kuangning: (Ami)
That it exists at all is the point.

No-one ever finds it twice. And none of those who find it ever are looking for it. It makes sure of that.

Sometimes it waits on a corner, patiently, for days. The windows beckon with just the right assortment to tempt just the one person, and when that one person comes along, it is usually with head bowed, lost in thought. A random glance up, a quick decision the feet make without consulting the head, and ... caught. Just that quickly, the pattern of a life gets radically altered -- none of them walk away unchanged.

Some go mad. Not from fright, no, but from longing. Some spend the rest of their lifetimes searching -- and by searching, ensure that they will never be successful. Some allow the loss to twist them, to sour them, and they trudge their ways to the guaranteed inheritance that comes at the end of every mortal life.

Ahh, but some... some catch the spark, and hold it, and blaze brightly.

It never judges. It never looks forward to see what happens to the ones it catches. The only moment in time that belongs to it is the moment that they are caught -- once they walk out of its doors, they belong, whether they believe it or not, to themselves and to themselves only.

That is what it offers, though if it could speak, that is not what it would say. It severs the bonds between that soul and every other, makes it free of encumberments, sets it loose. And some soar, and some plummet, and some simply forge heavier chains. And it has no investment in which path they choose, any of them.

You see, it too is unbound.


all right.

Mar. 25th, 2003 05:32 am
kuangning: (angry)
I just had a pilot come up to the front desk and ask for directions to Hwy 70. I do not drive, so I printed him up a sheet of directions we keep on hand for moments like that. He looked at me, then at the sheet, and told me he could not read it, because his vision was so bad.

He is dressed in his uniform, obviously intending to work today, and is driving himself to the airport. Which raises the question of, why is he still being allowed to fly an airplane? The sheet was not printed in unreasonably small text. If he couldn't read that, it stands to reason, at least in my mind, that he can't read instructions, or gauges, reliably.

I may never fly again when I get through with this job.
kuangning: (magic photosphere)
Funny how some things hit harder than you think they will.

Every weekday afternoon from the time I was old enough to know how to tell time, I spent a couple of pleasant hours in front of the television with my afternoon snack in hand. Homework waited, and everything else faded into the background. Sesame Street. Reading Rainbow. Mr Rogers' Neighborhood. They were imports from the awesome USA, touched with splendour, and I made my science teacher explain more than once how it was possible that we in our tiny island could be watching the same thing at the same time as who-knew-how-many boys and girls so far away.

When we emigrated, I was twelve, and really too old for those shows. But America's almost-but-not-quite sameness left me feeling as if I'd stepped into some skewed mirror world, and I searched the Tampa stations until I found a familiar voice. And I watched every weekday afternoon until I was steadier and found other things to take up my time and pull me into my new world and my new home.

When he retired, I was sad because my children wouldn't get to experience his warmth and solidarity except in reruns. But now he's gone, and I really thought we'd have him around longer than this.

G'bye, Mr Rogers. I'll miss you. I hope you knew what a difference you made.
kuangning: (wistful)
He waited in the lobby for her for two hours. He called her room three times, nervous when she didn't answer, and made quick trips back to his own room to check his phone there for messages when he discovered we couldn't access voicemail for any of the rooms from our consoles.

Toward the end of the two hours, he sat in a chair in the lobby, glancing at his watch. He'd given up pacing.

And then she showed up. She was at the desk, asking for him, before he noticed her, but when she turned, he was at her elbow.

She's not beautiful. He's not the most handsome man I've ever seen -- his nose is too prominent, she is mousy. The kind who sat at a table by themselves all through school, no doubt. But I saw the look on each of their faces when she turned to see him standing there, when he moved to stand beside her. They never touched each other; he reached out halfway, then stopped. They turned, and walked away, and that was the last I saw of them or will see of them, no doubt.

I'm having trouble forgetting them. I keep seeing the look that passed between them... and remembering what it felt like when I wore it myself.

