Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Friday, 25 May 2012

Room from hell

I started this the other day, but for some reason, just could not get the right words down to explain this phenomenon. I describe it as such, because, it is, at all times, out of the ordinary.
  We often can go months without a "Room from hell", but when it occurs, it is always a long term guest.
   We will open the door to this RFH in the beginning, hoping that it is a one time mess, maybe a weekend of binge drinking, and once the work week begins, the mess will shrink. Nope!! Not in this room. The mess continues, and the smells join the garbage.
   They vary, sometimes it will simply be food, snack food scattered about, chips broken on the floor, mud tracked all about, obvious signs of lack of "before bed shower" on the sheets and pillow cases, energy drinks spilled on linen daily, and an apparent aversion to garbage cans. Those rooms cause a instant sigh upon opening the door. Then you add to this mess the smell of parmesan cheese, which tends to emit from socks, yuck!!!! I used to add that cheese to my spaghetti, now I almost gag when I smell the container, because it just reminds me of dirty socks.
   These rooms seldom get a good clean, generally because the laundry will join the potato chips, and we have an unwritten rule, we do not ,usually, sift through dirty floor laundry to open up an area the vacuum can enter. Oh, the bathrooms in these rooms are often decent, and the time we do not use vacuuming, will be given to the tub and toilet, we can dust as well, because the majority of the mess is on the floor.
  The last RFH, however, was the doozy of all rooms. This guest stayed months, and months. The first room they were in, we wondered, the bathtub was lined with products, candles were placed on every possible area (as well as the bathtub)and air fresheners abounded. Now, first, I imagined a person who loved clean, and wanted things to smell fresh, HAH!!! I suppose they loved clean, but did not want to take any part of allowing clean.
   Every blasted day, we would open this door, to find the garbage overflowing. Hey, no aversion to the garbage can, but apparently, unlike all other guests, the size of the can was not sufficient to the amount of garbage collected daily. The coffee table would be loaded, 3 candles, a heaping ashtray, empty cans, 1/2 empty glasses, weed bitties, joints, pills, makeup, you name it, it was on there. There was also a pet involved, daily food would be spewed about his dish, water slopped onto the carpet, candies, hair ties, lingerie, kleenex, and magazines all over the floor. Mud would daily be tracked across the floor, dirty towels by the fridge on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, and on the table. The bedroom, well that was disgusting!!! I will state that we had to separate the linens from this room, they were set aside, only be be reused in this room. They were so stained, we could not clean them, therefore destroyed. Clothing was everywhere, candies on the bedspread, on the floor, perfume and smelly stuff littered the dresser, mixed with medication and weed. The bathroom, well, that broke even the strongest of us...for some reason they used a blender on the bathroom sink?????? The tub, as before, had about 20 products lined along it, with at least one opened roll of toilet paper, of course, always, without fail, there would be clothing beside the bathtub.
  Our course of action had to change for this RFH, as this guest was continually calling to complain about the poor housekeeping!!! She actually had the nerve to inform one of my co-workers that she worked very long hours, and how nice it would be to come back to a clean room!!!! HUH?????? We did our best, we washed the floors on a continual basis, we lifted everything off that damn coffee table and wiped it down, there were times we did not empty the ashtray, as our rule is, do not throw out roaches.....her tub was washed every day, her linens were changed almost daily, her carpet was vacuumed every second day, yet, this was not good enough, she wanted the vacuuming every day, and she wanted her coffee pot lifted and cleaned under...O.K. sweetie...the last time I did that, I lifted your can of coffee as well, and found your stash under it....
  She often would not go to work, and we would enter this RFH to find all the candles burning, call out "Housekeeping" with no reply, wander gingerly in, and lo and behold, she would be passed out in the bed. If she lifted her slumbering (drugged) head in response, we would ask "do you need anything" which she would always reply...." just go ahead " and wave her arms in the air, apparently signally she wanted everything cleaned but the bed she was lying in. Once she replied that she just needed towels...towels were left, and an hour or so later when she came to, she was on the phone to the office claiming her room had been missed.
