Archive for the ‘Hotel Hell’ Category



While I Was Out

This is what I did during my blogging hiatus, in no particular order:

  • Kicked Rocco out
  • Got fired
  • Decided to write, organize and produce my own version of Food Court Musical
  • Learned how to make homemade candy bars
  • Signed up for unemployment
  • Worked my way up to the number one and number five spots, respectively, on Facebook’s “Addicted to Angel” and “Addicted to Buffy” trivia applications
  • Gave up my dream of being in the roller derby
  • Realized unemployment will not keep me from being homeless…
  • …Began bathing dogs for Aunt Doodie in exchange for her paying my rent
  • Started taking a yoga class
  • Got cable TV with a DVR
  • Spent a lot of time with Aunt Doodie musing about how we would survive on a deserted island
  • Started working on building a freelance career, which will theoretically enable me to stay home so I can play “Addicted to Angel/Buffy” Facebook applications and watch the DVR all day long
  • Successfully completed a ten-day cleansing fast
  • Entertained at my home twice in one week — a record!
  • Found out my Aunt Shelley has cancer
  • Realized I am not equipped to write, organize and produce my own version of Food Court Musical, so enlisted the help of my friends
  • Became obsessed with sushi and ate it almost every day for two weeks
  • Lost nine pounds
  • Spent a lot of time daydreaming about how Nathan Fillion and I would live on a deserted island, using Aunt Doodie’s survival ideas and my “tons of free time” ideas
  • Attended the Slayage Conference, where Rhonda Wilcox saw my name tag, remembered me, and asked why I never formally submitted my paper
  • Made my home almost totally chemical free
  • Became disgusted by sushi and vowed to never eat it again
  • Found out my cousin Bailey is having another baby
  • Learned how to fry an egg perfectly
  • Bought a plane ticket to LA for the WD party in October
  • Twisted Cindy’s arm until she agreed to visit me this summer
  • Ate more sushi
  • Found, loved and lost my precious Dr. Horrible
  • Lost a toenail


Pissed. Off. AGAIN.

(A companion piece to Pissed. Off.)

Today I took a half-day off work to take care of Car Stuff. I had to file for a lost title on the old car with the shattered windshield; assess, register and tag the new car; and renew my driver’s license.

I took care of the first two items with no problem, but I couldn’t get my license renewed because the Revenue Office (Arkansas’ version of the DMV) couldn’t access the statewide database due to a computer glitch. This was a problem because my license expires on my birthday — which is tomorrow.

As a result, I had to take off work early today (after already taking off a half day, mind you) so I could go to another Revenue Office. I chose to go to the one in my hometown (that is, the town I grew up in) because it’s less than a mile from my parents’ house and I had some delicious leftovers to give my daddy. I was 1/10 of a mile from Daddy’s when a vehicle ran a stop sign and broadsided me on the driver’s side of my new car.*

So I spun around a few times in the middle of the highway, narrowly missing two other cars and the group of kids that the school bus had just dropped off at the local day care center. The car came to a stop in the parking lot of the local funeral home. (Heh.)

So, yeah. Another car, another accident. What the hell? At least all the important paperwork was easily accessible since I’d just registered it that morning. (Hell, I hadn’t even put the new license plate on yet. It was on the passenger floorboard.)

But as Rocco pointed out, I can keep having accidents so long as I’m not at fault and the other driver’s insurance pays more for the repair than the car is actually worth. (Which happened last time, and I ended up with some nice pocket money.)

*Yes, yes. The “new” car is new to me, not off-the-lot new. But still!



Cleaning House

I meant for the post title to demonstrate that I’m mentioning a lot of little things that I keep forgetting to post about, but I have been cleaning house. Every day. Thanks to FlyLady. You should really try it out. Your house will be clean and you won’t even have to plan what to do or when to do it.

Remember that whole thing with my boss’s inability to take responsibility and do her job? Last Monday I contacted our area manager, who’s responsible for employee issues. He was horrified by my story and assured me the issue would be addressed. On Wednesday my boss told me she was writing me up because there was 75 minutes of overtime on the last payroll. I’m also losing part of my bonus for November. The 75 minutes of overtime meant we paid someone $5 more. I’m not even kidding.