It feels like forever, tonight.
kuangning: (Ami)
One of the things you don't know about me has been a bone of contention between me and my parents for ten years.

I was really quite bright as a child. Really bright. Kids in Trinidad start school early, and we outright compete from the very start for good class rankings. Except for one single term where I was third in my class, I was first, every school, every term, through all the years we were there. At age nine, I was the top student in my division of the country, St George East. I think I was second overall. At age ten, I became the first student in the history of the division to pass the Common Entrance exam for St Joseph's Convent. I think there've been two other girls to follow my lead since then.

And then when I was twelve we emigrated. And things changed. I felt that the successes I had, and there were some, weren't fairly earned, in some ways. I had a different background, had started earlier, it wasn't that I was any smarter than the older kids, I'd just seen the material before. So any good grades I got didn't really count.

Then, my sophomore year, the year after Kelly, I don't remember much of at all. I remember crying a lot, but no tests, no papers, no classwork -- I went through school on autopilot for a year, and my GPA slipped badly. I never quite made it up; I graduated with honours, but wasn't valedictorian or even close, and I was okay with that because it proved that I really had been right all along. I wasn't really any smarter once I was on more equal footing. I received the Presidential Award for Academic Fitness my senior year and shrugged it off; I got it despite my slightly-low GPA, and again it didn't count. Besides, everybody knows lots of kids who start out brilliant burn out along the way. I went on to college, and into the prerequisite courses for the Nursing Program. Indian River Community College has one of the best RN programs in the country, and the exam is stiff. Many, many people take three tries to get in, and many more never make it at all. I'm good at standardized tests, but I worried. I took the test, and my parents informed me that I'd passed. Then there was a bit of a battle; I was sixteen, and the Board didn't want to accept me because of my age. Still, my mother wanted me in badly, and she's nothing if not determined. Nursing was her dream, I wanted to be a veterinarian and wasn't sure I had any aptitude for nursing at all. I went along because once she'd blocked my own dream, I might as well go along with her and make one of us happy. But I felt like a fraud.

That was confirmed the first day of the program, when my teacher pulled me aside to say that she didn't think I belonged there, that I was taking up a space someone else should have had. It didn't get any better from there. Ms Spooner made it her business to make me miserable. For the first time in my life, I hated school. Worse, she was my mentor as well as my teacher. I would have had to explain to her why I wanted out of her classes and have gotten her permission to switch teachers. Going above her head never occurred to me at all. I was only in the program on sufferance, and what would they think of me if I made trouble? Every other classroom, I'd been in my own territory, on solid ground. I'd gotten bad teachers fired before, but that was on the strength of the fact that I was a good student. Her classroom was hostile territory, and I was a failure. Worse, I was a waste of a valuable slot. I got in on the strength of threats and my mother's determination.

And then this morning, my father and I rehashed the old, old argument. Why did you quit? You could have been great! And when I protested, he told me something nobody told me before.

That hard exam, with the material I hadn't seen before the prerequisite programs? The one so many people fail? I had the top score in the state of Florida. I scored fifth in the country.

If you can't understand why I'm crying my eyes out right now, try to imagine having someone tell you you didn't deserve something, try to imagine letting yourself be pushed out -- because I did -- and then finding out you probably had a better right to it than anyone else who shared it with you. That you earned it, and more than earned it, fairly. That you let someone who disliked you shape a very significant part of your life. I don't have a degree. I don't have a career, I have a job, and there have been so many damned unpleasant things in my life I could have avoided had I finished that program, I can't begin to reckon them up. It's not even her fault. It's my own for not being stronger, for not believing in myself. My children would be so much better off today had I finished that program, it's almost too much to wrap my mind around. It's my fault. But I still hope she gets to go through at least half of what I have. She was both mentor and teacher, and she, if no-one else, would have had to know my scores were good. Better than just good. Two days ago, I hated no-one. Right now, I can't see an end to hating her.
kuangning: (enthralled photosphere)
I've spent the last two days at the hotel, most of it either working or waiting for the electricity (and water, and heat) to be restored, while trying to keep 355 people, give or take a score of employees, busy and calm. It's been interesting, but less than fun.