  The day this RFH emptied, was a day to celebrate. Oh, the mess was enormous, but the thrill we feel when we can clean a room from top to bottom erasing the stink and all signs of the disgrace to humanity, is awesome. I cleaned and bleached everything in that room, and today, I walked in, and I was pleased....the next guest to go into this room, will have no clue they have entered the previous RFH Grand Supreme (yes I watch Toddlers in Tiaras)!
  Now, I honestly pray that this will remain the worst RFH, as I cannot imagine having anything worse than this. It would have to include wild game, and perhaps the Beverly Hillbillies ...OMG, could happen!!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mushroom rooms

OMG!!!! I have just spent the last 2 days working on one room. I have washed every single wall in this suite, with bleach and water. I started doing that, to attempt to remove the scent from the "pisher" Bloody Mary, but as I went along, I realized, this went way beyond smells. I removed the bathroom vent, only to find furry mold. I am not a scientist, so...I presume it is again "not the bad mold". Getting a little leery of this, and think maybe there is some course out there I can take to identify good from bad?
  I have watched more than enough Holmes on Homes shows to know what mold is. I see them shut things down when they uncover that meandering black stuff. HazMat suits and masks are brought out, and no one is allowed to enter until all signs of this stuff are removed. Hummm...I wonder, how many types of mold are out there? Is there actually some that is "Not the bad stuff"?
   Hey, the reason I ask, is, once upon a time, I climbed a very high ladder, which I had to place inside a bath tub, in order to reach a ceiling with a sponge mop on an extension pole, to remove this trail of black off the bathroom ceiling and walls. I remember being told after I had removed it, that is "wasn't the bad mold". Huh?????I must have missed the inspection and did not receive those lab results.
   In my world, all mold is bad. If I am paying to spent any time in a room, I would hope that I do not have to breath through a respirator while I sleep, to ensure I do not get "good" mold spores in my lungs.
  Now, mold is pretty common, but...how many can say they have mushrooms growing on their walls? Yep!! This is certainly not the first time I have seen this abnormality.
  Those who know me, also know that generally mushrooms excite me. No, I am not into the magic ones, but, I do often spend my holidays searching the elusive Matsutake mushroom, and enjoy wandering about picking morel mushrooms. However.....I do not think that a mushroom growing on a wall in a hotel room, is something anyone wishes to purchase from me.
  This room has seen other mushrooms, it is so darn moist, it smells like a compost heap. More leaks have happened in this room than Wikileak. The drywall has been ripped and replaced countless times, but....nothing is really done besides replacing the drywall. Isn't it strange, each time we get rain, brown stuff begins to run down the walls, and the new drywall, becomes mush. Oooohhh....perhaps with the mush drywall and the fact that it is a room, we get Mush-room?????Hey, I just thought of that, my mind is amazing!!!
  Yes, housekeeping can easily spray this area with bleach, after removing the offending mushroom, however...I for one know, mushrooms can grow over night in the right conditions, and this room is perfect. It is dank, and dark, and very ,very moist, with rot to feed all types of Mycelium, Joe Blow could simply have his 8 hours of sleep in a mushroom less room, to wake in the morning and find a whole bouquet of them.
  I know Bleach is a wonderful thing, it is still the cheapest cleaner, and it does a variety of jobs. It will clean, even bad mold, but, unless the source of the mold is removed, and the problem fixed, it will continue to return. It will scrub any visible evidence of mushrooms away, as well, but....again, unless the rot is removed, my employer cannot lay" mushroom growing wall blame" on poor housekeeping.
  I am afraid that in my world, this room should simply be removed from the building, but...that will never happen. I bet you dollars to doughnuts, one day, very soon, myself and my co-workers will get to spend a day picking mushrooms and bleaching. This is the first time the thought of mushroom picking does not excite me in the least.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Still enjoying my days off, but figured I would hit the keys for a few minutes. Kind of addicted to spewing away on here, can you tell?
  Today I figured I would delve into the not so wonderful world of smells. I asked my friend the other day, why it is that not once do I enter a room or a building and say "mmmm, something smells wonderful!" O.K., once in awhile the kitchen has some good smells coming out of it, but generally there is something nasty floating about in the background.
