6 Hours

My record for shortest employment use to be thirty days when I was seventeen. Now, at the age of thirty-six I have beat that record. Recently, I lasted one day-six hours to be exact, at a resort with a great ocean view. Just to be clear, I quit. To date I have never been fired from a job. I’ve been cleaning houses for extra money, so I thought a housekeeping job at a motel/hotel wouldn’t be much different. Cleaning is cleaning, wiping away germs and fecal matter of strangers is the same anywhere. Right?

I was hired at one of the nicer places in my town, but now I’m thinking I may have had a better experience at one of the smaller, “please come in, WE HAVE HBO,” establishments. I was hired at the end of my interview, and before I left, the manager of the resort introduced me to the head housekeeper, who was to be my trainer. I was also introduced to my first problem.

If you’ve seen the movie, “Pitch Perfect,” you know all about the character, Lilly, the quiet whisper girl, no one could understand. This was my trainer. 100%. No exaggeration. I guessed at everything she said and responded appropriately. I also questioned my hearing since her vocal level didn’t seem to be an issue for anyone else around. I assume they’re just use to it. Like, how a mother is usually the only one who can understand her rambling toddler.

I had a few days between my interview and first day on the job, and in that time I convinced myself that when she trains her voice probably elevates, and goes into vocal beast mode.

It does not.

On THE day I arrive at ten in the morning, get introduced to other employees, who all seem nice, but there seems to be some issues in the air. I’m ushered into the back office to fill out paperwork, and the manager turns on her heels quickly back out to the front, mumbling about someone not showing up for work this morning. A straight up no-show without calling. I dreaded those when I worked in retail. Another employee arrives and introduces herself to me. After a couple pleasantries she asks me if I smoke.

“No,” I said.

“Good,” she says. “Those girls that smoke on their breaks will stab you in the back.”

A “hmm” facial expression is all I could muster. I didn’t have any desire to pick up what she was putting down. I had only been there ten minutes for Christ’s sake! I didn’t want any part of workplace hostility.

My trainer had been shoveling a giant waffle in her mouth, quite loudly funny enough, and also heard everything Ms. Positivity had to say, and didn’t say anything like, “That’s inappropriate.” Or maybe she did say something, how would I know. Once I finished the paperwork I came to the conclusion that Ms. Trainer might be storing pieces of waffle in her mouth, and must whisper to keep them in place.

In any case it was time to learn how to clean the rooms.

First I’m taken to the housekeepers supply/ laundry room. It was a hot mess. Clean sheets were thrown atop a table, mangled and twisted. The shelves where you were supposed to grab most supplies, such as, towels, blankets, different sized sheets, and comforters were mostly empty. Random supplies were strewn about. The entire layout didn’t make sense. The room was in desperate need of an organizing makeover. Ms. Trainer was grabbing this and that, moving from here to there, without explaining one single thing. The only thing I learned was the manager was also the owner…I guess. I was sure of at least every fifth word out of her mouth throughout the day. And it was the owner’s husband doing the laundry, making the different sized mangled sheet pile larger. I meet another housekeeper talking with Ms. Positive, who walked in shortly after I did.

She proceeds to start talking about the no-show.

“She’s probably with Carly’s husband. She’s too busy with everyone else’s husband to show up for work.”

The owner’s husband says nothing.

I’m already over this work environment. I don’t care if the smokers are backstabbers, and I don’t care if no-show is a homewrecker, what is worse than all of that, is gossipers, and cliques. With no sign of an authority figure putting that crap in check. Sure, maybe informing me the smoking circle carry knives was doing me a solid, but I should be able to make my own decisions about people. And maybe Ms. Positive has a perception problem and is a raging bitch.

Moving on from that, we have put cleaning products, towels, and sheets on a cart. Ms. Trainer is going to do a few rooms with me, and then I’m supposed to do a few alone. Normally, a housekeeper would do eight rooms at least in a six-hour shift. Only spending thirty minutes or less in each room. And the faster you are, the more money you make. We go to another supply room where you get toiletries, coffee, and cups for the rooms. She explains all this stuff goes into a caddy, which then goes on the cart. Every housekeeper has their own caddy, but there aren’t any extras, so I’ll have to figure something out. Oh, okay.