This morning I received the reward for my hard work and patience. We drove home through winding grey asphalt tracks flanked by trees turned to sculpture. We braved the wind to listen to the hum of tyres and the crackling and splintering of melting ice sliding off of branches and leaves and needles, and watched splintered diamond light flash and sparkle. And then I got home, laid my things down inside the doorway, and grabbed my camera.

The crashes were more frequent up close and with the sun higher in the sky. I resisted touching until I had snapped my last shot, and then I put out my hand and brushed over a heavily-laden pine sapling, bent almost double under the weight. Hollow ice needles slid away, stinging my fingers and slipping into my palm to melt reproachfully. I did not touch it again. Let the sunlight and the warmth free the tree; my sympathy lies equally with the shorter-lived ice crystals this morning. I walked back, trying to make sure I would always remember how the trees fade, ghost-grey, smoke grey, into the clouds at the horizon, and how fire and ice combined in loveliness on the morning after the storm. I came back inside to a chat with a friend and an email from another who said he was thinking of me and sent me pictures to remind me how much I admire the way he sees the world, too -- he saw beauty where I would not have thought to look for it.

It's been a good, deeply satisfying morning. I'm on my way to bed -- here's wishing you all an equal share of the love and the joy in my world right now. Take care of yourselves and each other.


Nov. 28th, 2002 01:41 am
kuangning: (Default)
I was looking forward to a quiet, enjoyable shift tonight. We're at 40% occupancy, almost all of which is airline crews. I was on the schedule alone.

Then M. came in and shot that all to hell.

Pet peeve of mine: new employees who think that they know everything so cannot be bothered to ask before they fuck something up royally.

Pet peeve next: new employees who believe they know more than anyone else how the shift "should be" even when they haven't bothered to learn it the way it is.

Pet peeve next: stupid people who can be shown the same thing again and again, do it every time they come in, and still do it wrong when they see it again.

He screwed up checking out the master account for the airline phone calls -- which I told him I would do! -- necessitating getting a manager to fix it.

He's not supposed to be here in the first place, but S. told him he could help. Except he is not helping, he is complicating my shift and I'm spending more time cleaning up his messes than I would have done just going through my daily routine!

I swear, if he touches anything else, I'm going to strangle him with my bare hands. No jury in the land would convict me.
kuangning: (Default)
I went for a short walk around the block, hoping to make myself sleepy. Instead, I feel invigorated. And, oddly enough, small inside my skin. I stumbled on the way in, stubbing my toe against a rock. I reached down to pick it up, and found it was a chunk of amethyst. Very rough, irregular colour, but amethyst, just the same. How long had it been there beside the driveway? Who knows. But it seems like it was waiting for me, although it doesn't feel as though it belongs to me. I will probably pass it on to someone without much notice.

There's so much to discover, so much beauty hidden in plain view, waiting for someone to look at it, to see it. How can I sleep?
kuangning: (thoughtful)
For the record, I love our Southwest crews.

Pilot: checking out of room 906. *flips card onto counter.*
C: yes, sir. you're all set, have a safe flight.
Pilot: (surprised) thanks. when does your shift end?
C: seven. couple of hours to go yet.
Pilot: gonna go home to the husband, cook him a big Sunday breakfast?
C: *chuckle* not likely. you have a good day, hmm?