  My nose has become extremely sensitive to stink as I age. I know, I have nasty habits, and apparently one of them is suppose to diminish my sense of smell. Thank goodness I have this habit, as something needs to cut the stink!  I have mentioned that the place I work is basically comprised of camp trailers, right? Well they are very, very old.Things that are old, usually dry up, and smell of dust, not here. They have soaked up decades of water, from the roof and the ground. Add a few plumbing issues, and you have smells upon smells. Oh, along with this, countless guests and pets, and cooking, it becomes overwhelming.
  When a person goes back after breathing fresh air, you are slammed. I spend the first few hours just sniffing and covering my nose. I still check my armpits and the bottom of my shoes, on occasion as the smells just seems to linger, and I start to think it must be me. We have discussed having a list, and writing down what particular rooms smell like, sewer, rot, pee, Parmesan cheese, vomit. .
  We have complained about smells, but apparently once a person reaches a certain level in organization, they lose their ability to smell. The smell of sewer seems to escape them. I have seen someone close a particular door, to attempt to keep the smell out, only to have another person get up 3-4 times to whip the door open. The rule is to walk slowly, so as not to cause a breeze, which causes the smell to hit you, like a ginormous fart.Ooops, there is another smell to add to the list, under the sheets farts.
  I personally can't imagine what a guest thinks as they turn their key only to have the heavy musty stink hit them as they walk into a place they are to spend days, perhaps weeks in. I have seen as many as 9 air fresheners in one room, in an attempt to cut the nasty smell, but it still lingers.
  Funny, the one room that never had a nasty smell is the one that a certain guest feels obligated to have her collection of pisshing freshners. She along with many other guests adds the smell of "Skunk" to the building. I am not a prude, remember I grew up in the 70's. The smell of Panama Red and Pachouli oil brings back memories of wonderful times. The smell of "Skunk" on the other hand takes me right back into the swamp, surrounded by stinking Skunk Cabbage.
  Now, as I stated, no prude, but I am behind the times..."is Skunk" the only pot available today?" I wonder, what is that stuff Mortician's use to mask the smell of their workplace? I am already dreading having my nostrils assaulted, and perhaps if I find a baggie of the "good stuff" that I can leave smouldering in a hidden spot, and dribble Patchouli oil down the hallway, my day will be spent smiling and breathing happily.It's an idea.....

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Computer Impaired

Morning all...Yep, it is morning, and I sit at the keyboard with the whole day ahead of me. I am in the midst of 5, count them, 5, whole days off. Oh, I earned them, worked 11 days in a row so I could still have a decent pay check, got that darn Hydro bill on it's way, and a new Hot Tub that is likely sucking the electricity (although it claims it will cost me $14 extra, Hah!). I have been spending far too much time "thinking". When I think, it is an attempt to figure out a way to make life better. The dessert tray was a bust, and now I am left wondering what I can do, to make me a happy camper each morning. I am reasonably happy this morning, no work, got my honey home on his days off, and no one has called wanting money , yet...But this will fizzle, as already I am counting days until I go back to work.
  Oh, I know, you all are thinking, why doesn't she simply get another job, it is clear she absolutely HATES this one. Not so simple as it sounds. We do not have a single Micky D's, 7-11, Tim Hortons, or Subway in our town. Why limit myself to this? Well, I took a huge chunk of my life to sit at home and raise my children. I certainly did not have the extra moola to take any sort of classes to upgrade, or get ready for the workforce, while ensuring my children got the basics of life. When they were grown up enough to be left on their own, I was left with a resume that was about 20 years old. How is this possible? Well, I had my first 2 children 10 years apart, so I was raising children for approx. 26 years, that's a very long time.
    A lot happened in those years, computers for one. I actually worked on a computer while in the Military back in the 70's, it was huge, and connected to another upstairs that was even bigger, I had to program it with punch cards, for every single entry. I remember the first time I sat down to a "modern"one, while working in the Chevron Town Panty, I simply had to enter fuel numbers into the thing in the back room, and send them off to Head office. Cripes, I was scared sh#tless, I was certain I would hit the one button that would empty everything off the machine, and each night I would enter that room sure I was going to cause my boss a huge headache, when I hit a button.
