The Stillness Before The Blast of Human Suffering.

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.
  • Feces.
  • 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…

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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72 Responses to The Stillness Before The Blast of Human Suffering.

  1. Brenda says:

    It’s so nice to hear you love your job. LMAO And hey, can I have my bionic leg back, please? I must leap tall buildings in a single bound. Holy moses, how the imagination is inspired by your posts.

  2. Paul says:

    Awesome description of your work Hook. May the force be with you! Sounds ilke you’ll need it today.

  3. Kevin says:

    I’m not sure if my comment made it to you or not. Thanks for making my Sunday morning so special. Love it Hook!!

  4. maurnas says:

    Man, I seriously need a prosthetic limb around here. Can you mail me the next one you find (if nobody else has dibs, that is)?

  5. girlseule says:

    How does an entire vacume cleaner get found amongst the linen! ‘I was good enough half an hour ago when you let me cum on you’ bahahaha oh how romantic.

  6. Worked room service at Stouffers Anna Capri in Fort Lauderdale on a hiatus from college. Thought I would find myself but ran back to college as soon as the year was over. Room service has it’s own set of crazy circumstances. You know “just put the try on the table and come sit on the bed,” crazy.

  7. samara says:

    Ah, yes. Spring Break, we call it here in the States. It must make for some interesting debris. Are there no dead bodies? Then all went well…

  8. Oh to spend one week with The Hook at the hotel. A lifetime of memories – and a lifetime of blogging material.

    And hookers.

  9. NotAPunkRocker says:

    “Honey, where’s your leg?”

    “Oh, I must have left it on my last…um…business trip. Yeah, business trip. No, don’t call the hotel, they’ve probably already thrown it away by now.” (secretly hoping it was thrown away LOL)

  10. OMG. No wonder it’s called the Rat Race

  11. It sounds like they will be scraping you off the floor by the end of the day. Remember to hydrate!
    I remember once a very tiny chamber maid going through the laundry chute when she got caught up on some sheets. She was too old to be doing the job but tough as nails. She only broke a couple of ribs.

  12. Eva says:

    My family and I need to come visit you. Seriously.

  13. Angelle says:

    I’ve passed through so many hotels and a smiling face at the desk is always a welcome sight. Stay strong and know you are appreciated. Also appreciated are the freshly baked cookies at the Hilton.

  14. I need a new vacuum cleaner! 😉

  15. Jo Bryant says:

    Oh so someone found the vacum cleaner…I wondered where that went Hook.

  16. kerbey says:

    This is why I can’t stay in hotels. Ick ick ick. The last time we paid good money for a room, the sheets were filled with pubic hair and glitter. When I go to a hotel, I want a place to SLEEP for the night. I’m not going to have sex in a bed where others had sex. No. I’m not going to have toys. I’m not going to eat pizza and then not throw the pizza in the trash. I would never leave a room dirty or leave a personal item in a room. You have confirmed my worst fears of human nature. These must be the same people at dept stores who, instead of taking their clothes on hangers from a dressing room and putting them out front on the rack, just toss them on the floor and walk away. Was no one raised right?

    • Veronica says:

      Where do you stay then?
      And part of the fun that comes with staying in hotels is the ‘not at home sex’ you get to have.

      • kerbey says:

        We rent houses with stricter cleaning policies. But you never really know. I’ve tried to sleep having to listen to the people in neighboring rooms having their not at home sex, and it’s actually pretty annoying.

      • Veronica says:

        I’ll apologise, but it’s what I would expect when staying in a hotel.
        As you said, you can never really know what’s gone on in the bed you sleep in, even in a rental house.

  17. That village thing – it’s just an excuse to get someone else to clean up your messes.
    So often your days sound like one long horror movie – the modern kind with jokes and laughs along with the scares.
    Hope there’s some peace waiting at home. (and no more important should be reliable things breaking – enough to do keeping the humans going. You’re great – hang in there)

  18. Veronica says:

    Are you sure you don’t work in a hotel owned by some some porn broker of the industry? As for the leg in the laundry chute, I feel a new story forming. Hmm, sex, hotels, dead bodies and disposal methods…

  19. Jennifer says:

    Hmm, I remember housekeeping days, not quite as much fun as your hotel, but fun none the less, especially at Rodeo time, farmers, cowboys and the girls more undressed than normal (we lived in a hot place). It was sickening.
    Hope you survived to kick ass another day.

  20. You always make me smile. Love your writing!

  21. I just think of all of the work conferences I have attended over the years and the grief we’ve put the staff through, I’d be ashamed, but yeah… we’ll do it again!
    Have a great one Hook!

  22. unfetteredbs says:

    Public is just ghastly. You write it so well.

  23. “not nearly enough condom wrappers”–ha!

  24. bfg666 says:

    903 rooms?! Holy shawarma! How big is that hotel of yours? This is not a hotel anymore, it’s King Minos’ labyrinth…

    I once left a worn out tent in an Amsterdam hotel room closet. Well, I said hotel but it was actually more like a small Youth Hostel my friend and I went to after a very unpleasantly wet awakening in the aforementioned tent.

    Hold the line, Robert!

  25. shimoniac says:

    The fact that you can still laugh at this is proof that you’re a strong person. I maintain that after a week of that, I’d head for the tall timber, or roam the halls with a shotgun yelling “I’ll give you room service.” 😆

  26. The worst I have heard of ‘lobby horrors’ was a Chinese National allowing her child to take a dump right in the middle of a famous Hotel chain’s lobby and she had the gall to just leave it there. Flabbergasted!

  27. Your latest set of posts are very depressing insights into humanity.

  28. Do you have a lost and found for prosthetic limbs? I would think those folks would miss them eventually.

  29. Katie Renee says:

    I’d channel Indiana Jones too! Geez, that is insane. The iron, okay I get that… everything else? Not so much…

  30. Alas my friend I have returned only to bare witness to the endless stories that are your life in the grand hotel lobby that is your observation point. In one way I am jealous of the plethora of material you glean from watching people pass before your eyes in whatever stage of life suited for that particular moment. Stay strong my friend, another day is on the rise and you shall have even more stories to share with us, the fans, of your eternal experiences of being “The Bellman”! 🙂

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