I walked back into the back to fix some paperwork, he turned away. then I heard "oh, little girl... little girl, I've got some candy for you." He was standing with his crew at the desk, and he did, indeed, have a bag of candy in his hand. I laughed. "I don't think my Mommy would like that." The female co-pilot grinned. "oh, it's all right. you can trust him." He gave candy to everyone in the lobby, with the woman joking that her Mommy didn't train her right as she accepted hers. (There's a TasteTations chocolate mint candy on my dresser right now.) ;) I don't usually wonder where the guests are going when they leave us. Sometimes I'm even just glad to see them on their way. But with the Southwest crews, more than anyone else, it seems, they take some of the sunshine with them when they go. I like my job: they genuinely seem to love theirs. And it's not every airline crew. Continental and America West crews are often sullen. Northwest aren't, but they don't match the sheer joy and fun I see so often in the Southwest crews. I'm remembering all the times when Southwest have come in and stood around talking at the counter long after they've signed in, when other crews sign in and walk away, often not bothering to find out where their other crewmembers are staying before they go to their rooms. Southwest seem like family. Squabbles and all. And the ones who don't, don't come back many times.

I hope they had a safe flight.
kuangning: (thoughtful)
I'm not even looking for him. I'm walking through with a friend, searching for Dougie. We walk through a building, and across from us, R's there, sitting in a chair. He looks up, and I know he's seen us, so we walk over. There's a car seat beside him, and a girl sitting with him, playing with his little daughter, but I know the baby isn't hers. I don't really want to be here, but it is good to see him. I make the introductions, and hold out my hand, but instead of shaking it, he takes it, and we hug. His hair brushes my cheek, and the dream stops. I'm frightened, doubtful, resigned -- but I'm holding him, and something inside me falls into place, against all my reasoning. I wake up when that hug has gone on forever, and I wake up wanting to run. Away and to, at the same time, and equally strongly. So I do nothing but lie there and cry.

It's recurred every time I've slept in the last week.

I'd rather not be dreaming about him. Not because of anything about him, really; it's just that as long as I do not feel constantly pulled, I can continue my life. There is no pressure from him; it is all self-inflicted. I already know this feeling is there. The dream circumstances never occurred, but that hug is straight out of my memories of him. And I am not ready to deal with this, but setting it aside feels like explaining to my very small child that Mommy just doesn't have time right now. It doesn't understand. The fact that I'm terrified makes no difference to it. The fact that I still have pockets of hurt so bitter and so raw that anyone who touches on them gets lashed out at doesn't matter to it. Broken isn't a word that's in my self-description any more. But there are still places that haven't healed.

festering wounds. )

Nowhere in all of this is there room for that nagging dream. When I'm settled, when I have back everything I had two weeks before I went to NY, I won't mind opening the door to this possibility again. I just want a partner, not a benefactor, not a white knight, not a refuge. I am not ever again going to want or allow anyone or anything to stand as a buffer between me and my self, my life, my moods, my debts, my problems, or my choices. Not even wistful little dreams. So I guess it's time I learned how to say "Mommy just doesn't have time right now."

Note: I wrote this and rewrote this and posted this and privatised this and declassified this and privatised this and now I'm leaving it wide open because, well, because I can. Because I needed to say it and I need to say it more than I need to not be seen as making an attack. It's not meant that way, but I'm not letting fear that it'll be taken that way make this decision for me. Read it or don't read it. That is your choice. Saying it or not saying it was mine.

Further note: Everything in here is from only one point of view. It isn't the only one. It's just the only one I can present. All I can tell is how I felt and what I know and believe. I know that my view is incomplete; I keep it in mind. So should anyone else who reads this.
kuangning: (Default)
Quick update to yesterday -- after the bar closed, at about three AM, a phone call. Mother of one of the brides.

C: Thank you for calling the Sheraton Service Promise helpdesk. How may I help you?
M: I just wanted to tell you, in case you don't watch the news, there's been another shooting. (very slurred.)
C: Has there?
M: Yeah. The sniper struck again in Virginia. Isn't that funny?
C: Well, thank you for letting us know. Have a good night.
*she hangs up.*

... so, just how drunk do you have to be to call up the front desk hours before your daughter's wedding to inform them of the latest news break?
kuangning: (Default)
Odd habit I've adopted:

On the ride in to work, I put my headphones on and blast Matchbox Twenty's Mad Season album all the way. If we pull out of the driveway as Angry's starting up, and Last Beautiful Girl is still playing when we pull into the Sheraton, I'm on time. ;) But that's not why I do it.

