A major-league Canadian brewing giant decided to grace my little corner of the world with a conference. I think the focus should have been on manners.
BEER EXEC: (Approaching the bell Desk and three bellmen) Hey fuckers! Can I have my bags? Oh, and where can I score some weed?
Needless to say, the gentlemen manning our desk at the time, normally a very mild-mannered guy, fantasized about the executive’s violent demise at the jaws of a pack of rabid wolverines!
Seriously, he really did.
Freedom, sweet, blessed freedom!
My day consisted of raking leaves (My neighbor’s maple tree is diseased and drops dozens of leaves per second! Honestly!), driving around looking for piano books for Sarah and just chillin’, as the young people say when they’re not burning down businesses or doing illicit drugs.
Domestic bliss at it’s finest.
Simply put, I had a very bad day.
We usually have at least four buses leaving at once on a Wednesday morning and three bellmen on, so I decided to come in early and lend a helping hand.
I got stuck handling a thirty-room bus MYSELF! When there are three more bellmen around, there is no excuse for The Hook to be left on his own. Not only was I responsible for putting the tour behind schedule, I was exhausted!
NOT the best way to start a summer day when you’re a bellman, trust me.
My first call of the day? A family composed of two sleazy, teenage daughters, a hyperactive twelve-year-old boy and a Mom and Dad at each other’s throats!
CRAZY DAD: (To Crazy Mom) Where are the girls?
CRAZY MOM: I let them go to the Gift Shop downstairs? Why, are we leaving?
CRAZY DAD: Of course, we’re leaving! I can’t believe you let those girls go downstairs! What were you thinking?
At that point my presence at the doorway is pointed out to Crazy Mom, who, after more arguing with her spouse about her questionable parenting skills, begins to throw small bags outside the door! Seriously, she threw several small bags out of the room and just watched as they piled up in front of the bell cart in the hall.
I wasn’t about to load the cart until my lovely guests brought me their large suitcases, and I certainly wasn’t setting foot into that war zone! Time stood still as I loaded the cart while Crazy Dad contemplated throwing his wife out the window (We were on the 43rd floor!), and she considered returning home and starting an affair with their neighbor Hank!
By the time we had made our way downstairs and I loaded their mini-van from Hell, I was ready to take both these idiots out! But they had one last surprise in store for The Hook: they stiffed me.
My day started at 8:30 am, and it was noon before I made a single dollar from the anteaters I spent the morning serving.
I wish someone could remind me just why I stay sober.
The day of the hotel’s staff party, or as I will always remember it – “The Day I Almost Pulled What Was Left of My Hair Out!”
From the moment I stepped out of the elevator into the Bell Room, I was inundated with requests like “Can I go home early, Hook?” I’m not a supervisor, my word carries no administrative weight whatsoever, yet two of my colleagues kept hammering away at my resolve until I threatened their lives if they didn’t leave early!
Of course, the day was filled with cheap guests and the calls were few and far between, so it didn’t really matter that four of my fellows left early to join the celebration. Personally, I don’t mind the concept of the staff picnic, but when the official time runs out, those left behind camp out over night (It’s held at an actual campground, by the way), and get blind stinking drunk and attempt to hump each other into a coma!
As it turns out, the party temporarily degenerated into a mini-UFC match involving two couples, culminating in a visit by local law enforcement! There was also a very public make out session involving two employees as well, so the action wasn’t just limited to fisticuffs.
None of this should bother me, but this year’s party was to be held at a local zoo/conference area until the Party Brigade raised a fuss and kept the status quo intact.
Alcohol and hormones, together they form the bane of my existence.
Not only did I get to work a back-to-back shift, which is always nice in the summer, I got to serve the “Worst of the Worst”, which is always good for my financial and mental well-being!
Case in point, my first call wa s a young couple with 25 plastic bags, booze and camping equipment, including a tent and barbecue! They were on the second floor of our ultra-hot parking garage and they were convinced a simple “Thanks, man!” would be a sufficient gratuity.
Next up was a return guest, a short, black haired degenerate gambler who really looks the part. He was convinced it was going to take me over thirty minutes to arrive at the room, so he hopped in the shower, leaving his girlfriend to pound on the bathroom door and shriek, “The bellman’s here! What do you want him to take?”
He finally walks out of the bathroom in a towel and proceeds to berate me for not taking longer to get to him! Then I get to wait in the hall while he fights with his female companion about the whereabouts of a third member of their party, “He’s at the casino gambling $25 of my money because he lost all his! He’s an addict!”
Takes one to know one, I guess.
I eventually get him loaded up and I meet him across the street at the casino parking garage where he always parks and he pops his trunk, which it rutns out is stuffed full of kids’ summer toys!
“Oh, I thought you had an outdoor pool,” he says, “but you don’t.”
He’s stayed with us dozens of times, but I didn’t see the point in mentioning that fact. Needless to say, the rest of the day paled by comparison, thankfully.
At last, The Day of Days has arrived for The Hook! I made my way to Toronto, braved the crowds assembled for a Blue Jays baseball game, Buskerfest, the CNE, AND the late Jack Layton‘s funeral, and joined my nerd brothers and sisters for Fan Expo Canada 2011!
I’ll file a full report as soon as my mind finishes processing everything I experienced. Just another 364 days until the next one!
- CNE fried treat too hot for Coke (thestar.com)