Ten Things I’ll Never Do Again During March Break.

My shoulders are hunched ever so slightly. My head is swimming. My stomach feels like a volcano on the verge. Must be March Break….

Here then, are ten things The Hook will never do again during this unholiest of weeks.

1)  Let a child with bladder control issues ride on my cart. At least the carpet is waterproof, though certainly not for this reason…

2)  Let a child who has had two Red Bulls (at 10:30 AM) ride on my cart. She looked like a howler monkey on speed.

I swear, most children who accept my offer of a ride on the cart – which children absolutely love – behave themselves, but you can’t expect kids to be perfect little angels all the time. Not when they’re conscious at least.

3)  Expect a nice, seemingly well-adjusted family is going to tip me. Even nice folks are capable of douche-like behavior at times. Unfortunately.

4)  Underestimate Aussies. I know a few Australian bloggers who rock beyond belief, but the average guest from Down Under appears to have my number. And that number is zero. As in zero tip for The Hook. However, I served a Australian couple yesterday who put their frugal brethren to shame with their warmth, humanity and generosity. You just never know what you’re going to encounter in this biz, folks.

Speaking of which….

5)  I’ll never doubt a mom who tells me “My family is off the reservation, as they say!” She was right. And how.

  • Dad was out to lunch – first thing in the morning.
  • Grandma was channeling spirits from Venus, which could only be received by standing in the closet.
  • Mom wanted me to take the youngest rugrat to the lobby via my cart. (Par for the course, right?) Wrong. Kids can are welcome to a ride – but not while riding in a suitcase. To his credit, the little guy fit right in there. He even manged to zip the case right up.

6)  I’ll never turn my back on a pack of cougars again. When dealing with a group of middle-aged moms, one would assume an air of civility would prevail, right? Wrong again. Fifteen years as a bellman and I manged to avoid being goosed by a guest. Until now. Oh well, at least they tipped me.

7)  Over-estimate my guest’s willingness to go to any lengths to save a buck. I’ve seen guests use strollers as luggage carts. I’ve even seen guests use maid’s carts as luggage carts. But I’ve never seen a maid’s cart – fully loaded with luggage – with a baby stroller on top – fully loaded with a baby – wheeled down the hall. Until now.

8)  Believe a guest when they say “I’ll just be five minutes , Boss!” A middle-aged dad drags his family’s luggage in from the valet deck and stores it at the Bell Desk. Pretty typical scenario so far, right? Welcome to the Twilight Zone, friends. where said dad returns a few minutes later to retrieve a “few things from my cart.”

Two-and-a-half hours later he is still standing behind his cart – conveniently parked behind my desk – drinking beer from a red Solo cup, while his family explores Niagara. He was joined by another deadbeat travel dad. Although his friend kept his luggage in the back room where it belonged, he simply didn’t see the problem with drinking in the middle of the day while standing in the corner of a hotel lobby in Niagara Falls.

9)  I expect I’ve seen the worst humanity has to show me. See above.

10)  Expect March Break will be the answer to my off-season financial burden. This has been the least financially successful March Break I have seen in all my years in this industry. Ever. Honestly, folks, while my life is rich in many aspects, I still need to enjoy many of life’s luxuries – like food, shelter and clothing – in order to lead an existence that doesn’t end with my bloated body washing up on the shores of the Niagara River.

Still, there’s always next year.

In other news: The day is coming, Leanne Shirtliffe’s literary masterpiece, Don’t Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kids, will soon be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Until then, here is another post of Leanne’s to enjoy.




June is around the corner, folks – in my mind at least – so here is another plug for what is sure to the kick-ass event of The Hook’s summer…

It's Nerdrific!READ THIS POST: It demonstrates, without missing a beat, the beauty of blogging and of life itself.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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49 Responses to Ten Things I’ll Never Do Again During March Break.

  1. Ink Pastries says:

    I keep asking God to please give me a job in which my resentment meter isn’t tested constantly by man’s inhumanity to man and our distrust of His generosity (and thus passing it on to others). Maybe we’re just here to train for being angels in the future, which means we must practice not returning evil for evil, or lack of generosity for lack of generosity, or whining for whining. Pray for grace, my dear man and I will, too. : )

  2. Boy to have a job where you get goosed by middle age woman, some people have all the luck. Enjoyed your post as usual.

  3. I think if someone goosed me right now I would be so flattered I would probably hug them. Yeah, I know. I need to get out more.