On to the first room. First we strip the room of used sheets, towels and garbage. Ms. Trainer has suggested not to wear gloves, but I could if I wanted to. She said she worked better without them, so I chose not to as well. As soon as I picked up my first dirty, wet towel I regretted that decision. So gross, so gross, was all I thought.

I always wore gloves when I cleaned houses. Plus, I knew who I was cleaning after.

Notice, I did not say we stripped blankets or comforters. I already had a suspicion I wouldn’t be replacing the top comforter, but the blanket?! Ew. I was told only if I see a stain or if it feels wet, do I replace the blanket. Ew. We proceed to strip and make the beds, two queens. They’re not strict on folding corners of the top sheet and blanket underneath, but I did get a lesson on folding the top sheet over the blanket (that was last washed God only knows when) at the head of the bed, which was way more complicated than it sounds. Instead of tucking the ends under, they are left hanging, that means your double fold had to stay. Mine continued to come undone. A hot panic attack flash washed over me. It was one of those simple, yet complicated things. Logically you know you’ll get better over time, but this was making me angry. I wish I had a picture to show exactly how she said to do the fold.

Next we moved on to the bathroom. Pretty basic until I watched her make fans and a swan with wash cloths. She didn’t ask me to try while I watched, even though that would have been a good idea. I was shown all the other basic cleaning stuff, and then we went to the next room. After repeating everything two more times my back was killing me. Since I was hit by a drunk driver in 2005 my back hasn’t been the same. Making the beds and the constant bending became torture. I still did my best to move like I wasn’t in any kind of pain.

I was supposed to do three rooms by myself, but Ms. Trainer only left me alone for the final room. Before I started I took a ten minute break. I only brought an energy bar with me. No water or anything to drink, not very smart on my part. I was told I could buy a water, so I go in the back office to get money out of my purse. A nice young lady tells me there is a container of water in the refrigerator, and random cups on top of the refrigerator I can use. At this point my throat is painfully dry, and my back feels like it’s been stabbed twenty times with one of those kitchen knives, you know the ones, the ones in the movies people always get stabbed with. So I grab a cup, pour the water, and gulp. I glance down to see clumps of dirt and dust floating in the water. The young lady is at the only sink washing cups, and she knows I already drank from the cup, so how do I wash it without her knowing I already drank dirt. Or at least I guess that was my thought process, I don’t know, my brain was fried, I was working with a low-level of brain functions, and I was miserable. So miserable, and so full of not caring I continued to drink my dirt water. Oh, hell yes, I did.

In my solo room I finish Making the beds and I am very ready to throw up. I vacuum, dust, sweep the balcony, wash sliding glass doors, scrub the toilet, bathtub, get on my knees to wipe the bathroom floor with a cloth, as I was shown, and that dirt water is definitely not agreeing with me.

Now it’s time for towel origami. I have to make two fans and a swan. The swan was supposed to look like this…

towelswan

Pretty basic as far as towel swans go. But I could not do this to save my life. By the way, I already spent an hour and fifteen minutes in this room. I was told normally first timers take forty-five minutes at the most. My back wasn’t going to allow that. This towel swan was not going to allow that. At least I didn’t have to attempt something like this…

towelswan2

My lack of towel origami skills almost pushed me to walk out before my six-hour shift was over, and let the manager know I would never be returning. I’m not generally a quitter, but the reality was my body was not going to be able to keep up with the demands of this job. Plus, making shapes with towels is stupid. When I walk into a motel/hotel/resort I could care less about the shape of my towels.

I found Ms. Trainer in another room. “Could you show me how to do the swan again?”

“I’ll do it later,” she said. Again, I’m assuming. But yeah, the effort she was putting into this training matched the effort she put into the volume of her voice.