I do it because I can barely sit still while this album plays, and it helps me to hit the ground running.

So tonight I'm noting this because I have two very drunk wedding parties in the bar. The weddings are tomorrow. Sleep is apparently not on the agenda. Ahh, well. At least they're happy drunks. If a bit, erm, tactile. I wore a skirt tonight, and I'm guessing it lowers the intimidation factor or something, because thus far I have had my bottom patted, my cheeks pinched, been hugged and high-fived, and been invited to party with them in someone's room. My response to which was to note the room number. It helps to know beforehand where the noise complaints are gonna come from. ;)

I love my job. :)


Oct. 5th, 2002 08:51 am
kuangning: (Default)
so maybe I ought to tell you all now that I'm almost not afraid of jinxing it anymore.

One of the night audit positions at the Sheraton Capital where I work contract security came open this week, since Donna left us on Wednesday. Wednesday night, I was asked/told/ordered to apply for the position, since I already have a good idea of what it entails and fill in occasionally when things are busy. I stayed over on Thursday morning and turned in an app, and thanks to Anne, the hotel supervisor, Michelle, was expecting said application before I'd even agreed to apply. No pressure or anything.

Tonight, it was just Anne and I, so I filled in, as per usual. About two hours ago, this happened.

*ring* *pick up*
"Thank you for calling the Sheraton Capital, this is Cairsten, how may I help you?"
"Cairsten, this is Michelle. Is Anne available?"
"yes, Ma'am, she is. Will you please hold?"
*transfer call to Anne, who's having all sorts of problems keeping a straight face.*
*Anne hangs up.* "if you only answered one call correctly your whole time here, -that- was the call. and you did that just perfectly."

An hour later, this exchange with Michelle.

"thanks for helping out on the phones. are you sure you want this job?"
"yes, Ma'am." (40 hrs/wk, $2/hr more than I'm making now, full benefits after 90 days... she must be joking, right?)
"come on in on Monday and we'll get the paperwork started."

... my app is already filed. but it turns out she needs a background check (not a problem for someone who's just had to go through the checks for the state security license.) I want to give 2 weeks' notice at the current job, but we shall see.

.. and the silly part of all of this is that I still don't see what's so difficult or special about answering the phones correctly. go figure.
kuangning: (quiet)
There are nights when I wonder what the job is worth.

I've worked security for three years, all told. It is a crazy, wonderful, sometimes weary and thankless job. But a necessary one, and one I love. A security officer sees a little of everything, depending on where they're stationed -- more than a cop, sometimes, because this uniform doesn't carry as much weight, and everyone knows it. The client knows it. We, if we are smart, know it. And the people we come up against know it.

Fifteen minutes ago, for the first time since I took a security position, I had my life threatened.

No, it doesn't happen often. Drunks rage at us, some offenders sneer at us, the "rent-a-cops" in our "wannabe police" outfits. But, stone cold sober, to all appearances, a stranger whom I asked to leave the building after a domestic disturbance situation got out of hand looked me in the eye and told me that I was going to "lose my life for my seven-fifty-an-hour job."

My response, more than his threat, scares me.

It's not that I didn't consider the threat. It's not even that I don't, somewhere inside me, know that it might be true. If there ever were a situation that causes or at least contributes to just the sort of circumstance in which someone comes back with a gun, a domestic disturbance is that situation. I'm not a cop. No-one tells contract security they're expected to risk their lives. But a week ago, the night guard at another hotel did just that, and he died.

Knowing all that, I'm looking at a yellow slip of paper on the desk in front of me. What's written on it isn't as important, I don't think, as what it really says.

What it says is that I did the job I was hired to do.

