Before We Begin: This post was written a year ago, hence the tension laced throughout. I’ve actually mellowed since, but I thought you’d like this piece nonetheless. After all, who doesn’t love a good rant, right? Enjoy.
QUESTION: What do you do for a living?
This is what I refer to as a “landmine question”, because the simple act of pondering your answer sets off an emotional explosion in your mind. The query seems harmless enough on the surface, but it makes me really think about just what I do with my workday.
What do I do?
I carry luggage for ungrateful – in most cases, hung-over – cheap A-holes who are so useless they can’t even pack their own trunk in an intelligent, organized manner. They are incapable of retrieving their car from the Valet Department because they can’t even locate the Valet Desk, never mind mastering the complicated procedure of reading the number on their ticket!
I deal with fellow employees who give my equipment away every… single… weekend to rude, snobby newlyweds who have no business tainting the sacred institution of marriage, to say nothing of the damage they are eventually going to do to the collective gene pool when their coitus inevitably leads to reproduction!
I deal with people who are overwhelmed by the mere act of requesting luggage storage….
THE HOOK: How many bags do you, folks?
DUMB ASS COUPLE: Well.. let’s see…
They were literally stunned by my query. Thirty seconds – it felt like much longer – passed while they each pointed with one finger at their four bags. Ultimately, I had to intervene before the brain they were sharing suffered an aneurysm.
The next lady I dealt with was equally stunned, she just didn’t realize it. Her response to the same query? She had, in her own words…
- Two “small” bags. Hockey bags.
- A couple of bottles. A six-pack.
- A “meat box”! A take-out container.
Then there was the lady who insisted on counting the contents of her cart after I retrieved it from the storage room, even though her fellow travelers assured her everything was present and accounted for. Of course, the same lady was certain her truck was outside when in actuality, it was another twenty minutes before the Valet Driver delivered it.
Did I mention it was cold, damp and windy today? Perfect conditions in which to stand outside like an idiot waiting for another idiot’s truck.
At least I can always count on Fate to throw me a bone or two in the form of a guest I can have some fun with. In this case, it was a Jewish family consisting of a mom and five young kids! We were sharing an elevator and they were discussing the next big purchase they were going to be making as a family.
ONE OF FIVE JEWISH KIDS: What do you think we should get?
THE HOOK: How about a television for Mom and some saltpeter for Dad?
I’ll let you ponder whether I actually voiced my answer or just kept it to myself. Either way, I was fortunate enough to serve the same guests the next day – Fate has it on for me – and they actually awarded me a decent tip, so they couldn’t have been too offended by my humor.
I realize I occupy a pretty sweet position compared to someone who has to clean vomit from bed sheets or scrub toilets all day, but boredom and frustration inevitably set in after years of repetitive action. Indeed, there has been a collective feeling of unrest among my fellow bellmen of late; the small percentage of our clientele that have suffered brain damage is increasing daily and it is really beginning to take a toll.
So it has to be more than mere coincidence that virtually every guest we’ve dealt with recently appears to have walked straight off the set of The Walking Dead.
As many of my longtime readers have noted, my life definitely has its moments.
Fortunately, I can always retreat to the relative safety of our back room, a dingy, dirty space filled with overhead pipes and a collection of chairs “acquired” from throughout the building. I liken it to Eric Foreman‘s basement – minus the retro couch and the freezer full of Popsicles!
Hey, at least it’s above ground.
See you in the lobby, kids…