Mon, 15th Oct 2018
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CODE Special
Tools of the trade

 

 

“Back in June 2012, I rang Annabel’s

out the blue one night and spoke

to David Wetton, the reception

manager and asked, “have you got any

jobs?”. Luckily someone was leaving

so I started working in the ladies’

cloakroom.

 

I loved it and I still do, dealing

with people is something I like to

do. You get to know their lives and

they know your life. The job is called

‘cloakroom attendant’, but it opens

up to so much more. It’s a matter

of pride to me to remember guests’

names, so they don’t need a ticket

when they check their coat (I have

all sorts of tricks for remembering

them!)

 

I arrive at the club at 7pm and

work until 3am - I drive in from

Surrey every day, luckily I can leave

my car on a single yellow line in

Berkeley Square. I can’t imagine

having a day-time job now, I’m used

to the hours and it’s so much better

than having to get up early in the

morning…

 

The guests trust you – I am

looking after some seriously

expensive jackets, bags, computers.

There’s never lost property, I make

sure everything that arrives goes

home with the right person. The old

Annabel’s had only two loo cubicles

when I started. Oh the queues

sometimes! And the cloakroom place

was so little, it’s amazing I got it all

in. Heavy fur coats take up so much

space, let me tell you.

 

The new Annabel’s is completely

different. We’ve gone from one floor

to four, and it’s taken two years to

create. There is a ladies’ loo in the

basement by the nightclub, and one

on the top floor too, but I’ll be based

downstairs, where the cloakroom is

just across the hall from the ladies’.

 

I’ve got my fan heater and my

book for when it’s quiet, but the

time flies best when we’re busy.

People start arriving from 10pm and

midnight is when they all come. I

always get the mints out - Waitrose

mint imperials, to be exact. If I

haven’t got them, the ladies ask

where are they.

 

Then there’s a hairbrush, of

course, deodorant, hand cream,

hairspray (classic Elnett) and in

my cupboard I keep an iron and a

hairdryer (handy if someone’s spilt a

drink on their clothes). I’ve got quite

a collection of cosmetics and it’s been

known for ladies to arrive with a

naked face and use the whole drawer

to do their make-up.

 

Now, it can ruin someone’s night

if they are wearing something that’s

not allowed in Annabel’s, so I keep

skirts for lending if they are in ripped

jeans; sometimes my own, sometimes

Primark. I have shoes in sizes 5 to

7, for if they’re in trainers and if,

heaven forbid, they rip their clothes

while in the club, I have a sewing kit

and can literally sew them back into

their dress for the night!

 

I could wear a uniform, but

luckily Annabel’s gives me a clothing

allowance – I know what suits me and

is comfortable. Today I’m wearing

a skirt from And Other Stories, a

vintage Moschino jacket, a Zara

shirt, a piece of lace from Wolford,

and an expensive but invaluable

jewelled hairclip - because everyone

sees it when I turn around with the

coats!”

 

 This article was first published in Issue 14 of CODE Quarterly.




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