Disclaimer: I am neither handy nor handsome.
However, as inept as I am with a tool – with one exception, of course – I understand the importance of following a code of honor. Where am I going with this, you ask?
Well, because you’re nice folks, I’ll dispense with the suspense and tell you.
As you may or not be aware the hotel is under construction. although truthfully, that term is rendered null and void by one apparent, horrible truth: our construction company appears to have zero interest in actually finishing the job they began last year.
In fact, I contend they are working in reverse; that is to say, I believe they are tearing the hotel down, brick by brick, rather than expanding it.
The most popular question of the summer isn’t “Seriously, they call you ‘The Hook’ even though you have both hands?”, it’s “When are they going to finish the renovations/construction?”
“The official date is two weeks from never, folks. Or whenever management realizes they’re being taken for a ride.”
You see, in the hospitality industry there are line workers who subscribe to the “Us vs. Them.” theory of conduct. They treat their guests/customers with respect, but they never cross that line.
I hate “Us vs. Them”.
A few minutes with me and my guests realize that although I wear a uniform and a name tag, I’m as “Us” as they come.
“Trust me, folks,” is the beginning of a speech I’ve recited thousands of time this year, “no one is more put out by all of the signs, barriers and holes in the walls all around us than me. You get to go home in a few days. I’ll be here long after you’ve gone, staring at the same construction workers slowly “working’ on the same areas. They mean well, but at this point it’s painfully clear they have no intention of going anywhere.”
I wouldn’t have dreamed of speaking ill of our construction company a few months ago, but they’ve exhausted any good will they may been entitled to after issuing their fiftieth delay notice.
The work gloves are off.
The desire to create, to build, to retrieve thoughts and images from our consciousness and share them with the world is hardwired into our DNA and has been ever since our ancestors began scribbling on cave walls. We need to build structures that reach for the heavens in order to satisfy our biological imperatives.
That having been said, we need to do so while respecting the lives of others. A family that scrimps and saves all year long is entitled to a worry-free vacation; the last thing Dad wants to see when he pulls onto a hotel’s valet deck is a wall of plywood separating construction areas from his car. And Mom could do without having to shield her underage daughters from a wall of leering, knuckle-dragging construction workers lined up for lunch on the corner.
I respect the construction industry and the many hard-working individuals who toil thanklessly to build this world the rest of us take for granted, but when a goofball in a hardhat circles the same car three times to get a good look at my guests’ teenage daughters, I cry foul.
(Granted, both girls were graduates of the Miley Cyrus School of Jail-bait Warriors, but that’s no excuse.)
My point is this: the hotel’s owners have entered into a binding contract with the company in question to expand and improve our property. Originally, this contract had an end date, but that appears to have been ignored. How do I know this? The construction company took one of my department’s outside storage areas and built an office for themselves.
They’ve established a nest. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
A wise man once advised that closing with a joke is always the best policy. Fortunately, my life itself is a series of humorous tales, so here we go…
A few hours ago I arrived at a corner room on the 49th floor where I was greeted by a frat boy archetype who referred to me as “Boss Man!” The bed in this suite is located directly across from the door, so I was instantly greeted by sight that, by all rights, should have been considered strange by my standards.
Here’s an interesting fact about my standards: I don’t have any.
Laid out on the bed was a young blonde girl, no older than twenty, dressed as a Catholic school girl. A cardboard sign with the words “Naughty Girl” scrawled in black magic marker hung from her willowy neck. I made every effort to avoid the naughty elephant in the hotel room, but as I left, her partner followed me into the hall.
“Here you go, Boss Man.” he beamed as he slipped an American five-dollar note into my open uniform jacket pocket. “You like that?” he queried, his head cocked back to the room “Back there, that was my idea!”
“Yeah? And what is your role in this little daytime cable drama?” I queried back.
His face underwent a transformation as he pondered my question. It obviously hadn’t occurred to him to return the favor to his lover.
“I mean, she’s the naughty school girl. Are you going to be a monsignor, administering a much-needed round of… discipline? Or in keeping with the school girl motif, you could be a member of One Direction.”
“Oh yeah! I’d like that!” rang out from the room.
His face turned again, but this time, I don’t think he was happy.
“Well, I have to go. Have fun!”
You have to know when to leave the stage, folks.