Tomorrow Rocco and I are going to church together. It will be the first time I’ve attended religious services in exactly one year.

I have five unread comic books sitting on my nightstand. This is a sentence I’d have never typed exactly one year ago.

My middle sister LaTasha has created a blog tracking my mother’s recovery from her medical nightmare.

Meghan has a link on her blog to some terrifically cute hand-made hair bows. My youngest sister Kyli should keep these in mind for her daughter, Tayden. They’re extra-super cute.

bettie has some photos of the WGA Strike from Mutant Enemy Day at Fox. You can see Joss Whedon’s arm and enough of Nathan Fillion to make me salivate. bettie was on the picket line.

The colon cleanse/total body purification is going nicely. No discomfort, no diarrhea, and no funny smells oozing from my pores.

Confession: I was disappointed that I didn’t win a NaBloPoMo prize. I think that, subconsciously, I thought that I was supposed to win a prize, karmically speaking. Because, let’s be honest: between my mother’s brain exploding and the shit at work and the near-decapitation event, the final quarter of 2007 kind of sucked. But then I thought that karma would bite me in the ass for thinking karma owed me. And then my head sort of exploded in that vicious circle sort of way, so I stopped thinking about it.

The Christmas tree and decorations are in place. Rocco tried to hang gym socks from the mantle for stockings. Naturally, I objected.

If you know any wealthy people who like to give Christmas gifts to strangers, please tell them I’d like a basic digital camera so I can participate in 12 of 12, a “blank” spice rack so I can put what I want/need/use in it, and a personal assistant whose sole responsibility is to clean the litter box.



Pissed. Off.

Tonight I was on the interstate about three miles from home when something struck my windshield with great force, shattering it. My initial reaction was, “That asshole. I’m chasing him down. ” Then I realized I couldn’t see to chase him because, you know, the windshield was shattered. Once I was pulled over to the shoulder, I took note of the damage. Basically, my windshield was spider-webbed from one end to the other, with a giant hole on the driver’s side at what would be a couple of inches above my head. I was covered in glass; it was in my hair, stuck to my face, all over my clothes, down my shirt — it was even in my shoes. I was afraid to unbuckle my seat belt and get out of the car because there was so much glass on me. I called 911.

I later learned that the semi (cab only) in front of me was towing another semi cab. The plate covering the fuel tank had flown off the truck, which was traveling at 70 mph (112 km) before crashing into my windshield. It struck with such force that the metal plate rended in two. One piece struck the SUV behind me; the other piece flew across the median and into the northbound traffic. The gentleman driving the SUV behind me chased down the driver of the semi cab and told him what had happened. (The SUV driver, as it turns out, is an insurance adjuster.)

Rocco came to take me home after I filed the police report. As soon as I got home, I called my boss and told her that I could be on call via phone, but if the night auditor at the hotel called in I could not possibly come in. You need to understand that I started this job four months ago and have been on call 24 hours a day, every day since the day I started. The only two days I haven’t been on call was the day my mother went into a coma and the day of the costume party. I get at least three work-related phone calls at home each night. I have been called in nine times to work the night audit, immediately after which I worked the day shift, pulling a double. My boss said, and I quote, “Who are you going to get to come in if the night auditor calls in?”

And… I can’t even finish the story. It is so long and detailed and infuriating that it’s kind of making me physically ill just thinking about it. So here’s all I’m telling you. The night auditor called in. The boss refused to take the shift.

I’m not kidding. Tonight I was almost decapitated by a piece of metal traveling 70 miles an hour. My car is not drivable. And my boss wanted me to work the night shift after working a nine-hour shift today.

I’m not doing it, by the way. After two hours of trying, we got someone to cover the shift until the auditor can come in. But I am furious and sort of nauseated.



Long Night, Big Day

Today I was in the garage at 9:15 a.m. literally getting into my car to leave for work. (On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I work from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) It was at that point that my boss called to tell me our area manager was coming in tonight to observe our night audit procedures, so I needed to work from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. And also, I needed to be back at 7 a.m. the following morning. Gahhhh! So I piddled around, hung out with Aunt Doodie, spent an hour in Wal-Mart, and cleaned my bedroom. I squeezed in a short nap, but I sort of forced it on myself because, hello! I’d been awake only six hours!

