10 July, 2009

What the hell are we going to do on Friday, now?

OK, so yeah, yesterday, I copped out and gave you a Cthulhu Cthursday. I think I noted yesterday that there's a precedent for slowness in July, so there's that.
Sssooo... I guess since... Well, I'll explain it again for the newcomers. I'm an early riser and I work second shift. Granted, there are nine hours between 0700 and 1600, so I could be making musics in that time but I'm the only one in the house that wakes up in the morning on a regular basis. George doesn't get up until 1300, Dave sleeps during the day due to third shift, and Laura's schedule is all over the place (as an example, yesterday she got home at 0530 and had to return to work at 1100). My music makings time is as limited as it's ever been, so when I do get around to handle music related things outside of our Saturday through Tuesday schedule, it's mundane stuff or stuff we've gone over before, things like making stems, sifting through material I may or may not use, yada yada yada... Basically, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are the Dead Zone, here.
What I have left is the hostel to gripe about and even though we're half full over there, it's been remarkably slow, aside from last night when I had three check ins during the last half hour of my shift. The check in process at the hostel is more involved than it is at, say, your average Best Western or Holiday Inn; in fact, it's fairly close to a five star, US$X00/night hotel (I use "X" in place of a number because I don't know what the fuck those places go for, but I suspect that X 2), in that we detail the house rules; we give you a tour; we explain how everything works; we show you to your room; and, if you're hot, tiny, old, or crippled, we help you with your luggage... This five minutes is the most time you will ever have to spend with the staff. It is five minutes of important shit we want you to know and, like anything else in life, you'll need only half of it.
And believe me, when this five minutes is up, we want as much to do with you as you want to do with us. You're looking to explore museums and eat local cuisine and attend whatever conference you're in town for or you're just passing through, shit like that. We're looking to play Tetris and post LOLCat pictures on internet discussion forums when we're not beating off in a vacant room and explaining our absence from the office as "housekeeping" because there's a cute punker girl sitting barefoot and eating some organic nachos in our line of sight from the office door that got us all worked up. OK?
But the fact remains that we have to spend five minutes together and that's the point: shit takes five minutes. So when you get three check ins in a row at 2130 and you have to close up at 2200...
I had nothing, nothing all night and all of a sudden, BOOM! three in a row. This takes me all the way to 2145 which is right about when I start counting down the till, taking out the trash, shutting things off, yada yada yada...
The second guy, I gotta tell ya, was a pain in the ass. First of all, he's from the bustling metropolis of Grand Forks, ND, so his backwoods ass is afraid of the big city. I know this because - well, here:
"Where can I park my car?"
You can park out here on Stevens or 24th.
"On the street?"
Uh, yeah.
"Is there parking in back?"
Huh? Oh, no. That drive way back there actually serves as the driveway for two residences and two businesses, so we have to keep that area clear.
"So I can't park back there?"
"How do I know it's safe?"
I'm sorry?
"My car, how do I know my car is safe?"
Well, there's museum security, park police, and metro police that patrol this area twenty four hours a day so it's pretty safe.
"Oh, OK. It's just that I saw a lot of people out there and I got scared."
Need that one again?
"I saw a lot of people out there and I got scared."
He literally said that. He saw a lot of people and he got scared. I guess it kind of makes sense, Grand Forks, ND is the kind of bullshit Caucasian culturally desolate backwater that makes Mayberry look like Detroit. Chances are, this guy just saw his first black person and it freaked his shit out because he'd "never sawed a colored before" outside of New York City or Los Angeles on TV. To this dumbass yokel, the existence of black people must be some sort of coastal phenomenon. Further, I speculate that because of his isolation from the rest of the world, he's probably like one of those Civil War soldiers that never received word that the war is over, which is to say, he probably thinks there's still a white man in the White House.
So I give this asshole the tour and I have to do it with a smile on my face because some Welsh prick gave me a terrible review and Boss Lady... Let's just say I have to smile from now on.
Quick rant: I'm a twenty eight year old man. I have a college degree. I have been actively looking for work for two years. I have a twenty nine hour per week job that pays US$750/hr. I'm expected to smile.
So I'm giving the Grand Wizard from the North Dakota chapter over here the tour and I show him to his room: the fifteen-bed male dorm. I tell him he can have any bed that is obviously unoccupied.
"Any bed?"
Well, any of the unoccupied ones, yeah.
"How do I know if it's unoccupied?"
Well, it's not made. You see? Those over there (pointing at occupied beds) are made and have luggage next to them, so you can tell there's somebody in them. This one here (pointing at unoccupied bed) has the blanket and pillow folded at the end of the bed, so you can tell it's not occupied.
"But how do I know - I mean - What if somebody is in that bed?"
I do not have time for this shit. I've had a lousy work week so far and I am not getting held past closing for this dipshit. So I begin walking around the room, pointing at the unoccupied beds:
You can take this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, or this one.
That's right, I talked to this dumbass like he still played with Playskool toys. I watch him pick a bed and tell him that staff is in the office until ten pm, so if he needs anything, he needs to tell me in the next twenty minutes. He asks:
"Where can I put my stuff?"
Next to your bed?
Nervous guffaw then, realizing that I'm serious, his faces falls and he asks, "How do I know it's safe?"
There's this line I picked up from one of our regulars, he's been traveling between Florida and Alaska four times a year for three or four years now. Our hostel is a favored layover of his, pretty much because he likes to stop in and get drunk with the night crew (meaning me). He explained luggage theft like this: "People in hostels already have enough stuff to carry, they don't want to add to that pile of stuff by stealing anything." This has proven true time and again and there has, during my employ, been only one instance of theft.
At junctions such as this, when people are worried about their stuff, I normally relay this philosophy to them. This asshole heard only this emit from my mouth:
It'll be safe.
He looked at me with wide eyes and slackened jaw and emitted another of his nervous guffaws. I asked him if he needed anything else. He said something to the effect of the negative and I reminded him that I would be in the office for only another twenty minutes as I left the dorm.

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