Because “The calm Before the Storm” just wasn’t going to cut it.
7:31 am: The lobby is still and void of travelers, but the lifeless tones of Muzak fills the cold Canadian March air that fills my lungs and the footsteps of my fellows can be heard at intermittent intervals.
In due course, however, 903 departures will fill these halls.
Yes, my math is sound, 903 rooms will soon be empty, save for dry liquor bottles, food wrappers, pizza boxes, condom wrappers (though not nearly enough condom wrappers), the odd needle, many, many, D batteries and assorted sundries. Even if we employ a conservative estimate of three souls per room, the number of travelers that will soon pass my desk is staggering.
Hilary told us it takes a village to raise a rugrat, but what about cleaning up after them when March Break ends? Any sane person would run screaming from a hotel on Sunday when faced with the task of resetting a room, but housekeepers look at sane from the back of the Crazy Train, kids. It takes a special breed of soul to clean up after an inexhaustible succession of animals, my friends, and housekeepers may have their faults, but they’re special in all the right ways.
Of course, after all the refuse has been sorted, bagged and schlepped behind the swinging door leading to the service area, someone has to pick it up. Sometimes, if time permits, that person is me, but the responsibility of literally taking the trash out falls to the boys in the shipping and receiving department. Lucky bastards. You wouldn’t believe the stuff they find in the trash pile.
And speaking of shocking discoveries, the guys ‘n gals in laundry often channel Indiana Jones when opening the metal doors separating the contents of the laundry chute from the basement. A few of the “treasures” (I’m using quotation marks because, quite frankly, referring to these items as “treasures” is like referring to Lindsay Lohan as an “actress” – or “sane” or “straight”) my fellow employees have revealed while unfurling the linen include:
- An iron.
- Broken glass.
- Prosthetic limbs.
- Beer bottles.
- A vacuum. (Not a single part, mind you, but an entire unit.)
Yes, life in the Back of the House is a thrill ride of a different sort, my readers.
The hotel’s security force – the Watchmen of the hotel biz – see the lion’s share of their action Saturday night as seemingly-normal travelers become drunken transients and lovers become violent strangers. Do I have a personal favorite quote from a spurned lover? Why, yes, I do, thank you for asking.
“What do you mean you want security and the bellguy to throw me out of the room, babe? You don’t love me no more? I was good enough a half-hour ago when you let me cum on you!! What changed?”
And no, this schmuck wasn’t drunk.
I would be remiss if I glossed over the activities of the front desk staff, the concierge, the gift shop gals, maintenance and whoever I may be forgetting entirely, but time grows short. The hordes will be rising soon and the low rumble of human madness at its most pure will soon fill the lobby void. Before long, the after-effects of voluntary alcohol poisoning will be apparent to many a mammal – who will ignore the lesson that lies at the bottom of every hollow bottle of liquor.
Young girls – and for that matter, cougars – will vomit in various lobby bathroom stalls. (If we’re lucky, that is.) Street walkers will return to the streets once more. Weekend girlfriends will play the part for a few hours longer until they move onto their next companion. Children will be dragged kicking and screaming through passageways and stuffed into mini-vans.
Spouses/parents will wander past my desk shaking their heads in disbelief at the horror their lives appear to have become. Seniors will crawl behind their wheelchairs (which have been used to carry luggage by ridiculously cheap, ungrateful progeny) to the valet deck.
And I will remain at my post observing them all. Until duty calls, that is. Then the fun really begins. But now, my old chums, the time has come to part ways once more.
See you… well, you know where, kids…