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Orianna2000
08-27-2012, 08:07 AM
A character in London works at a pub. Assuming she's given an hour's break for a meal, what would that break be called? Lunch-break? Tea-break? Dinner-break?

What hours do pubs usually keep? How many shifts are there? And how long does one person usually work? Do they get a lunch or dinner break? The pub is in Roehampton if that makes a difference. I was imagining her working from late morning to early evening, with an hour's break sometime during the afternoon. Does that work?

Wing Stand
08-27-2012, 11:24 AM
Pubs in the UK typically open from noon until midnight. You'd have a lunch shift, say 12-2 or 12-3, an evening shift, say 7-12 or 8-12, and the quiet shift in between. Of course, busy times vary by location, e.g., if you're in the City of London, expect a rush between 5 and 6 when the city boys pile out of their offices.

A pub worker, at least back when I was doing it, would typically work 1 or 2 shifts a day rather than one long shift with a meal break (if you do get a break, it's likely to be no more than ten minutes). I guess if your character was doing the lunch and afternoon shifts, they could get another character to cover them while they had a late lunch at the end of the lunch shift (pubs are pretty quiet then).

However, since since a lot of pubs are run by individuals, it's up to them (read you) how they organise their shift patterns.

shaldna
08-27-2012, 11:50 AM
A character in London works at a pub. Assuming she's given an hour's break for a meal, what would that break be called? Lunch-break? Tea-break? Dinner-break?

Because of the hours pups keep it's usually dinner, although if she's on an early shift it could still be lunch.


What hours do pubs usually keep?

It depends on whether the pub has a late licence or not. Most pups will open between 11am and 12am (although some pubs, such as Wetherspoons chain also open for breakfast now) if they serve lunches and will stop serving alcohol at 11pm and be closed by 11.30 - note that although you aren't allowed to serve alcohol after 11pm without a late licence, your customers can still drink on the premises - it's called drinking up time and is usually at the discretion of the owner. However, most places will call last orders about 15 minutes before closing time so they get everyone out by 11pm.

Late licence hours vary depending on where you are, but they usually allow a premises to serve through until 5am, although you'll find that most places will close at 1.30am- 2am.


How many shifts are there?

Depends. We had four shifts to cover the busy times - early - 8am - 4pm (to set up and cover lunch), 12-10, 12 to finish and 4 to finish - to 'finish' meant 2am.


And how long does one person usually work?

That depends on the shift, the pub, and whether they are full or part time. Part timers frequntly only work 4-5 hours at a time. Pub shifts tend to be long though if you are full time.


Do they get a lunch or dinner break?

Legally you have to get breaks. If you work four hours or less you aren't entitled to a break. If you work over four hours then you get 10 minutes for every four hours you work, and 20 minutes after 6 hours.

However, getting a break in a pub can be tough, especially at busy times.



The pub is in Roehampton if that makes a difference. I was imagining her working from late morning to early evening, with an hour's break sometime during the afternoon. Does that work?

It would be more likely she would have a 15 minute tea break and then a half hour break later. The 'lunch hour' as we know it pretty much no longer exists.

shaldna
08-27-2012, 11:54 AM
A pub worker, at least back when I was doing it, would typically work 1 or 2 shifts a day rather than one long shift with a meal break (if you do get a break, it's likely to be no more than ten minutes).


Ah. Split shifts. They are the WORST. Thankfully not many places do them anymore thanks to the massive availability of part time staff.

Orianna2000
08-27-2012, 05:53 PM
Hmm, okay. Since she has to walk 10-15 minutes just to get to where she has her lunch in this scene, I'll need to change it so she worked an early shift and is now off-duty, instead of taking a break.

Thanks!

