A TALE OF TWO HOOKS!
The first half of this post was written before I found myself struck down by a nasty flu bug. I’m obviously back in the game now, but only at half-power, so the last half of the post offers a brief look at my first day back.
It was inevitable really.
The scourge of the Western World, the seasonal cold virus, has had a tight grip on my household. Between VampireLover (the wife), her father and our daughter, someone in our humble home has been sick on a regular basis for weeks.
So here we are, The Hook is under the weather, as they say.
Unfortunately, the bills keep pouring in, my daughter keeps growing and we all have to keep eating, so I have to suck it up and keep going. Of course, the wife tells me to stay home but I feel the relative ease of my duties combined with a sense of responsibility (which sucks by the way! Kids: stay young!), is enough to overpower my desire to stay in bed and watch my Christmas gift: Supernatural – season four.
Which, by the way, rocks! I was actually sent to bed early the other night (VampireLover rocks!) and I had enough time to watch four episodes! I kept falling asleep but it still counts!
THIS HAS BEEN A SELF-INDULGENT HOOK MOMENT! WE NOW RETURN YOU TO “YOU’VE BEEN HOOKED!”
SNIDE GUEST: Bell Boy! Why aren’t the lights working?
THE HOOK: You just have to reset the switch –
SG: Bell Boy! We’ll need more keys!
I was too fatigued to engage in the usual to and fro with this guest – for once – so I just nodded and tried to appease the gentleman as best I could. Unfortunately, he was an aggressive Italian father used to ruling his household with an iron – okay, mozzarella – fist. He just kept going; I don’t think he actually meant to be so aggressive but I was in no mood to take a closer look at the situation.
Long, loud story short, he tipped me well so he can shout “Bell Boy!” like it’s a superhero name all day as far as I’m concerned! Speaking of alternate names for The Hook, I had another Italian gentleman later on in the day – this one was a Golden Oldie – who kept calling me “Mister!” in a loud, aggressive tone.
My weakened state must bring something out in people. I still didn’t care though; I wonder if that’s the key to surviving difficult people? The rest of the day consisted of the usual shenanigans…
- Mysterious smells in the lobby and service elevator shafts.
- Guests who complain when a bellman doesn’t arrive at their door to collect their bags – even though they didn’t even call for one!
- Loud, impatient guests who scream out loud “Why hasn’t my car arrived yet?” They soon realize, when questioned by a bellman with a hunch, that they forgot to request their car in the first place! Fortunately, the wait time was only forty minutes.
Okay, that was my day leading into my all-too brief convalescence. Now for the return to form…
FOUR DAYS OFF! HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?
It started out quiet; nothing unusual there, but my colleagues couldn’t help but notice the change in The Hook. I was quiet.
Too quiet, apparently.
I sat in a corner, read some comics and conserved the few vestiges of power I had left – the walk to work alone had actually drained me – and waited for the eventual call to duty. Turns out, I was unaware of a sinister presence in the hotel; a collective consciousness made up of some of the most foul family units to ever walk the Earth.
Hockey families were in-house. And Death checked in with them.
Don’t laugh too hard, when serving a hockey family, a bellman will often pray for Death to deliver a swift and merciful blow; they’re just that bad.
At least, they have the potential to be.
- The boys are often little hellions, determined to lay waste to everything in their path.
- The girls feel neglected and rebellious.
- The same can be said of the moms. Except they can drink and prowl the lobby like tipsy cougars!
- Their vehicles are always a complete disaster and challenging to pack, to sat the least.
- And of course, the hockey bags are an assault upon the senses.
And the dads? I haven’t forgotten them..
- They can be loud, aggressive and generally out of control.
- Far too much alcohol is consumed during a children’s tournament.
- One particular hockey dad I served wouldn’t stop yelling at his three boys; in his eyes they were lazy and incompetent. I understand the pressures of fatherhood, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Especially in public.
My fears were soon realized as the calls poured in and the families started cutting loose. Parents sniped at each other, “Why aren’t you ready, Margie?” and the inevitable response, “I’m doing the best I can, Frank! The kids aren’t helping at all!”
And so it went, and then some.
I returned to work on a Saturday and the hockey families were going to be leaving during Sunday morning check-outs as well. Another potential disaster. Sundays are volatile enough without the extra fuel, but that’s a tale for another day.
As for check-ins, I had a “fun” run-in with some PFDs – Pretentious, French Douchebags. Four young goofballs, to be exact. It was bad enough they were blathering on in their native tongue while clearly mocking everyone around them, but then they shot looks of righteous indignation at everyone who crossed their path. Did I mention they were drinking in the elevator?
At four in the afternoon?
Yep, it was good to be back.