Working on the Christmas presence
We don’t do lunch for guests. Instead we do dinner in the evening time. I’ll spend time with my family or I’ll mingle with guests and then we open the restaurant at 6pm for traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
My family join in and so we get to sit down together, and after we’ll join in the dancing in the lobby.
I don’t mind working the day. As the kids have gotten older, I said to them last year they didn’t have to come if they didn’t want to. But they want to come to the hotel for Christmas and it has become a family tradition.
We organise the roster so that where possible single people work Christmas and married staff are off, while for the New Year we switch it around. It works pretty well. One of the key things we’ve always done is that on Christmas Day management on duty organise a party around lunchtime and we serve the 40 to 50 staff that will be working a Christmas lunch. It’s a bit of fun and we serve a glass of wine or a beer. It makes things easier for what can be a difficult day for some staff.
Continuity announcer for TV3
Myself and the other announcer, Conor Cleere, work the day between us. He does daytime and I do the evening. All the programmes would be tight and in place beforehand so really we are there in case something goes wrong or if there is a last minute change to the schedule.
My voice goes out from 7pm, so I arrive at 6pm, and normally I’d be there until 2am or 3am, but I might finish earlier. This year is different as I now have a daughter who was born in July last year. I didn’t work last year as I was on maternity leave.
Some of the continuity we would pre-record the day before. On Christmas Day we tend to play a lot of movies, and they are generally long ones, so we’d be able to relax and watch the films while we are here. It is all liable to change though. For instance, when the actor Bill Tarmey passed away recently we had a lot of changes to the schedule at short notice after the story broke.
My colleague in the morning would get to say “Happy Christmas”, and in the evening I might say something like “I hope you are enjoying your Christmas Day so far?” and I might make a reference to the festivities. It is a day when people in work are a lot more relaxed than normal and we’d pass a few mince pies around and people bring in chocolates and sweets.
I have worked the past few Christmas Days, and I’m also here on Christmas Eve. Even though I may have seen the movies before, I will still watch them while I am in work. Miracle on 34th Street is one of my favourites, and no matter how many times I’ve seen it, if I can I will watch it in work again this year.
Service operational worker with Dublin Simon
This year I was entitled to have the day off as I have worked the last few. But some staff have kids and live outside Dublin, and, as I am from Canada, live near the shelter and don’t have kids, I take a day off in lieu down the line. I’ll be working from 8am till 7pm and the day will start with a fry-up for the residents at the shelter. It gives the residents a reason to get up. If they don’t have family, waking up on Christmas morning can be a depressing feeling.