I got to work at 4:59, and at 5:03 I realized that I’d put my cellphone in one pocket and Rocco’s in the other. Double gahhhh! So I had to drive 30 miles back home to give him his phone. At that point I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to get off work at 2 a.m. and return at 7 a.m. while factoring in the drive and the shower. That would give me, like, three hours of sleep. So I decided to pull a double, which means I’ll work from 5 p.m. this evening until 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

This is going to work out okay, though. Rocco gets off work at 11 a.m., and I’m going to meet him in Jacksonville and buy a mattress for my bed. Our schedules are such that the only time we’re together during the day is on Sundays, which is not a day generally known for mattress shopping. So with any luck, by noon tomorrow I’ll have a new mattress. (And my current thirty-year-old mattress will be on the guest bed, which currently has a blow-up bed that’s completely deflated thanks to some devilish kittens.)



Awesome Day!

Tonight Rocco made homemade Pad Thai.

I know!!!

Also, today I bought $400 worth of candy bars.

I know!!!



I’m Some Kind of Lazy

I’m so lazy that I’m cross posting this (in part) from an email to my friend Jimmy.

The end of last week was pretty busy at work because [the local university’s) Family Weekend, a rodeo, and a giant family reunion were all in town. We were full for, like, four days straight. And I was the representative at the hotel’s booth at the business expo last Thursday and Friday, so I was there all day and worked pretty late into the early evening those days, plus worked the first and third shifts on Saturday because I had to train a new person on night audit. Guhhhhhhh. I was exhausted, and Sunday was my only day off. Not much you can do with your day off when you don’t get off until 7 a.m. that morning and have to go back at 7 a.m. the next morning.

I did manage to accomplish some stuff, though. I painted this thing in my room. It’s a large custom-made kitchen island on wheels with a detailed design on the sides made out of some sort of wood. (I think it’s pine.) The people who lived in my townhouse before me just left it there, probably because it’s crazy heavy. Plus, one of the wheels was off of it. So this weekend I painted it black to match my bedroom furniture. (My bedroom furniture came out of several boxes from Wal-Mart. I put it together myself!) I was pretty proud of my paint job, and I managed to attach the missing wheel. Even Rocco complimented me on it. When Rocco does a home improvement project — well, it’s like when you do a home improvement project. He’s got to draw up plans and set up a time line and color code stuff. Except you code in primary colors and Rocco uses pastels. (Kidding! Just kidding! But that was funny, wasn’t it?) Anyway, when I get a compliment from Rocco about a home improvement project, I’m pleased. Unfortunately, I don’t think I washed his good paintbrush out enough, even though I rinsed it for about 10 minutes. I’ve hidden the paintbrush from him. There’s no way that’s going to end well. When Rocco loans you his tools or implements — well, it’s like when you loan me your tools or implements.

My owner has been a complete dick this week, and there’s a lot of tension at the hotel. Some shit’s going down, and I want to come out smelling like a rose.

A representative from Timber Ridge, the facility in Benton that specializes in brain injuries, evaluated Mama on Tuesday. She’s an ideal candidate for the facility, but now we have to see if her insurance will pay for it. Timber Ridge will accept patients only if their insurance covers it. Here’s hoping.

And in the middle of all that shit, I managed to take my cats to the vet, clean my bathroom from top to bottom, make homemade chicken noodle soup, watch the first two seasons of Weeds on DVD, and play with my awesome new laptop.



Moving On, Up and Out

10:13 pm · category: Hotel Hell, House Calls

So, lots to cover. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

I love my current job as Director of Guest Services at a large, full-service hotel in an upscale part of Little Rock. Nevertheless, tomorrow is my last day. When I accepted the promotion to DGS, one of the things I specifically asked was if I would continue to work nights. (At the time, I was primarily the Manager on Duty for the 3-11 shift.) I was told — not once, but twice — that whether or not I worked nights would be up to me, as I would be making my own schedule from that point forward. And I did — up until June, when the General Manager began putting me on the 3-11 shift for occasional MOD shifts. That was the point when things got crazy, because suddenly I was working 9-6 one day, then 3-11 the next, then 7-3 the next. And on top of that, I was suddenly scheduled to work 12 days straight, had one day off, and then was scheduled for 13 more consecutive days. My body just can’t take the absence of routine that a schedule like that requires.