The six hours end, and I walk up to the boss to thank her for this great opportunity, but this occupation isn’t for me. But before I can say anything she says, “I know today was kind of rough, but I hope you come back tomorrow?”

“Sure, sure,” I said. I very much punked out.

When I got home I cried from the pain in my back. I cried at the thought of returning the next day. I cried remembering how the stark white towels mocked me with their lack of swan shape. I cried wondering what the hell sort of disease I drank from that cup.

At eight o’clock the next morning I called and said I could not continue working there. She thanked me for at least letting them know.

So with that my career as a hotel slave was over. And I will never have to knock on a door and say, “Hello, housekeeping. Housekeeping.” Knock, knock. “Housekeeping!”

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Things I Should Do In 2014

NOT RESOLUTIONS

**Purchase a purple zip up hoodie.

Reason: I love purple. Why do I not have one already?

**Start watching Breaking Bad and Dexter on Netflix.

Reason: I think I’m just supposed to so I can be accepted by society.

**Learn how to sew/crochet.

Reason: No. Never mind. I’m already bored with thinking about it.

Seriously though who wouldn’t want to be able to make this…

Cozy: Like a boss.

**Try to control the actions of others more…wait, I mean relax when people don’t do what I know is best, and work myself up to an anxious ninth level of hell state. Plus, not to get anxious in general…about everything.

Maniacal Musings Part Three

1. In October I came across a television show called, “The People’s Couch” on the Bravo channel. For thirty minutes I watched people, watching T.V., and having exaggerated reactions to reality and scripted shows.

It was inane. This show was based on a U.K. program called, “Gogglebox,” which I hope was in some way more entertaining than this. I felt like I time travelled to a future where humans have become completely brain dead, and Kim Kardashian was president. How else could such a thing be available on my television. Thankfully, for my sanity it was cancelled after only three episodes. Sadly, I found an article titled, “People’s Couch Cancelled too Soon.” Bullshit. It should have never existed in the first place. And for future reference if you want a realistic view of people in their home watching T.V., the average American doesn’t watch it like this…

Or this…

peepcouch4

They watch it like this…

And like this…

2. Now let’s completely change the subject.

The only truth I know about life: One day your mom is telling you not to forget to wear a jacket, and before you know it, she’s shelf decoration in a box that looks like a 5th grade paper mache project.

(Picture: Not actually my mother, but similar.) This is what you get when you haven’t picked something out around here, so it got me searching for new options. And my God, there are some interesting options…

The chocolate box urn for a fair price of $1,200. I wouldn’t mind this as my final resting place.

Now this next one is very practical…

The urn ashtray. Price unknown.

For the diva in your family, which is actually titled, “The Diva Urn”

Or for someone who just loved purses. Also, if you desire to conveniently carry them around. $995

Now, for the one that was sold out on the website decorativeurns.com…for Dr. Who fans

Because who wouldn’t want the Doctor Who police box urn as a birthday gift. $950

And last but not least, the most classy one of all… $2.58

The best part about this: I got to start a conversation with my husband like this, “So I was looking at urns today, and I know what I want to put you in…”

AreUseserious2

Happy Holidays!

Maniacal Musings Part Two

–I heard French fry vending machines may be popping up in the U.S. They’re already in Belgium and making their way to Iran, Croatia, and Chile. And some people have the nerve to say there is no God.

Actually, I believe this gets us one step closer to the morbidly obese futuristic world portrayed in WALL-E.

–I’m tired of looking at Miley Cyrus’s pelvic muscles just like everyone else, but after she recently hosted Saturday Night Live, I see this headline, “MILEY BLASTED BY STROKE ASSOCIATION OVER SNL TONGUE JOKE.” First of all, who knew there was a stroke association, because I sure as hell didn’t. Secondly, it’s a satirical comedy show, and she most certainly didn’t write her own lines. The joke in question was during the opening sketch where Miley was asked, why she keeps sticking her tongue out.