What's the job worth? What's any job worth? Is there any job worth dying? Or even the threat of dying? Damned if I know. I have a feeling my father would say no. My kids, if I could ask them, would probably say the same thing, when it comes to me or anyone else they care about. But my dad was a cop for a long time, took three bullets during those years, and I know he did the job he was hired to do. Twenty years from now, I'll know I've done another job right if my children, despite fear, can say the same thing. The job may not be worth it. Carrying on when you'd like to sit down and just shake for awhile -- that is.

Donna just called in a noise complaint, so this is where I'm going to leave this thought right now. Three hours into my shift, and I've still got a job to do.
kuangning: (exposed)
Mistress Eleri (6:33:17 PM): *augh.* *dies.*
mauvebovine (6:33:50 PM): Eh?
Mistress Eleri (6:34:29 PM): I just opened the door to a guy with a package in his hand, figuring it was some delivery guy.
Mistress Eleri (6:34:47 PM): I am wearing my oldest clothes, no bra, my hair is a mess.
Mistress Eleri (6:34:56 PM): ... it's the *neighbour.*
Mistress Eleri (6:35:01 PM): *dies.*
Mistress Eleri (6:35:18 PM): this is somebody I'm going to *see* again.
Mistress Eleri (6:35:48 PM): can I move to Toledo now? tonight? and never come back?
mauvebovine (6:36:13 PM): Oops.
mauvebovine (6:36:20 PM): Minor problems. ;-)
kuangning: (Default)
A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old
farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next

The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I
have some bad news, the donkey died."

Kenny replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

Kenny said, "OK then, at least give me the donkey."

The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"

Kenny, "I'm going to raffle him off."

Farmer, " You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

Kenny, "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he is

A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What
happened with that dead donkey?"

Kenny, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a
piece and made a profit of $898."

Farmer, "Didn't anyone complain?"

Kenny, "Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars

Kenny grew up and eventually became the chairman of Enron.
kuangning: (Default)
They're not just for hookers and johns anymore.

Two weeks ago, we caught one of the debutantes in a closet. The week before, it had been a (male) prostitute servicing a client in there. This week? Someone decided they're roomy enough to take up residence in.

We're changing the locks again. I somehow don't think it will help, though.
kuangning: (Ami)
97% hotel occupancy. (372 guest rooms, two to four guests per room.)
several hundred debutantes.
two hundred or so airline crewmembers.
Elizabeth Dole.
one fire alarm at 2 AM.
a dozen or so lost room keys because none of the girls in ballroom gowns wanted to carry purses.
much parent-encouraged underage drinking
lusty couple caught in parking lot... and laundry room.. and stairwell... and bathroom.
children in hallways, in service elevators, in stairwells, in back offices -- in short, everywhere they were not supposed to be.

two much-outnumbered security officers.

I'm not scheduled to go back till the debs are gone. For this, I am duly thankful.
kuangning: (disaffected)
He made a malfunction tonight.

I saw one of the officers' lips twitch, and struggled to keep a straight face myself. Sometimes, not laughing is the hardest part of my job. The man in front of us apparently didn't notice. Which, considering the fact that he'd consumed far more alcohol than Paul Bunyan should've been able to put away and still stand up straight, wasn't surprising. It's amazing how quickly one can sober up when confronted with twelve police officers in one's hotel room, I suppose.

Fifteen minutes earlier, it had been a quiet night. Then I had been called down to room 1027, with Anne saying only that it was an "emergency." We'd been talking about deaths in the hotel, and how to handle them, and how none of us had current CPR certifications, so I was more than a little frightened. I stepped off the elevator and rounded the corner at a run, to find Anne and a guest standing outside the closed door. She had her keys in hand, he had personal belongings. I saw no blood, smelled no smoke, heard nothing out of the ordinary, so I slowed down.