As luck would have it, the company I used to work for as the General Manager of a limited-service property needed an Assistant General Manager for a property they own. In fact, it’s at the first hotel I ever worked at, so I know the property backwards and forwards. I accepted the job, even though it means a paycut of about $6,000 annually. But I’m okay with that, because the new job is only 20 minutes from my house, as opposed to the 45-minute drive I’m making right now. I’ll also be working 7-4, Monday through Friday, and on call every other weekend. That’s way better than 25 days straight in crazy schedule land with one day off in the middle.

Leaving the full-service hotel is really sort of depressing because I like so many of the people I work with. I’ve also mentioned before that this hotel is undergoing a $12 million renovation and will be changing brands soon. As the DGS, a big part of my job has been getting the staff prepared for that change and to make sure all brand standards are met. I’m actually ahead of schedule, so even though the change won’t come until July 07, I’ve got everything in place for the transition to be effortless. I’ve since learned that the hotel does not plan to replace me, which indicates to me that my work here is truly done. It also didn’t help that I found out a mere 10 minutes after turning in my resignation that one of the young men I hired to be a bellman was offered (and accepted) a full-time, salaried management position making more money than I was. This really chaps my hide, because the young man had exactly two months of hotel experience as a bellman, whereas I have two years of management experience, am a certified general manager, and have four degrees. It’s a good thing I had given two weeks’ notice, because I’d probably have just walked out when I found that out.

In other news, I’m moving! Right now I’m in a lovely two-bedroom, one and one-half bath townhouse. I like it very much and just assumed I’d be there until I moved to another town, whenever that might have been. But a couple of weeks ago my aunt and uncle bought a new house, and they asked me to move into their current home for a minimal ($40 a month) difference in rent. Come Friday, I’ll be moving into a three bedroom, two bath, two-car garage house with a fenced-in yard (With a creek running through it: Bonus!), two-tiered deck, and swimming pool. I feel all fancy now. But where the hell am I going to get enough furniture to fill up a house that size? I’m accepting donations. ;)



On the Brain, But Not In the Gut

5:22 pm · category: Hotel Hell

Yesterday I was asking a co-worker about the schedule for installing items on our newly renovated third floor, which should roll out in the next three weeks. When he asked what kinds of items I meant, I got stuck. I knew what I wanted to say in my head, but my mouth simply could not form the words. After six seconds of dead silence, I finally blurted, “Mashed potatoes and gravy!”

What I had meant to say was “irons and ironing boards.” The words were in my head. But my brain absolutely would not let me say it until I’d said “mashed potatoes and gravy.” It was like I had a one-time Tourette’s episode.

I later realized that it was 6:20 p.m., and the only thing I’d eaten all day was 8 ounces of string cheese.



Out of the Closet

2:36 pm · category: Hotel Hell

My hotel is undergoing an extensive ($12 million) renovation, so everything is all crazy, all the time. The lobby, restaurant and bar have been gutted, so a suite on the first floor is our temporary lobby. The computers we use for check ins/outs are set up at the suite’s mini bar, which means we went from 22 feet of front desk space to approximately six; two clerks can work the computers at the same time, but only if they literally stand shoulder to shoulder.

This also means, of course, that office space is at a premium. When we moved to the new “lobby,” they put my office in a closet. Now, I know that a lot of office drones describe their tiny offices or cubicles as closets because it’s descriptive, but I’m being very literal here. And it wasn’t even a walk-in closet; no, it was just a tiny, regular closet. It had space for one schoolie on which I could put my computer and all other necessary items, with about three inches to spare on the side. This means that my closet was approximately 6.5 feet long and 2.5 feet deep.

Last week I had enough. I just couldn’t take it any more. I ultimately finagled my way into the temporary business center. I am thrilled to be out of the closet.