Orianna2000
08-27-2012, 07:21 PM
Another question. Would someone working in a pub be required to wear a uniform? Or perhaps a certain color of clothing? This woman is intensely modest and tends to wear long skirts. I really can't picture her agreeing to wear a short skirt or pants for work. Would she be able to get away with wearing her own clothes or is this going to be a problem?

shaldna
08-27-2012, 08:13 PM
Another question. Would someone working in a pub be required to wear a uniform? Or perhaps a certain color of clothing? This woman is intensely modest and tends to wear long skirts. I really can't picture her agreeing to wear a short skirt or pants for work. Would she be able to get away with wearing her own clothes or is this going to be a problem?

It depends on the pub - some do, some don't. If they are a chain then probably yeah. But I've seen a lot of small pubs with uniforms too. Usually nothing fancy - generally a shirt / teeshirt with a name badge, trousers and often an apron. A lot of pubs just have staff in a white shirt with trousers and an apron.

Skirts, especially long ones, are generally discouraged in pubs because they are a health and safety hazzard, especially when going up and down stairs - you'll often be carrying crates or trays and it's easy enough to trip or get it caught.

Shoes are usually flat and with a closed toe - no high heels, sandals etc.

Orianna2000
08-27-2012, 08:58 PM
Do all pubs have an upstairs? Could she find a one-story pub that would make an exception for her skirts? Because she really won't give them up at this point in the novel. Changing her clothing is something that happens as part of her character arc, so it won't happen until later in the novel. She would, however, be willing to shorten her skirts to mid-calf length, if it was for safety reasons. Would that work?

She wouldn't have a problem wearing a certain color, if necessary. And she generally wears ballet flats, so that's no big deal.

waylander
08-27-2012, 09:36 PM
If it's a free house then it is entirely down to the landlord what the staff wear.

Anninyn
08-27-2012, 11:07 PM
You could find a pub with no upstairs, but most pubs are set in two story buildings and have a basement where all the stock is kept - plus ladders are used to reach shelves etc. Long skirts simply aren't practical in most service jobs unless you're exclusively front of house staff.

Orianna2000
08-27-2012, 11:42 PM
Her exact position isn't given, just that she works in a pub and is being paid under the table, because she's an illegal immigrant. Would her wearing a just-below-the-knee skirt pull you out of the story and ruin everything for you? Especially if I mention that she normally wears longer skirts and changes into a shorter (black) one just for work?

I considered other jobs, but this seemed the best sort of work for her, considering that she hasn't any identification. I was told she could plausibly get a job working tables in a pub, being paid off the books. It was either this or a cleaner of some sort, but it would be much harder to make the required scenes work if she's a janitor instead of a waitress.

waylander
08-27-2012, 11:49 PM
I wouldn't have too much problem with it.
Make the pub a free house - the landlord runs the place so what he says goes, makes it easier for him to pay her off the books too

shaldna
08-28-2012, 01:46 AM
Honestly, I don't think it would bother the reader.

Anninyn
08-28-2012, 03:01 AM
No, it probably wouldn't bother the reader.

mirandashell
08-28-2012, 03:58 PM
I think it would have to be a free house for her to get paid under the counter. It certainly couldn't be a chain pub.

I wouldn't worry to much about a knee-length skirt. It depends on the culture of the pub. Is it a young man's pub? Or an old man's pub? A family pub?

Orianna2000
08-28-2012, 05:43 PM
There's only a very brief scene that takes place at the pub, so I don't go into detail about what sort of place it is. (Young/old, independent/chain, etc.) I think it will work, though. Thanks for all the help!

shaldna
08-28-2012, 10:55 PM
I think it would have to be a free house for her to get paid under the counter. It certainly couldn't be a chain pub.

Depends on what sort of staff she is - the place I worked in was a huge, very reputable place and they paid all the waitresses and casual staff by cash - it was all legit because they were casuals and not contracted members of staff - after all, not everyone has a bank account.

mirandashell
08-28-2012, 10:56 PM
It's not so much the being paid by cash. It's the landlord not declaring it and not paying her stamp that makes it under the counter.