"I'm transferring this man to another room," Anne said when I got there. "There are two other guys in there. They were screaming and shouting and breaking things in there a minute ago, and they won't let me in to check the damage, or give me their names." "Wonderful, " I said. "That's not going to be a problem. Do you have a key to the door?" She put her keys in my hand and stepped back. I knocked on the door. "Security." There was scuffling inside, and I heard the bathroom door close, but no-one answered. I knocked again. "Security." Still no answer. I love these kinds of moments. I shrugged at Anne, who looked worried, and then I stepped back just far enough to be in view from the eyehole. "You gentlemen have a choice. You can either open the door now and let me assess the damage, or I can go downstairs, call the police, and let them handle it. Which would you prefer?"

The door opened. )
kuangning: (thoughtful)
The ways people react to it shouldn't surprise me anymore. Sure, there are two main camps -- roughly, "submissive" and "defiant" -- but the variation within them are sometimes startling. On the one hand, you get the people who react like you've prodded them with hot tongs whenever they see you. And then you get... the Others.

I got a taste of each last night.

The night starts off with an "awareness round." It's the first patrol of the night, just after I've been briefed, when I go check all the doors, let the staff know who's on duty and that I've got the Nextel on. It's usually when I figure out pretty concretely what the tone of the night is and why the previous guard looked so worried. I generally end the patrol with the bar, because if there's a problem, the bar is usually where it is. And if I'm going to get stuck there, I want to not worry about what else hasn't been checked yet. Besides, with the ballrooms directly above, the bar is a good vantage point. The ballrooms are the other hot spot anyway.

Well, last night I walked into the bar and took my usual spot, standing just inside the doorway. The crowd was subdued for a Friday night, but I couldn't figure out why for a couple of minutes. (Trust me, with our usual Friday nights, one doesn't look that sort of gift horse in the mouth.) However, after a minute or two...

"Excuse me, officer. Are we doing something wrong?"

I looked over -- the question's coming from a worried-looking man standing near a corner table. Built like a brick wall, he's got to be seven feet if he's an inch. But the expression on his face is "little boy about to be taken behind the woodshed." I smiled. "No, sir. I'm just observing. Killing a few minutes at the end of my patrol." He didn't buy it. Instead, he got more assertive. "Well, I mean, you've been standing here watching everything. Why are you here if we're not doing anything wrong?" Erm, maybe because it's my job. "Because it's as good a place as any to end my patrol, sir." "Well, I'd appreciate it if you'd go somewhere else. I'm a paying guest, I pay my tab, and I don't pay to have someone standing over me." He's raising his voice by this point, and I'm beginning to wonder exactly what it is he is so worried about. About thirty seconds later, I find out. Because three young-looking girls appear from the back and occupy the table. He's been buying them drinks -- turns out, only one of them is twenty-one. I called the Raleigh P.D. End of story for me, as all four are escorted off the premises.

And then.

And then.

Among our other guests, is a Gay Bowling Team named -- and I swear to God I could NOT make this up if I tried -- the Grab Its.

They were good guests, for the most part. I wasn't completely happy with the way they were treated, but I'm not exactly customer service -- I am a customer liaison simply because I'm among them so often, but I'm not Guest Services. We had two noise complaints regarding them, nothing out of the ordinary for a high-spirited group of guys. I was largely ignoring them. Until I did my second patrol, and on the door of 1523 there's a note. There's a Do Not Disturb sign, of course, and frankly, it's one of those things which make me truly thankful to our airline crews. They come in, go to bed, put up the Do Not Disturbs, and sleep like the dead until 5:30 AM. So whenever I see one of the signs, I mentally write it off as "airline crew wanting to sleep," and go no further. Saves my peace of mind. Really, it does. But anyway. I look at the note: it's addressed to security, states that he's noticed I do patrols of the floors, and asks that he be "given" about thirty minutes, because he's "in with someone."

Eww. Euww. EUWW!

Here's how it goes, kids. The uniform doesn't make me your mother confessor. Straight, bi, try, I don't care. I don't wanna know. I won't knock on your door unless you send for me or you're disturbing your neighbours.

I removed the note, shook my head, and walked away. Just another night at the hotel. Wonder what they've got in store for me tomorrow.

September 2015

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