Work when others are free

Working after others have long since finished work – or celebrating Christmas: What would be an imposition for most, is a stroke of luck for others.

In Germany, more and more people are working in service professions, many of them also have to work on public holidays: They make sure that the Christmas magic works for others.

WChristmas is when the family gets together. At least most. For Caroline Llamas, however, Christmas has often been the time in the past few years when she got together with colleagues and customers. In Germany, more and more people are working in service professions, many of them cannot sip mulled wine with children and parents at Christmas or watch festive plays. Instead, they make the Christmas magic work for others. Llamas is the banquet manager in Frankfurt’s Tigerpalast, one of the most renowned variety theaters in Germany with an attached gourmet restaurant. Until the birth of her children, she also organized events there on public holidays or cared for guests with special surprises.

“Without employees there is no gastronomy,” says Robert Mangold. He runs the Tigerpalast and two restaurants in Frankfurt’s Palmengarten tourist attraction. Christmas time is high season there. While employees all over the country are increasingly able to organize their working hours themselves, the restaurant business stands or falls with reliably present service staff. There they work in shifts all year round. They hardly place unemployed women in shift work, according to the Frankfurt Employment Agency. This work is incompatible with children.