  4. This is one of the reasons I kind of like working in a warehouse. I don’t have to deal with the public anymore.

  5. “…but you can’t expect kids to be perfect little angels all the time. Not when they’re conscious at least.” LOL


  6. mairedubhtx says:

    Really? You were goosed by a cougar? That takes the cake, doesn’t it? Makes me laugh. Sorry Robert.

  7. MissFourEyes says:

    How much do you tip someone after goosing them?
    And what does one do after being goosed?

  8. All in a week’s work, Hook? 😉

  9. Zipped up in a suitcase? Really? Hope it had breathing holes………..

  10. Jennifer says:

    Apparently I rock, thanks!! beyond belief, is that in the same vein as beggars belief?? I applaud your skill of finding alternate ways to not sink a bottle or two (wine not beer) after days like this…

  11. stephrogers says:

    I hope I’m one of the Australian bloggers you think are awesome… to stick up for my fellow Aussies tipping is not done in Australia. Not at hotels or anywhere really. It’s not a thing here. Occasionally at a really swish restaurant you will leave your change in a jar near the pay point. Apart from that there is no tipping here, therefore it’s one of those cultural things. We go overseas and dont know to tip because it’s not a thing here

    • The Hook says:

      I understand, Steph, I really do.
      My problem – and this goes for pretty much everyone of my fellow bellmen – stems from Aussies who have a gazillion bags and simply smile as you kill yourself lugging them around. When someone goes above and beyond, the guest should reciprocate. Its as simple as that.
      But overall, Aussies rule!

      • stephrogers says:

        Yeah that’s tough. But they probably say “thanks mate!” and give you the biggest smile. They are just completely and totally unaware that they are supposed to tip you.

      • stephrogers says:

        Having said that though, I think a lot of us need to be more culturally aware when we travel. We should research and know that when we go to the US we will need to tip

  12. “howler monkey on speed” – outstanding phrase.
    Just when you think it can’t get any funnier – Heeeerrrreee’s Hook’s post of the day!

  13. robincoyle says:

    So was the “goosing” the tip? Or did you get a real tip . . .

  14. Hmmmmmmmm…from what I read about your female clients, you must be on HOT HOOK….

  15. mabukach says:

    Awesome as usual, Hook. Hope you got a five-spot for the goose. You brought back some grumbling memories of my bellman days. Do you second as valet at your hotel?

  16. unfetteredbs says:

    at least you still have buns to goose.. most men loose them. Just where do they go?

  17. Pixie Girl says:

    Oh well, I’m sorry it didn’t really work out financially… but the stories are nevertheless very entertaining ;] and Red Bull – I must say is dangerous for adults alike!

  18. Don’t lick the minivan! what a great title. But Hook, in defense (again) of Aussie tippers, they don’t KNOW they’re supposed to tip. Probably. Because in Oz you don’t. Mostly. So don’t forget to remind them.

  19. fibot says:

    I’m Aussie and I would always tip. Particularly in the US, as I know, and as most people should know, that is the culture there. Hope your month/year improves. 🙂 Although, in some ways I also don’t because it makes for good blogging material for me to read. 😉

  20. Hi Long-Time-No-See Hook! Wait, that should really be *my* name. Except I’d use *my* name. Of course.

    Anyway, I read this in the daily funnies of today’s rag. I’ll narrate the Archie’s strip.


    Archie and Veronica were on their way out after dinner at a tony restaurant when their waiter drew their attention to an item on their just vacated table.

    Waiter: Excuse me, Sir. You forgot something.

    Archie (beaming): That’s your tip.

    Waiter (poker faced): Keep it.

    (Same) Waiter (scowling): I don’t want to take your last dime.


    When I read that, I thought to myself, “Hook wouldaff said that!” And I smiled.


  21. OH MY people PINCH YOU? AND Don’t TIP? well the pinchers tip but that’s NOT worth it! YOU poor thing! next year take your vacation during march! Save a cheek!

  22. djmatticus says:

    Good grief. Further proof that common sense and courtesy are on their last legs. They will soon be something children read about in history books to ooh and aah over while proclaiming, “No way, we never lived like that.”

  23. elenamusic says:

    HAHAHA, #7 and the guy drinking around the hotel lobby for hours. Dude, HE’S ON VACATION, haha. That’s his idea of a good time, drinking away from the kids. I think Italians can be pretty bad with tipping. I just think it’s foreigners in general who are not used to tipping. So, annoying.

  24. Daile says:

    I am a good Aussie and have been studying how to tip (and how much) in preparation for my trip to LA in May. If I tip well enough can I ride the cart?

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