Thursday, June 20, 2013

It Gets Better…. Then it Gets Bad Again

If there is one thing I know with certainty, it is that life gets REALLY hard to do sometimes. Even if you have had a relatively easy life with two loving parents, a dog, and a life in the suburbs, things can get hard, and sometimes you don’t feel like you have the energy to make it.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of trouble. On top of a long history of tying to hide my depression, I have been physically and emotionally abused by people who swear their love and devotion. Years of harbored feelings of regret, worthlessness, and misery still rush back at the drop of a word, and I am sent spiraling down into another chasm of despair that I rarely have the energy to climb out of. Frequently these feelings invade my current relationships, making them difficult to maintain, further exaggerating my loneliness. When this happens, sometimes apologies just aren’t enough to fix things. So I’m left wondering what to do to make my life suck less.

I wish I could give you a go-to answer, but if there is something I have learned through all of this, there isn’t just one solution. Sometimes, just getting out of bed feels like the biggest accomplishment of your life, and maybe it doesn’t seem like much to everyone else, but when you have been stuck there for a week drowning in sorrow, let me tell you, you have done well by getting up, and I am celebrating with you. Getting out of bed is proof that IT GETS BETTER. And you know what? It will get bad again. But that’s ok. Because the trick to getting through life is not looking for some cure-all or a Prince Charming to give you a happily ever after ending. It’s finding a way to cope in the midst of all of it. It’s finding a way to get out of bed even when you would rather lay there and die.

One thing that has always stuck in my head is an old friend’s word of reminder: “This too shall pass.” Everyday you have another chance at making your life suck less. Start with getting up, and the rest will come a little easier than you’d expect it would, until one day you realize that you made it through it, and you are that much stronger for the next time a shitstorm blows through. Remember: If you made it through this one, you can make it through the next one. Just hold on. It will pass. That, I can promise.

Be strong.

My ears are always open if a friend is what you need.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Housekeeper's Guide on How to Conduct Yourself at a Hotel

  1. First, and most importantly, treat your stay less like you are at your own home and more like you are a guest in someone else’s. Because you are a guest. Treat us like we are a privilege, not an obligation. We will treat you well, but at the end of the day, keep in mind that when you leave, we have to clean up your room in 30 minutes for minimum wage with no benefits.
  2. Please don’t leave any bodily fluids on the furniture or in the shower. That includes urine. You might pee in your shower at home, but I don’t know you or your medical history. When it comes down to it, it is unsanitary, and the toilet is only 2 feet away.
  3. Pour out all liquids before your cups go into the garbage. When they spill out, it makes our garbage leak all over the carpet.
  4. Make sure to leave the air in your room on a decent temperature when you  leave. We move around constantly and quickly so if we go into your room and the temperature is on 80 degrees, there is a likely chance that we could pass out. The preferable temperature is 67 degrees.
  5. If you do not want service or want to sleep in without disruption, put the Do Not Disturb hanger on the outside of your door. If you do not have this hanger on your door, we will knock. Keep in mind that we are simply doing our job. If you choose not to put the hanger on your door and we knock, please answer the door. Don’t ignore the knock because we will walk in on you. And don’t just yell. It is often hard to hear a response through those thick doors. And when you do answer, please be polite. Don’t slam doors in our faces. It is too tempting to lose our job over it.
  6. Instead of telling us to come back later and clean your room, just get towels and other amenities from us then if you need them. Coming back to your room could be a strain on our strict schedule.
  7. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do NOT ask for a late checkout. Go to a park or something if you need some extra time. We can not work past 2:00 on a weekday, 3:00 on a weekend. So if there are five 1:00 checkouts, that puts us in a bind.
  8. When you checkout, please remove your Do Not Disturb hanger from your door, and drop off your keys at the front desk. This alerts the hotel that you have left so the housekeeper can clean your room so that another guest can enter it.
  9. It is always a nice surprise to walk into a stayover and find a tip (even if it is only a couple of dollars), so if you can afford to be generous, please do. You will make someone’s terrible day slightly better.
  10. Each room comes furnished with a makeup remover on the amenity tray in the bathroom. Please use this to remove your makeup instead of a wash cloth, as it irreparably stains the cloth. Meaning, we have to take it out of use. If you need more than one makeup remover, ask the front desk or a housekeeper. We will be glad to provide you with more.
  11. There will always be accidents involving blood and excrement. If there are, make sure to bag it up, and throw it away. Or at least make the stain visible (i.e. don’t wad up a towel or throw a blanket over the sheets) so that it wont be touched by other people. Or better yet, inform someone so that we can be warned and make necessary provisions. And if you do leave it for us to clean, please leave a tip. On average, we get about $4 per checkout, $2 per stayover BEFORE taxes. That is nowhere close to enough money to clean up your blood or poop.
  12. Do not leave snot or loogies in the sink. When they dry, it is close to impossible to remove, and even when it does come off, it is slimy and turns stomachs. Nobody wants to take a break from cleaning to vomit just because you were disgusting.*
  13. If you chew smokeless tobacco, please dispose of your spit cup properly. This means, empty the cup into the toilet before you leave and flush, or, if possible, use a bottle, and place it, with the cap on, in the garbage (see #12 note* above).
  14. If you are staying in a hotel for an extended period of time, make sure your room gets cleaned at least every 3 days. The hotel recommends once a week, but a week of not cleaning the bathtub can be a tedious task when it does get cleaned.
  15. And remember, the less you use, the less we have to replace for the next guest. The amenities are there for your convenience, but if you don’t use them, you don’t have to take them.
So be sanitary, be polite to your neighbors and hotel workers, and we will ensure that you enjoy your stay with us.