By All Means, Please Take Two

Ah, so as stated from my last post, the pool has been opened for the season at my hotel.  We had an exceptionally busy night at the hotel and in the pool the other night.  To me, it was too cold outside yet to be swapping my sweater for a two-piece, but what do I know?  I’m a Southern Girl in the Midwest Snow.  At one point I counted 15 people in both the pool and hot tub together.

Needless to say, the area was teeming with people.  We keep a healthy supply of towels in the pool room, so, with only 15 people at the max having been in there at once, I should have had plenty of towels.

Not so.  By the end of the night I had five towels left because people insisted on having pillows for their leisurely soak in the hot tub.  Ugh, of course.

You know, it wouldn’t be an annoyance to me if it had been busier in the pool.  But when we’ve got about 50 pool towels and suddely I only have 5?  That’s an issue to me.

So, here I am doing all this laundry because people are helping themselves to two pool towels.

Pool towels.  I’m complaining about pool towels.

It’s still rather slow at the hotel.  Stay tuned for more.

Seriously, though… just use one towel!  Or bring your own pool towel next time.  We don’t just pull clean towels out of our asses, you know!


The Complaints Are In; Summer is Officially Here

Well, I can officially put on my sunscreen to deflect the summer season complaints.

We got our pool and hot tub area up and running on April 1, great day, right?  It only took 13 hours of the pool being open for the first complaint to come in about it.  Let me give you a little back story: it was already about 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit outside, so it was a bit cold to go swimming, in my opinion, anyway.  But, whatever, I guess when you have kids, it doesn’t matter if it’s super cold outside, you’ll let them swim if there’s a pool available.

This particular family decided to complain about the ceiling fans that were on.  Because it made it too cold to swim.

Are you serious?  The fact that it’s still winter outside wasn’t too cold for you?

Nevermind the fact that I couldn’t find the switch to shut them off.  I’ve gotten good at bullshitting my way around doing mundane things for guests.  Maybe that makes me a cynic or a terrible customer service rep, but I don’t care because if I put forth the effort that I am trying, even if I’m not, people will still smile and say “Oh, it’s okay, thank you anyway” with a smile and we’re all happy for the time being.

Ah, since the season is upon us, I’m sure this won’t be the only one I get about the pool.  Just wait until all those summer storms start rolling in and I have to shut down the pool.  That is going to be a whole new barrel of fun, isn’t it?

Don’t Save The Kitty

Now, if some of you know me personally, you know that I am an animal person.  I was the little kid that would bring home lizards, snails, frogs, snakes, kittens, puppies, whatever from my romps in the neighborhood.  It go to the point that when I started hanging out with friends with driver’s licenses and cars that my mom would always tell me “Don’t you come home with another pet!” when I would leave the house.

Because, well, I would.

Even now, as an adult, I have tried to bring home numerous animals.  Lately, my obsession is cats.  I grew up with dogs, so I am discovering how much I like cats since I was out on my own for a long while.  It started with taking in a beautiful blue girl that was hanging out on my front porch at my apartment. She ended up having babies.  I loved the three of them so much.  I named her Eva.  She was amazing.  She was loving and always so happy to see you.  Sometimes TOO happy.

Then, when I moved to Houston, Frederick came into my life.  I fell in love with him instantly.  Now he is the brother to my dog, Pork Chop.  Such a great story the both of them have, really.  But it is not the point of this entry this week.

You see, my most recent adventure to try to save a kitten from the blustering snow and outdoors landed me in the hospital.

It was a cold Saturday night and I was in the laundry room digging around for the right light bulb with which to change out one in the lobby with.  As I’m climbing down the ladder, I see a plump black kitten romping across the snowy lot.  I immediately jump into action!  I put the light bulb down (honestly surprised I didn’t break it…) and run around the office and outside. I go quietly and try to make myself look smaller by crouching down and talking lightly to the kitten.  It stops and it meows at me quite a bit.  In that cute way that kittens have of meowing with their entire mouth.  I try to coax it in with just my voice.  And then it runs up under a guests’ vehicle.  I think that it is just going to keep running.  No, this baby is smart and immediately climbs up into the truck.  It’s a big truck.  A big Ford truck with an engine a mile deep.

I go back in and grab my coat, then knock on the guests’ door.  I apologize for bothering them but explain that I saw a kitten climb up into their vehicle and that I don’t want it to be trapped there, nor do I want them to find a dead kitten in their engine days later.  We search for 15 minutes.  I was saddened, but I figured it would come out if I had food.  I call my mom and they are luckily just across the street at the store.  They grab me a small can of cat food and bring it on over.

So, the waiting begins.  I have the can stuck outside the truck and the guys have their curtains open so they can watch for it and call me if they see it.

Five hours pass.  In that time, it had come out to eat at some point, the temperature dropped and the food froze and it started to snow again.  Finally, after a group of people I’d been waiting on showed up, the other guest calls me.  The kitten jumped out and is headed for the newly warmed engines.  I grab my coat and head out there with the can of food.

