of the few people in this world who don't take my shit. Thank God for that.

'' Ok ok that one. He loves the British Flag'' I say sounding like I was in the process of forgiving my boyfriend for having cheated on me, but not quite.

Then I picked the card , I picked the balloon , the chicken .......

'' He doesn't like to eat chicken off the bone'' I say shyly

'' How cute it is that you know that'' says the new intern.


The next day he shows up, oblivious to the birthday party that we all planned for him.

'' Annabelle, why don't you show him around so he can give you feed back on cleanliness and that , I'll prepare the chicken. ''

How about we swap I'll prepare the chicken ???? I ask her , knowing she would not take my shit.

'' No argument today Annabelle, smile and show him that you care , because you do ''

Better not argue with her, that's for sure...

Of course I care about him and the hostels. What a silly idea. But he knows that, right? RIGHT?

Maybe it's time to show it a little more ........

And just like that I gave up trying to make my point about the way we should live Life in a hostel. I just lived the way I thought it was right for ME. And showed him that I cared...

The birthday party was amazing , and , without really wanting it we all started to behave '' as usual'' : a big family of Romanians / French / Germans/ Dutch /Brits living under the same roof. We all know everything about each other, and we do care about each other a lot , and it naturally showed ... the point I so unaturally tried to make for so long .

'' I wish I could get together with the staff in Brighton like this more often '' he says, totally chilled out.


Shut up Annabelle. All the eyes are on me. SHUT UP.

I did not say it. I had just learnt yet another big lesson. The only thing talking louder than words is experience.
You cannot prove anything to anyone but yourself.

Note for later REMEMBER THAT.

Live your life the way you love it, don't impose anything on anyone. ( you bloody arrogant French)

You will inspire some of them and the rest will just live the way they think it's right to live.

Commitment actually means being true to yourself and act accordingly to your own values at all times.

The only thing you can show people and places  is that you care about them , right now...

'' Is that okay Annabelle now? the new intern is now asking me , sweating , after we deep cleaned yet another dorm . She's looking at me like '' It's just a bed''

I walk into the room and go :

'' No. Not good enough. Why give our customers an okay bed when we can provide perfect? We need to do it again. And look underneath the beds too ''

The 2 interns look at each other .

Is that monster the SAME person who walks around wearing British flag Sunglasses forcing everyone to have marmite toasts while she's taking pictures and tweeting and downloading stuff on facebook at the same time ?

Yes, it's the same girl  who always cared , but  who now also LOOKS  like  she cares and finally shows it (again )... !

'' Oh , and girls, please put a Kipps Brighton leaflet on each bed also, we should advertise them more, they 're awesome'' I add, meaning it, at last.
The only thing you can really show or prove people is that you care about them . The only real commitment you have to others is to love them the way they are without ever wanting to change anything about them. Isn't their difference why we loved them in the first place ?

And if you do that , chances are they will start loving you just the way you are too.

Not matter how '' commited'' you may look to them .....

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