Her response, “I’m having tiny strokes, yo!”

Oh Lawd! Then here comes the stroke police, “Mini strokes are no laughing matter…and sticking your tongue out is not a sign of having one.” Look, my own mother had a mini stroke and a massive stroke, and I still believe EVERYTHING in life is a laughing matter. As a matter of fact, laughing at life’s tragedies can be quite healing. Good grief, jokes about strokes even rhymes, they’re totally meant to go together! Calm your tits, Stroke Association, and realize making jokes about serious matters does in no way, shape, or form take away from their seriousness.

–Fact: I don’t care how old you are, if a brand new box of 64 Crayola crayons does not bring you joy, then you have no soul. I hope the, “Soul Association” doesn’t blast me for saying that because being soulless is no laughing matter.

–It’s, “Tales of the Tampon” time! I was told the most awesome story by a friend the other day. Most importantly I have her permission to share it. (I’ll condense the story to save time and sanity) She was on her way to work where they can’t easily get to their lockers during breaks. She had the genius idea of throwing the tampons she needed in her lunch bag, so she could conveniently snatch’em from the break room. Which of course means THEY ARE SITTING IN THE REFRIGERATOR. It never occurred to the woman this would create a tampon with an undesired side effect. Which is called, “Brrrr vagina Syndrome.” She tried rubbing it between her hands to no avail. She walked around for about ten minutes being violated by the cold intrusion. Luckily, no one asked what was wrong. Unfortunately, a bit of her self-confidence in the ability to think things through died that day. I enjoyed this story immensely, and the more you picture it, the more enjoyable it becomes. At least her lunch was not required to go in the freezer. However, there is a part of me that wants to put one in the refrigerator out if curiosity. Don’t judge.


Some of these might come in handy…

Maniacal Musings

— A flexing anus in my face. Nails trying to claw my eyes out. The dogs. They are the only alarm clock I need.

— No matter how many times I look up the word “necessary” I cannot retain its correct spelling. Spellcheck just fixed it, again. My brain is holding some sort of grudge against it. It seems to be my word Bermuda triangle. I always get lost in the middle, scramble around, get disoriented, and never find my way out.

— I don’t like the hour 4pm to 5pm. Yeah, I don’t know. I need therapy to figure that one out.

— You never know when an anonymous threatening letter will need to be put together. Which is apparently why I have one year’s worth of Entertainment Weekly magazines. Or maybe one day my daughter will need to do a book report on the Hunger Games

— I am a 33-year-old, white, married, mother of one, living on the Oregon coast, and all day today April 4, 2012, I’ve had a song stuck in my head. The song: I’m In Love With A Stripper By: T-Pain

Fucking idiot! My lips enjoy nothing better, than forming those words. I love the way it sounds, I love the way it feels. It warms me like a fresh spring day.

— Someone, anyone, please hear my plea. For the greater good of the world, please stop making Nicholas Sparks books into movies. He can write a million books, but his stories must stop being put on the big screen. Putting absurdly good-looking people in those movies doesn’t make them worth your time, your money or you know, improve the story in any way.

P.S. Here is the plot of them all: Love feels good. Love hurts. Love is bittersweet. Love is a bitch, then someone must die. However, if you feel like you might be an emotional cripple, then go ahead, watch these sappy piles of poo, and test your tear-o-meter.

All sarcastic quips aside, individually some of these movies have qualities that may qualify them as, “okay.” But as a collective they’re too much. Just too much…of something.

Some Delicious Recipes and Me Giving Health Advice Again?

Let’s dive right in.

Home Remedies: When My Kiddie Is Sick It’s Ginger Root Time

For years now, not only when I’m sick, but whenever I can work it into my busy day, I try to ingest a piece of raw ginger root. You can find this in the produce aisle of your local grocery store…hopefully. I use to cut a small 1/2 inch piece off the root and just pop in my mouth, chew, and swallow, but it burns hot-like-fi-ya! So, I decided to stop torturing myself and stick it inside of a banana. It also adds some kick and health goody-goods to oatmeal. Skin a piece of root and then grate into the oatmeal. With ginger powering through your system you’re ready to take on the day.

