My name is Jamie Bolt and I am a catering assistant at the cafe at the law firm RPC (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain). I got my job last August, through Mencap’s employment scheme – Mencap is RPC’s charity of the year. The job started as a one month placement, then it got extended to three months, and finally, the people at RPC were so impressed with me that they extended the role.
I had previously worked in the catering department for Fulham Football Club and really enjoyed it, so I knew I wanted to work in the catering industry again.
My working hours at RPC are 11am until 3pm – with half an hour for lunch – but I normally get in around 9am, as I enjoy my job so much. My role involves many different duties each day.
My main responsibilities are welcoming people to the cafe and making sure they have everything they need, including food, cutlery and sauces.
I have to prepare food for the day, including stocking the salad counter and the sandwich counter, pricing the yogurts and refilling the vending machine. Plus, I clear and clean the tables, and polish the cutlery.
I also do the service for staff meetings – this can be for meetings with clients or just the staff at RPC. I serve them their food and provide good customer service.
Restocking the vending machine is my favourite part of my job. But the other things I enjoy are preparing the food and meeting new people every day. RPC is based at St Katharine Docks, so I also really like the location of my job – the restaurant has a lovely view looking out on the dock.
There are 13 people working in the cafe. There is a supervisor and an assistant manager, and then the rest of the catering staff, including me.
So, to be able to do my job, I must be able to work as part of a team. I also need good cooking skills, attention to detail and good customer service and social skills. Plus, I have to be able to deal with customer complaints.
I have had food safety and health and safety training to help me with my job. I have also had to do training in diversity, as well as dangerous machinery and manual handling, as I have to use knives and other dangerous equipment.
Because I have a learning disability, the main challenge I faced, at first, was getting to work. My support worker helped me and soon I was able to make the journey on my own. I also found it a challenge to work as a team to start with, as I had always worked on my own in previous jobs. Now I am able to spot when other people in the team need help.
I really enjoy working in the food and drink industry, so I would definitely like to stay working in this type of job in the future. My ideal catering job would be to work at the restaurant at Chelsea Football Club, as I am a big Chelsea fan.
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