Designation Senior Service Supervisor
Year in PS 5-6 years
How did you find PS.Cafe?
I’ve worked in F&B since I was 14. From fast food joints, Japanese restaurants to many years working in bars - naturally, I grew to be familiar with drinks and cocktails, but I really wanted to venture into food. When I saw a Service opening at PS.Cafe - Ann Siang Hill in the papers, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to learn and grow in this exciting industry, what more in an upscale cafe like PS. Working outside of my comfort zone has always been my preferred option!
And look at you now! Almost 6 years in and 7 months pregnant!
[laughs] I enjoy working here so much that even though I'm now 1.5 months away from delivery, I still want to work! But really, I think working helps, especially during pregnancy when your hormones are unstable and negative thoughts tend to creep in once in awhile [laughs]. It's nice to have happy colleagues and guests around to talk to! Also, I like to stay active as much as I can.
What’s been the most challenging part of working whilst being pregnant—and what’s helped you overcome that?
For the past few years, I was happy doing service at the three storey Ann Siang Hill outlet. However, due to my pregnancy, I was transferred to Martin 38 to do cashiering which the management thought would be a more suitable pace for me. That is really thoughtful of them. I'm also thankful to have such nice colleagues and understanding Cafe Manager that have been very supportive for the past few months. They definitely make it such a pleasant working environment to be in...they are my pillar of strength!
How do you make time for your family given your work schedule?
Something that not a lot of people know is that it is very rare to have 5 days work week in the F&B industry, but PS offers that and have been especially flexible during my pregnancy months. For example, management would thoughtfully select my off days so that I have enough time to rest or work shifts that I could arrange around my doctor appointments. Having my in-laws in the same house helps too [laughs] Luckily my husband works in the same industry as well so we both have a mutual understanding on how the industry works eg. long hours of work, physically tiring, etc. So far so good!
Have you ever thought of giving up (working whilst being very pregnant), and why?
Of course - As much as I enjoy being busy, I can't deny that I often get tired and I often feel that I want to help my colleagues serving but I couldn't contribute much. Also, this baby girl gets hungry all the time! But I can't imagine myself doing anything else, really.
Speaking of which, what is your current food craving?
Ugly Fried Chicken at Martin 38 outlet. That chipotle dip? Hands down.
What do you do for “me time”?
Since this is my first pregnancy, I'm obsessed with reading anything pregnancy or baby-related. From books to online articles, you name it. Other than that, house chores like cleaning and organising feel more enjoyable now. I do think it is important to have me-time though, especially if you work in F&B industry where you are constantly working with people. Having space and also a partner that appreciates alone time too really helps.
Has having children influenced your work at all? Has it made you more empathetic to customers, for example?
It has definitely become a conversation starter between me and our guests. I often get friendly remarks and questions about my pregnancy, suggestions on places to get baby-related stuff or doctors to see and I even had customers share their experience on giving birth as well. I also became more patient working with customers with children because very soon, that'd be me! [laughs] I used to get a bit awkward working around children but ever since I got pregnant, it has become my way of building a relationship with our guests on a more personal level, which I think is the best way to connect.
Who's your role model?
My aunt has always been the woman that I aspire to become. Ever since she adopted my sister when she was young, she moved to Australia without a husband or a job. Working full time as a single parent in a foreign country just so that my sister would get the best education she could get is definitely an inspiration. To me, being a good parent is about being selfless, straightforward, loving and supportive, like my aunt.
Do you have any advice for women who are thinking of having children and who want to continue building their careers?
Find a job that you love that offers work-life balance. In today's age, it is great to see mums that still work during their pregnancy or having a family - it shows how strong you are. Just know how much you can contribute. Doesn't matter if it is 4 or 8 hours, but make sure to deliver your best within the time frame that you can. It will be difficult, finding the time to make sure everything goes as planned, but it's part of the process. I think the most important thing is to strike a balance. Once you do, you'll be fine. I mean, if others can do it, why can't you? Why can't I?