”When The Season Comes, I Don’t Look For Work, Work Looks For Me”

Lauren Simmonds

There are some black stories around when it comes to the state of things workwise in Croatia, but for some, everything’s dandy…

Zvonimir Celjak (22) from Zagreb, has been a waiter since he was a high school student.

As 24sata/Anamarija Burazer writes on the 6th of May, 2018, for young Zvonimir, the arrival of the tourist season means picking out which job he wants to take on the coast. All of his earnings, he says, he invests into his education.

”As I was working on Zrce for two seasons, my boss recommended me to an employer on Hvar and I got an e-mail invitation to come for the season,” says Zagreb native Zvonimir Celjak.

Although he finished his schooling as a telecommunications technician, since leaving high school, he’s been working as a waiter, and, as he himself says, is doing pretty well. So well, infact, that work actually comes looking for him, as opposed to the other way around.

”It’s not my calling in life, but I’ve found myself in this,” Zvonimir admits.

This year, he’ll head to the popular island of Hvar where he will spend four months during the tourist season, and where he has been provided with accommodation and work from five in the afternoon to the small hours of the morning.

”Unlike my salary in Zagreb, I’m expecting to earn more than a thousand euros a month. There’s a lot of work, but it’s not hard for me. I plan to make an investment in my education, and if I succeed in saving something of it over the years, then who knows… maybe in my own business, too,” says Zvonimir.

“Of course there’s a lot more work on the coast, but it’s not difficult when every night I have a wonderful view of the youth enjoying themselves through the whole night. Guests are always in a good mood and the atmosphere is at its peak. So, when you do well, you go back to the Zagreb routine and chill out,” Zvonimir notes that being a waiter wasn’t exactly his life calling but was necessary, and that he found himself in this line of work.

”It’s not just making coffee and carrying drinks, but a business that implies contact with people. There are many times when people act unpleasantly when under the influence of alcohol, they can break things, insult you, and all sorts of things. You must be psychiatrists, educators, and best friends. You have to know how to deal with people, what to say to them, and not show your emotions regardless of how difficult some situations can be. Of course, there are great people there too,” he notes.

So far, he says, he’s generally well suited to all of his colleagues, despite some normal pitfalls which come with any type of work, especially when it comes to jobs which involve almost constant contact with multiple people.

Zvonimir states that one less pleasant side of the work is that there is less communication with guests, and the chance to get to develop a relationship and give the job the level of attention it deserves isn’t really there.

”What no one can take away is the smile I’ll always put on show for guests,” says Zvonimir, who is not planning to leave Croatia despite all the difficulties that workers and employers are having to endure.


Click here for the original text by Anamarija Burazer for 24sata


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