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The hard work waitresses do at Oktoberfest

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With grueling shifts and a hectic pace, kilos and kilos of beer glasses can be carried for kilometers and sometimes inconvenience customers.

Between the end of September and the beginning of October in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest always takes place, the great festival of Bavarian culture dedicated above all to beer. For about two weeks, Theresienwiese Park, the public space in Munich where the festival takes place, is filled with huge booths from breweries where they drink beer, eat traditional foods and listen to Bavarian folk music: they staff the tables every year with hundreds of waitresses per booth, with exhausting and demanding shifts. And tired.

Apparently men also work at Oktoberfest, but with… Different tasks Comparison to serving tables: Part of the tradition and image of the festival are the waitresses dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing and wandering around the stands carrying stacks of beer glasses. The amount of beer consumed during the entire Oktoberfest is enormous: in 2014 it was estimated at 7.7 million From liters.

During the festival beer is served in huge cups Mass, which individually contain about a liter of beer: they are served from eight to ten at a time, or more, at tables often occupied by large groups of people, and carried by hand. Added to the weight of the beer is the weight of the glasses, each of which weighs more than a kilo: this means that a single waitress may have to spend her day carrying loads of at least 20 kilograms with both hands, in shifts of up to 12 days. Weekend -14 hours a day.

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There are many videos online of Oktoberfest waitresses stacking stacks of huge beer glasses on the table and then lifting them all at once with a series of juggling and balancing acts. The move seen in many of the videos involves picking up a series of cups in one hand, holding all the handles at once, and a series of cups in the other hand, then stacking them on top of each other, perhaps fitting a final cup on top. Then he pushes himself with his back and carries some kind of very heavy beer dome and glass to the tables.

Obviously, all of this is physically very tiring. Angela Hooper, 25-year-old Oktoberfest waitress, He said to the local Who prepares himself every year with physical training that lasts for several weeks in which he exercises the trunk, back, biceps and triceps. She is 1.67 meters tall, weighs 54 kilograms, and says she can hold up to eight glasses of beer at a time. He does this by moving back and forth from the kitchen to the tables several times a day: euronews appreciate The waitresses at Oktoberfest walk between 20 and 25 thousand steps every day, or about 15 kilometers.

Hooper said that his feet hurt a lot at the end of his work shifts, and that every year before the festival starts, he goes to the pharmacy to buy bandages, plasters and painkillers, which he knows he may need to continue working. The pace is hectic, and in the midst of the festival it doesn’t stop until the end of the day. “You can’t feel tired or in pain,” she said. During the entire duration of the shift, there is also background music, constant, repetitive and very loud, from all the Bavarian folk music groups playing.

A waitress at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Being a waitress at Oktoberfest also involves having to manage a crowd that often becomes annoying, as it largely consists of groups of drunken males. The traditional Bavarian clothes of the waitresses show their breasts a little, and in addition to the looks that can be very annoying, they are also often harassed. It’s a topic that has recently begun to be discussed more. At Oktoberfest there are security personnel who intervene in such cases and force any patron to leave, but they are reported to the police every year. tens Cases of harassment faced by women working at the festival.

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It may be difficult for Oktoberfest waitresses to manage the crowd for other reasons as well: there may be people who refuse to pay or tip (when you reserve a place at Oktoberfest, you can pay for some things in advance but not others: this may not be easy to explain For people who are intoxicated), or others who feel ill. She also told Hopper when a drunk client vomited on her: She changed and went back to work because the pace was tight and she couldn’t stop.

“Working your way through 10,000 sweaty, beer-craving revelers for 12 hours a day for 16 days straight tests the limits of even the most crowd-loving extrovert.” he wrote Journalist Erin Snell in a report on ExcitementA site concerned with food, travel and culture.

There are also those who prepare themselves psychologically to work at Oktoberfest: there are groups of waitresses who work together every year and organize group activities to build a more close-knit team, able to withstand this kind of pace, fatigue and stress. However, the demands for work at Oktoberfest are many: between the percentage earned from the sale of beer (about 10 percent, he writes euronews) And tips, just two weeks of work can be very profitable. Some women are professional waitresses, others are not: Hofbräu Pavilion Manager 2018, Mr. Steinberg, He said to the local To receive more than 1,000 applications for 250 jobs.

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