The queerest type I ever saw in the hotel was an "extra." He had been engaged at twenty-five francs for the day to replace the Magyar, who was ill. He was a Serbian, a thick-set nimble fellow of about twenty-five, speaking six languages, including English. He seemed to know all about hotel work, and up till midday he worked like a slave. Then, as soon as it had struck twelve, he turned sulky, shirked his work, stole wine, and finally crowned all by loafing about openly with a pipe in his mouth. Smoking, of course, was forbidden under severe penalties. The manager himself heard of it and came down to interview the Serbian, fuming with rage.
"What the devil do you mean by smoking here?" he cried.
"What the devil do you mean by having a face like that?" answered the Serbian, calmly.
I cannot convey the blasphemy of such a remark. The head cook, if a plongeur had spoken to him like that, would have thrown a saucepan of hot soup in his face. The mannager said instantly, "You're sacked!" and at two o'clock the Serbian was given his twenty-five francs and duly sacked. Before he went out Boris asked him in Russian what game he was playing. He said the Serbian answered:
"Look here, mon vieux, they've got to pay me a day's wages if I work up to midday, haven't they? That's the law. And where's the sense of working after I get my wages? So I'll tell you what I do. I go to a hotel and get a job as an extra, and up to midday I work hard. Then, the moment it's struck twelve, I start raising such hell that they've no choice but to sack me. Neat, eh? Most days I am sacked by half-past twelve; to-day it was two o'clock; but I don't care, I've saved four hours work. The only trouble is, one can't do it at the same hotel twice."
It appeared that he had played this game at half the hotels and restaurants in Paris. It is probably quite an easy game to play during the summer, though the hotels protect themselves against it as well as they can by means of a black list.
iz "Down and out in Paris and London" Dzordza Orvela (1933)
Nista se izgleda nije promenilo od 1933. Cak ni crna lista.