My daughter and her friend were asked to work pouring drinks at a cocktail party for a woman the friend had met briefly — two hours for £20. Not great money, but not bad for pouring drinks, and with youth unemployment at 22% (as I keep reminding her), they accepted.
Here’s what happened.
They arrived a few minutes before 6:30pm at a very posh address near Hyde Park, where the door was opened by the French husband.
“You’re early,” he said, walking off and leaving them until his wife emerged from the shower. Wife had no idea how to use the cooker, but showed the girls a pile of hors d’oeuvres that needed to be heated up and arranged on plates. Beside that, she told them, they were required to greet guests, take coats upstairs, open and pour champagne and wine, take the food around, and make sure the glasses stayed filled.
For one hundred guests.
Two teenage girls.
My daughter had no idea how to open a champagne bottle. Not surprising, given that she’s fourteen.
Three-and-a-half frantic hours later (“The guests were amazingly rude to us, but got a bit nicer as they got drunk”), the girls were sent on their way with £25 each.
“Don’t worry mum,” she said. “I learned a lot. I had no idea people like that even existed.”