I’m too late.  It has already crawled up into one of the vans.  I only notice which one because of it’s fat little footprints in the snow.  I head back inside because this group of people are having a bit of a game-time and snack time in our breakfast bar.  One of the teenagers comes out with me with a key, its not for the right van.  She goes back in and comes back out a few minutes later with the right key and another guy.  We pop the hood and there’s the little baby looked dazed and confused right on top of the engine block.

Cutest, fluffiest little panther I’ve ever seen.

I was a dumbass and didn’t bring a towel with me and I wasn’t even wearing my gloves.  My hands are frozen and I’m shivering.  I dive and grab it behind the neck, but not well enough.  It bites into my first two fingers on my left hand.  I take the pain and try to sooth it.  I wrap it up in my coat and head inside, fingers oozing blood and covered in engine dirt.  It’s hissing a little bit, but not struggling.  It’s obviously a feral baby.

I get it inside, it runs to hide, I go to rinse off my bloody hands, throw some band aids on, and decide to tend to those later.  No big deal.  I get the sheriff’s department called because the local cat shelter is full and cannot take them, so unfortunately, I had to send this baby to the pound.  I hate that option, but with it being a small town, I’m sure someone will take the little one in.

The officer arrives, I relay the story to him, find a little box for the kitten, and set about trying to get it out of hiding.  I have to move a lot of things around in the office.  I get it grabbed, and I have a good grip on it this time.  It can’t move.  Then I make the grave mistake of trying to turn it around to place it in the box.  Terrified, it grabs a hold of my right index finger and clamps down.  I’m trying to relax my right hand so it will let go, trying to soothe it, trying not to move my finger because I know the more I struggle, the more it will bite.

It wouldn’t let go.  It just kept biting and clamping.  The officer runs back behind the desk and had to pry it’s mouth off of my hand.  All the while I am yelling curses because the pain is just too much at that point.  Because it’s teeth are still sunk into me, it’s not bleeding yet.  Once the officer took off and told me to get it checked out, I  go to the back and just start crying like a little pansy.

I’m not one for pain, blood, or needles.  I’m having a mini panic attack, feeling stupid for trying to rescue this kitten, and feeling like I’m going to pass out at any moment.  I text my fiance who is an amazing jack of all trades, really.  He is a volunteer firefighter and paramedic.  He tells me how to self treat it.  I find a big bottle of peroxide in our storage cabinet and luckily it has a squeeze top.  I drown my fingers in peroxide.  The bites are so painful I don’t even feel the burn of the chemical.  I just keep dousing and dousing.  My right index finger is swollen and red and purple.  I can’t move it and my whole right hand, for that matter, hurts.

Once I get home, my parents are awake because I told them about the whole fiasco.  Mom helps me bathe my finger in peroxide some more and then starts to squeeze the wound like I was instructed.  God, the squeezing was the worst.  Even my dog was so worried that I was being hurt he came to sit at my feet while I’m standing there getting my fingers squeezed.

I take some tylenol and head to bed.  Yeah.  I woke up and I still couldn’t move my finger.  It wasn’t as swollen as before, but god, it hurt.

So, after 3.5 hours in the hospital, two xrays (what ever the hell for???) two blood samples, and a giant bottle of anti-biotics later, I was released.  The doctor said that I was lucky that I didn’t have to be on an IV.  So, all that peroxide saved me from having to sit in the hospital for a day or longer hooked up to an IV, which, honestly, would have probably sent me into panic mode. I was already panicked enough that the first blood draw came out of my hand.  I keep looking at the scab for that one and wondering if I accidentally hit it if blood will spurt everywhere.

Like I sad, I’m afraid of blood.

Moral of the story?  Don’t try to save a kitten while you’re at work unless you’re going to be smart about it.  Cat bites can turn ugly pretty fast.  While my finger is doing much better now (writing this three days later), it still hurts to type or hold a pen correctly.  And I definitely can’t use my index finger when picking items up.

Be careful with kitties.  Their bites have ended in surgeries or worse.  So, if you get bit by a cat, don’t delay.  Clean that bitch up, go to the doctor.

Now, please enjoy a small slideshow of my injuries.

The Pool is Optional

When I was small, my father worked in the hotel business.  I was too young to understand anything other than what was placed right in front of me at that point in time.  Now I understand how frustrating of a business it is no matter what your job title is with the hotel.

The hotel I work at is one of the few with a pool, let alone an indoor pool, so that’s always a big ticket item and it’s why a lot of people choose to stay at our hotel in the summer.  I mean, even as a kid travelling with my parents, I remember hoping beyond hope that each place we stopped at would have a pool, because there’s nothing cooler than getting to swim at a pool that isn’t where you normally go swim at!

It’s one thing when it’s a disappointment to the kids that the pool is closed for maintenance or bad weather.  They will pout and get over it within a few minutes.  It’s another when it’s an adult upset about it.  They assume that just because they’re adults and they’re paying for a room that that gives them the right to use the pool.