I sound like a bad infomercial.

When it comes to a kid with a cold, it’s all about the tea. I’m not clear on the minimum age to give a child ginger, but I didn’t give my daughter any until she was eight years old. I still don’t give a raw chunk, or in grated form. That might be considered child cruelty until they’re a teenager. Instead I’ll slice a small piece, put it in a cup with either ginseng tea, or any black tea. Pour in boiling water, let it sit a few minutes, then add lemon and honey to taste, which also have healing properties. My daughter likes a small straw (that used to be a big straw until I cut it), and to let me know how many lemon seeds I let get in the cup. Try your hardest to get out the lemon seeds, and to not let the kiddo eat the piece of ginger, or screaming may ensue. This has improved congestion, sore throat, and can help calm upset tummies.

Aloe Vera: Nature’s Slimy Goodness

My mother has had an aloe plant as long as I can remember. Now, I have several. Aloe vera has a thousand uses. Either from the bottle at the drug store, or the gel straight from the plant, use as a moisturizer, it’s great on sunburns, and all life’s little skin boo boos. Not only is it a helpful topical presence in your life, but it can also go inside the human body for all around immune system boosting. From the plant, take a few “leaves” (said with upward inflection) okay, I think they’re called leaves, well, the long green things growing out of the dirt. Take those and peel them. Scraping as much of the gel as possible into a container. After gutting 2-3 gel filled things, add almost a gallon of water, or however much your container will allow, and shake together. Put in the fridge and once it’s cold give at least a cup a day to your child, or yourself if you dare. I do not suggest taking or giving at room temperature. That’s just mean. At first it may be a bit slimy, and they will need to chew and hold a napkin. They also might throw it in your face, and refuse to drink that nasty stuff. My daughter surprisingly never did. She’s not thrilled with it either, but I’ve gone into detail about the bigger picture. Or, maybe I just said, “Take it. It’s good for you.”

To bypass the slimy mess, I’ve recently found a gallon sized 98% pure aloe vera jug at Wal-Mart. If you keep adding water to the homemade mixture it will lose the ooey gooey, but if not dealing with the plant sounds better to you, then try to find it ready-made without the slime. You can also dilute the store-bought aloe with water, or good quality apple juice if the taste is bothersome. My daughter drinks a cup a day, and it has helped with her outside allergies, and frequency of common colds.

I haven’t used over the counter child medications in 2 years. They were not doing the job anyway.

Recipes:

What the hell should I feed the family tonight! How about giving hamburgers a kick in the ass!

For years I only threw seasoning in the ground carcass. One day I felt adventurous, and squeezed ranch dressing, and bbq sauce in the mix. Tossed some flour, poured a dollop of milk, cracked an egg, and mashed it all together with my hands. Sometimes I got a little too ranch happy, and the meat didn’t hold well, so now I use a packet of dry ranch powder. I’ll also leave out the milk once in a while, but if I do add it, I’ll add a slice of bread to the mixture. This will help a little bit of meat go a long way. Parts of this are the same as meatloaf, so I’m not making any claims of coming up with anything new. I’ve also thrown in a dry onion dip packet and nothing else in the meat. Seriously, nothing else. Thoroughly mix in the packet with 1-2 pounds of your ground meat of choice (turkey, beef, bison) and that’s all the seasoning it will need.

Want to do a bun-less burger that will go great with rice, or mashed potatoes, and favorite vegetable. Try this: Mix equal parts ground beef, and ground pork (even better, ground italian sausage) Add: chopped onion, diced tomatoes, splash of A1 steak sauce, garlic powder, pepper, and a pinch of sea salt. Try not to get too much juice from the tomatoes in the mix, or it will fall apart easily. Patty it up and fry that bad boy to your liking!

Tired of red spaghetti? Go green!

