Monday morning brought with it moaning, the snap of balls hitting terrain and a burning desire to eat strawberries. It could only mean one thing: Wimbledon had arrived.
And I got all this from switching from This Morning to BBC one.
Normally, I’d have been thinking about The Championships since job allocations in January. I’d have mentally prepared myself for two weeks of ‘torture’ made better by ill-fitting uniforms and blisters on my feet. I’d have bought my annual box of skin-coloured tights (the only time in life I will ever wear these monstrosities) and waved goodbye to the preceding summer term at university, only to realise every single time that it’s not so bad.
Behind the preened scenes, we actually had a laugh. Be it moaning about the fact that we had to eat gourmet suppers for free, that we felt sick from too many strawberries, or having to stand for hours with canapés in the sunshine. The hash-tag ‘first world pains’ couldn’t have been more appropriate. So what was to thank for getting me through two years in a row of serving pimms and not drinking any (much) myself? Inventing games such as “find the only unbranded paper cup in the chalets” and “who can make the best cappuccino?” of course.
Not only this, embarrassing moments top the list of ways to laugh your way through the long hours. I was once chased around by a wasp outside a corporate chalet whilst carrying a full tray of champagne. As I attempted to escape the buzz, I dropped the entire thing in front of a packed restaurant. I figured lobbing the Lanson was a better option to being stung. I still stand by my decision to move. My manager probably doesn’t. Then there was the time that I was bent down, scoffing my face with strawberries in the kitchen fridge, late afternoon, on a self-rewarded break, only to find Roger Federer standing behind me, watching and laughing, with his security guard. The only thing to do? Offer him one and walk quietly back to base.
As for the social scene, it was pretty much home from home, or rather, uni from uni. A friend of mum’s told me it would be a “snog-fest” if it was anything like when she did it, and she was right. It always made the day go quicker when someone did a walk of shame to work from the manager’s hotel or the like. The combination of cucumber cutting and that uniform were clearly too hot to handle for some.
And much like university itself, there is of course a social hierarchy when it comes to roles. For example, much like a First IX rugby lad, being a court coverer will assure that you will get laid for the whole two weeks. And not only this, you’ll be tanned from watching tennis the whole time. It’s a win/win really. These court coverers will normally hook up with a Ralph Lauren worker (aka netball girl). Then come waiters and waitresses who are pretty much on the same plain as each other, ranked just above those in lime green working with hot dogs and coffees rather than champagne and roast beef. Surprisingly though, cleaning attendants were considered to be pretty cool. I think it was the fact they got to stroll around in the sunshine for the best part of the day. As for security, I’m not sure anyone knew much about them actually, apart from, well, security.
This social hierarchy is of course forgotten on the final night when everyone brings champagne and cider to the common, utilises the Rose and Crown for their facilities alone and gets horribly drunk because it’s all over and the summer can begin. All the while telling the boy in the next restaurant to you that it was love at first induction and snogging someone from pot wash in front of pretty much everyone. It was always a good thing that you didn’t have to face anyone the following day.
So is it that wrong to feel a little left out of the Wimbledon hype this year?
Probably. But that’s more than likely down to not actually watching any tennis.
Have a cracking Wimbles everyone.