The Unbearable Banishment: Try not to let this happen to you

Monday, December 28, 2009

Try not to let this happen to you

When visiting my family in Cleveland, we always stay in a hotel. We are certainly welcome to stay at my sibling’s house, but nobody really has the room to accommodate a family of four and staying in a hotel makes life much easier for everyone. The first few times we did this, I think my mother was insulted that we didn’t stay with her in her tiny condo. But as the years passed, she eventually agreed that it made sense.

We usually get a suite at the Hampton Inn. It has a separate living room, bedroom and small kitchen. The Daughters can go to bed at their usual early hour and we can shut the bedroom door, which allows us to stay up for a while and gossip about the day’s events.

There’s a free breakfast served in the lobby and we’ve been coming her for so many years that the two elderly breakfast hostesses, Peggy and Loretta, know us and make a big fuss when they see The Daughters. They’re like two junior high school lunch room grannies. Two days ago, Peggy seemed so genuinely and weirdly overjoyed to see the girls that Mrs. Wife and I were a bit taken aback.

The best part of staying in a hotel is that we can leave the room in the morning with beds unmade and towels in heaps on the floor and when we return in the afternoon, it’s as though elves came in and waved magic wands and restored the room to it’s pre-wrecked condition. Do you suppose that would happen if I stayed at my sister’s house? Nay, I can assure you, it would not.

The sad part of this happy scene—the part that breaks my heart every time we come here—is the couple who provide the maid service. They are an elderly man and woman who, I believe, are husband and wife. And when I say elderly, I mean that they look to be in their 70s. The man walks hunched over and they both always look so beat and tired. They shouldn’t be working at all, much less going from room to room making beds and cleaning toilets. I can only assume they do this because they have to.

Nobody should have to live like that when they’re septuagenarians. What’s wrong with this country? The hotel is part of the Hilton chain and when I consider the fact that that nitwit Paris Hilton, who does nothing and is nothing, is living indirectly off of the labor of these two, it makes me wretch for the injustice of it. I can’t stand bumping into them but I always do.


Anonymous nursemyra said...

you could pick your own towels up off the floor to make their job easier..


December 29, 2009 at 3:23 AM  
Anonymous escapenova said...

I love this post because I can so completely relate to it. When I was a kid, we would always drive up to NYC from DC for every school break (holidays, spring break, summer, etc). Every time my parents would stop at the same Bob's Big Boy off the Jersey Turnpike. As a result, we knew the staff and they knew us, watching my brother & I grow up.

Then one trip I wasn't with my parents/brother (freshman year of college- i was flying into JFK from school) and they actually asked where I was. Even though they only saw us a handful of times a year, they noticed that I was missing. Who knew?

December 29, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Nurse: My dirty towels are the LEAST of their problems! We try to keep it neat for their sake.

Esc: Welcome! It's amazing, isn't it? It's as though they anticipate our arrival. One year we were here for my daughter's birthday and the staff went out and bought her gifts and a cake!

December 29, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous popomatic jeff said...

Maybe the elderly couple do it because they enjoy having something to do and a purpose. Sometimes when talking to my grandmom, who is approaching 90, it sounds like her biggest complaint with getting old is the boredom.

December 29, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that, yes, maybe they do want something to do but I can't imagine that they would choose that as what they like to do. I truly hope they don't HAVE to work there, but I fear that is the case. It would make me sad, too.

December 29, 2009 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Jason Quinones said...

nursemyra hit the nail on the head. i'm glad she said it first cuz i woulda phrased it, lets say... differently.

i realize you mean well but it doesn't sound all that sympathetic if you're still chucking your towels on the floor.

just saying...

December 29, 2009 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

with all the travel, i've developed some empathy for the housekeeping staff... and yes, i pre-clean my own room, put the towels either on the rack, or piled neatly in the sink (so they don't have to bend over), and i tip them daily (generally garnering extra coffee packets in return).

but i can't say i've ever run into any housekeepers that old... i'd probably cry. if i'm working at 70? i dont' want it to be backbreaking...

December 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pop: I suppose that's possible but they look pretty miserable to me.

Bookish: Welcome! I agree with you. This qualifies as "something to do" only if you spent your life living in an Eastern European dictatorship.

Jason: I think I may have overplayed the "mess" aspect of the post. It's not THAT bad and as penance, I always leave them a fat tip when we leave town.

Daisy: Each time I return I hope they're not here so I can imagine they're resting in Florida, but that's never the case.

December 29, 2009 at 5:26 PM  

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