Want to make your child utter their first curse word? No? Okay, how about just a look that says what the hell. Let’s throw green spaghetti noodles in their face. This recipe came into my life through a peruvian family, and it is delightful. Get the water for pasta going. In a blender mix together: Fresh spinach, fresh basil, milk, olive oil, salt, pepper, and queso fresco cheese (Usually found near fresh parmesan in the grocery store. A white round cheese.) Blend well and pour into large frying pan. Stir constantly on medium to low heat, until thick and bubbly. Once the pasta is cooked and drained add to the lovely green mixture. We like to slice a red onion and mix it in, but I have to serve it to my kid before adding the onion. She is not a fan. Also, frying up a thin steak and laying it on top of the green concoction is, like, a thing that goes well with this type of eats.

Me Giving Health Advice?

Today I had the urge to talk about food substitutions.

A Bad Substitution (Yes, in my opinion): Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. You’ll find people who believe this is harmful to your health, and then you’ll find others who say it’s fine and dandy. This man-made chemical is found in all your diet sodas, no sugar energy drinks, and some children’s vitamins. In 1980 a board discussed its relationship to brain cancer, later concluding they didn’t believe it was that much of a bastard. However, it still wasn’t approved at that time, because of many unanswered questions. Research showed it gave cancer to rats, and that fact was even written on packets of sweetener.

In 1983 it slowly started to creep into our lives. In 1993 it was in most beverages and baked goods with the claim of no sugar. By 1996 all the restrictions of aspartame were removed allowing it to be put in whatever the hell corporate money-hounds wanted it to be in. These are all just boring facts, and you can choose to believe whatever you want about this ARTIFICIAL crack originally made by a chemist accidentally. Yeah, it was like a mad scientist trying to create Frankenstein, and instead created a sugar substitute by fucking up Frank. Now, Frank is in your diet Coke.

All I really have is my own experience. I consumed diet energy drinks, diet tea, and diet soda 1 year out of my life in my late twenties. I had noticed myself becoming more aggro than usual. Just irritated for no reason. At first I assumed it was natural with how many brain-dead zombies I battled working my graveyard shift. But then I started to feel an all around…not right. I read an article about the rumors of the big A, and decided to quit the diet beverage addiction. Within a few weeks I was feeling better and more like the normal aggro me.

Around the same time I was being a responsible mom, and bought my daughter a bottle of children’s vitamins. I don’t recall how long she had been taking them before she became different. She was hyper and uncontrollable. She was not the same kid. Finally reading the label (something for kids wouldn’t have an iffy ingredient, right?) of the well-known brand of kiddy nutrients I found aspartame. Long story short: Took her off of them, and back to normal. I had my sweet, funny, kind, smart kid back. Five years later I found a non-personality altering vitamin from this AHH-mazing website http://www.swansonvitamins.com/

This is my experience. Draw your own conclusions. Make your own decisions.

A Good Substitution: The Greek Gods All Natural Plain Greek Yogurt

I wanted plain greek yogurt to blend with avocados and use as a healthier salad dressing option. Which I’m sure is tastylicious, but I have yet to try it. What I have done is put it on or in everything that usually involves sour cream.

The first night it accidentally fell into my families mashed potatoes. I waited patiently to see if anyone noticed a difference. Later on my husband says, “I don’t know what you did to those potatoes, but you have to always make them that way.” Yes, sir.

I’m so damn proud of myself when I discover a healthy sub my family will eat, since I tend to be healthy-edible-challenged. It’s great on tacos, burritos, baked potatoes, and anything clogged artery cream had previously been best friends with. The texture is different from most yogurt, it’s actually very close to sour cream. Tossing it in garden rotini pasta with olive oil, diced tomatoes, red onion, and olives, is a scrumptious dish that you might even be able to label healthy. Add cut up chicken breast and it’s even more scrum-dilly-umptious. When I make my daughter a burrito I ask her if she wants sour cream, but there isn’t any sour cream in this house. The eight year old never questions it. That is the true test to how truly great a replacement this is.