First of all, a hotel having a pool is an added, optional amenity.  Second of all, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pool set outdoors or indoors, if there is lightning in the area, the pool will be closed because I’m not risking my job or the hotel’s reputation because I let you guys swim and the building to hit with lightning.  NEWS FLASH! The building gets struck by lightning?  Guess where all of those toasty electrical currents are headed?  That’s right, straight for your fat ass floating around the pool.  Nuh, uh.  You can go sit in your bathtub if you want to be in the water during bad weather.  At least then it’s not my or the hotel’s responsibility when you turn out to be a bit fried.

Yeah, swim at your own risk, but I’m still responsible for the guests in my hotel during my shift and I really don’t feel like calling 911 or filling out incident reports and getting all these people involved.  Not worth it, thanks.  I get paid to get you a room, answer your questions, and give you some extra towels or a toothbrush.  I don’t get paid to clean up your dumbass mess.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a person demand a discount because the pool was closed or the hot tub was out of order.  No, I’m not discounting your room because we have a severe thunderstorm, and no I’m not discounting your room because the hot tub randomly decided to shut off.  Those are things we can’t predict.  It’s not like a car lot having a hail sale after a storm.  Let me just send out flier for our “Lightning Storm Room Discount.”  I can get those to press before the storm passes, right?

I even had one lady ask me if I “planned” on having severe weather when they got there.  It took a lot of will power to bite my tongue and not respond with “Oh, yes, ma’am, we should see a pretty nasty system rolling in around 7:13pm, around the time you estimate you will be arriving at my lovely establishment.”

Instead, I sarcastically said “Well, no one really plans on bad weather, but there are predictions for it in our area, and if it happens to come through around that time, the pool will be close and no one can use it.”

One night while storms were rolling in and out of the area I had one kid pester the ever-living hell out of me about the pool.  I was about to phone up his parents in the room, where they were, not watching their kid, and tell them to pick up their kid.  The mother finally came down and used the lobby computer for a while and then herded him back up the room when she was finished.  I was thankful for that.

Then a group of teenagers the same night kept pestering me, too.  Out of sheer annoyance, even after the threat of severe weather passed, I kept the pool closed because I was so damn pissed off about being bugged so much.  Plus, I didn’t feel like tracking these people down to tell them it was open.  There was no point in opening the pool for that last half hour anyway.  All they would have done is bitched and moaned that I had to close the pool while they were still having fun.

Other people like to moan about it being “too cold” and “why isn’t it heated?” Uhm, first of all it’s 102 outside and you want a heated pool? Are you fucking nuts?  Second of all, the water is room temperature at all times, grow a pair and jump in.  It’s not like you’re jumping into the Colorado River of Icy Doom.  Shit, that water is even still cold as it cycles down into New Braunfels.  Bone-chillingly so.

I cannot wait until it’s closed for the season.  Then again, I’ll have to listen to the “isn’t it heated?” complaint all over again.


Maybe this should be my comeback.  It’s been a while, maybe too long of a while.

Things in my life changed and I moved away from Texas and from Target and my life there.  Now I’m in Nebraska.  Oh Nebraska… what a cultural difference than being in Texas.  Not only that, but I’ll live in the snow, too, come winter.  That will be different for me.

So, I got away from retail, but I still work with guest service.  Now at a hotel in this small little town.  I haven’t decided on how secretive I will keep this one since the people I work with here are much more laid-back and less probe to sue me for defamation of corporate character.  Hell, short of drinking and being an asshole on the clock, they could care less if I came up here to hang out on my time off with a drink.  Not that I’m going to do that or anything, I have a bit more class than that, but I’m just trying to point out how awesome they are.

Working for a smaller company is usually much better than a big corporation.  Now, I miss it a bit.  Shopping there, and always having one available.  This town is so small that we don’t even have a tiny Wal Mart.  Culturally, I am dying a little on the inside, but I know that I can survive this.  This is the second time I’ve lived in Nebraska, but the last city I lived in was much bigger and had a Wal Mart and a few other chain restaurants that you could find in many other cities.

Anyway, I’ve been working at this hotel for a month and a half now.  I was incredibly lucky and managed to get this job three days after I moved here.  It made for my shortest unemployment period ever.  I was unemployed for six whole days.  Not only was I lucky with that, but I got lucky with my hours.  I work 40 hours a week and it’s wonderful.  I love the people here and I’m apparently pretty good at this job.  At least that’s what they said when everyone thought I was ready to be on my own after the first day.  No, thanks.  Some days I still feel pretty clueless at my job, but it’s a learning experience.

So, I’d mostly abandoned this blog out of sadness, confusion, and fear that maybe this wasn’t the right thing for me, but here I am, sitting at work, on my laptop because it is incredibly dead and I can do things like that here.  Here I sit thinking that I should pull this back up, because boy, I’ve already got some wonderful stories to tell.  About three weeks ago an almost guest called the cops on my manager and me.  That’s a fun story.

Prepare, readers, you’re about to get a whole new kind of Service Desk Jockey: The Hotel Service Desk Jockey.  I’ll give you a week.