100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #22.

I think that even though humanity is pretty much tearing itself to ribbons theses days over impeachment, whether or not Trudeau is a douchebag, and the Peloton commercial, humanity can still agree on three things:

  1.  Moving to a new living space can be ridiculously-stressful.
  2.  Working for a living can wear your soul to a nub. (Yes, the metaphor works. Shut up.)
  3.  Cats are evil.

So can you imagine combining the stress of a move with the already-soul-crushing chaos of the workplace? I can, because I’m living it. And so here we are.

#22: Workplace Chaos.

The hotel is in the midst of the biggest renovation since Odysseus decided to turn a Greek child’s hobby horse into a hangout for him and his pals. Among all the other (greatly delayed) projects going on throughout this building we’ve moved into a brand-spanking new lobby that reminds me of the Northern Pikes tune, “She Ain’t Pretty” (She Just Looks That Way).

I’m not suggesting our new lobby is a disaster; it’s bright, shiny and has many smooth, sleek lines and cool features. I wish it was my high school girlfriend.

But like many a high school hookup, we moved too fast and now we’re facing the consequences. Of course, in this case the consequences aren’t a bouncing bundle of joy and full diapers. Instead, we’re dealing with desks that aren’t as user-friendly as possible, darkened corners (like where my desk sits, naturally), construction workers drilling through floors without consulting blueprints and a gazillion other minor issues that when combined, make you want to find another version of yourself in the Multiverse whose life you can co-opt.

Any move has it’s challenges. It takes time to acclimate oneself to a living/work space, and let’s face it, most of us consider our workspace a second living space, even though a workspace drains your will to live rather than enhancing it.

But I  just worked against my own premise, didn’t I?

Please allow me to recover if I can. Serving the public in any capacity isn’t easy to say the least. People can be rude; they’ve actually spit on me. (And I wasn’t ablaze at the time.) People can be sneaky; I caught a guy creeping into the hotel through an employee door yesterday so he could steal a luggage cart – even though he had already requested the doorman fetch him a bellman.

In short, people are nuts.

So trust me when I tell you no one survives for over twenty years in the hospitality industry without being able to process a steady diet of chaos. You even learn to savor the flavor eventually. (Even bad pizza is still pizza.)

I observe. Then I mock.

The other day I sat back at my desk and watched as every manager, administration-level worker, construction worker and even a guest or ten, stood around our new lobby and scrutinized every detail from the placement of flashing ceiling lights to whether or not our luggage carts should be chained up to prevent guests from absconding with them. (Guess how I voted?) Workers were scrambling back and forth, managers and owners were discussing just how much all this aesthetic beauty actually costs (the figures are staggering). People with no authority were ordering others around. There were no evil cats around but it was still mass hysteria dialed up to eleven. The cacophony of voices built to a deafening crescendo and all the while I thought: 

“Ronnie would’ve loved this.”

And he would’ve. Ronnie lived for those moments of complete and utter human madness. We’d sit at our desk and drink it all in like a fine wine. I’d return from a luggage call and he’d be all, “Hook, my brother Hook, you should’ve seen it. So-and-so was down here throwing her weight around, slinging orders like a crazed waitress at a greasy spoon. Three bus tours have shown up at once. It was nuts! I love every second.”

You really do get used to the challenge of surviving wave after wave of interoffice political battles, guests on a tear about the simplest of issues, and every other surprise the universe has in store that you could never see coming. In fact, you learn to see that such situations can help us grow, they can even make us stronger if we process them correctly. 

It’s all a matter of perspective, kids.

Ronnie had the right idea. Until other factors became too much to handle he knew the score and we had ringside seats for the never-ending stream of  hotel donnybrooks.

Ronnie’s gone but the chaos remains.

Thank Dog.

See you in the lobby, friends…


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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23 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #22.

  1. First off cats are not evil! They just don’t give a crap. Your reno sounds like the one at my hair salon. Very New York (nope, I don’t live in NY) but impractical. Not enough room where you need it and all the gray tones are cold and uninviting (however stylish they are). My stylist hates it. I hate it. The only one happy is the construction crew that worked there for three months over the deadline! Damn it! It’s a hair salon! It should be warm and inviting so people spill all the nasty gossip! Maybe they need a margarita machine!

  2. “Savor the flavor”…I like that! I don’t think that all cats are evil, although there may be a few:)

  3. Savor the chaos. Good one, Hook.

  4. Saw the Northern Pikes this summer and they are still at it, and still a fantastic band. Ronnie sounds like he was a great guy.


  5. Doug in Oakland says:

    You’re right about moves and chaos. We just finished (mostly) one, complete with court judgements, sheriffs at the door, mental breakdowns over family betrayals, and the loss of many of our possessions, but I have to disagree with you about the cats. Or cat, really. Our cat Littlebeast is delightful, and has really been a trouper throughout all of the chaos.
    My years (about ten) working in restaurants had a similar feel to the one you describe, and the bonds between coworkers there were amazing.

  6. I remember when the bank was having a revamp in 1976. I wonder if our signatures and witticisms on the wall behind the new plasterboards have been discovered yet?

  7. awtytravels says:

    Genius! Nothing better than refurbishment during a busy period whilst the shop is still going on. I commuted through London Bridge station during its refurbishment (basically they booked these guys to fire a couple of salvos and then started putting brick after the other: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q91yFP9E9Yg ) and, but for the odd time where I was actually in need of going somewhere quick (like the office’s bathrooms) it was a great experience.

    Enjoy Christmas, Hook!


  8. You’re right about everything, hook, but the cats.

  9. Jennie says:

    I like that you look at all the chaos with a Ronnie smile. That’s good thing!

  10. Fall Fraust says:

    Kittens are so adorable, cats are cool but kinda creepy, especially the wild ones in our neighborhood, when they’re fighting late at night and yowling 🙂 Not so much experience with the chaos of my workplace being remodeled, but lots of experience with the chaos of my company moving – six times in 8 years!

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