  I am a little better when it comes to computers now, and I mean just a little. I can check my e-mail, go onto FaceBook, go on here (although I still am not sure exactly what I am doing when I get the "share " button). It has taken me all this time to realize that Grace has a blogspot, although she joined my page long ago. I wonder, do all of my fellow Bloggers wonder if I am being rude? Please understand, I am just ignorant of the workings in these machines. I would be lost without my computer "fix". Life has become so very amazing with access to the whole world, but again, I am one of those old folks who have to ask someone else in the house how to do things beyond my limited scope. These days, I am often all alone, without that help, so, it is difficult. Now you know, I am a technologically impaired Blogger.
  Blogging is not the only thing I have difficulty with, I can't do Microsoft office, or any of those fancy doohickies, that always seem to be a requirement of a job with oomph. I am trapped in a world that allows me limited opportunities. Oh, sure, I could figure out some way to take a course so I could learn these things, but, again, I live in a town without a college, or anything resembling Post secondary education. I would have to travel elsewhere, and while I did that, I would be unemployed, hummm...Catch 22...Maybe there is something On-Line, that I could stumble onto? But, then again, even if I did learn this stuff, I am 56 years old, and living in a town that has no listings in the Job Bank for office workers that do not have social or company connections. It is clear, you will all just have to bear with this Blogger, as she slowly learns the hidden secrets of the computer, and moans continually about her Dead-end job.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mother's Day

Today, I have to change the forum to a topic not concerning the workplace. This day happens once a year, and because I have found a way to have my thoughts scattered all about the world, I am going to take advantage of it, and speak from my heart. I know, some of you have wondered if I really do have a heart, well, it may be a little hard and withered, but once in awhile, it warms up. Deep down inside, I truly am a softie, I have managed to build a thick crust, and that is because life has seen fit to throw me some pretty hard crap, and I got very tired of the constant bruises, so the shell surrounds me. Those who likely think I have no heart, are also the same folks who have seen this crust crack on occasion, but maybe they didn't realize it. I try very hard to keep the mushy stuff for private moments, and use my temper to cover up my true feelings. I grew up with the constant "stop your crying, or I will give you something to cry about". Funny, just had this conversation with a couple of friends who had grown up in the same era, and we all had a chuckle about it, but...this was the way of life back in the 60's, in my world. We did not have Oprah, or Maury, or Dr. Phil, we did not have teachers telling us that we deserved respect while we were in elementary school, we did not have any rights besides the statement "I brought you into this world, I can take you out", or this one, that I heard on a constant basis "The door opens both ways". I think if I told someone the door comment today, they would simply stare at me wondering what I was talking about. Well, I knew what they were saying. Before anyone gets on their high horse, and thinks my parents were mean...remember, they grew up during the big Depression, and through the War years, so all they were doing, was to attempt to toughen me up for the bumps along my life, as they had learned to manage through their struggles. No matter what, I appreciate what they did.
  Now the crack in the crust, this is the one day that crack is ginormous. I can cry at the drop of a hat on this day. I have already teared up, as  I woke up to a video from my oldest, of my children and grandchildren, and felt this is it, I have done well...no matter what happens from now on in my life, I have made my mark, decades from now, there will be more children who will somehow be connected to me, Hahaha..no stopping me now!! But all these children, are also connected to another Mother, and that was mine. And, that Mother is the reason for the crack. I lost my Mother to Cancer when my oldest was 3, my two younger children never had the chance to know this amazing woman. Last year I wrote my daughters about my Mother, simply because they needed to know how I became the Mother I am. No matter what your own Mother did wrong while she raised you, she (unless she has been on Dr. Phil) did her best. There were no books on how to do this, a person must learn by trial and error how to be a Mother. I can remember telling my Mom she was mean, I can remember even saying I hated her, Lord love us, if I could take all that back now. I was "lucky" enough to be there to care for my Mom right up until the moment she left this world, and for that I am grateful, because I was able to let her know I loved her, and knew that love was returned.
  I am writing this because, there are a lot of folks who think they have plenty of time to let their Mom know that they are loved and appreciated for all they have done to allow others to grow up in a safe and secure world, stomachs filled when needed, booboos fixed, clean clothes at the ready, a warm bed to sleep in, a chance to go to school (yes this is a privilege). There is only one day a year set aside for this person, but, in my world, my Mother is in my thoughts countless days, she is greatly missed by myself, and I miss her for my children and grandchildren. Today, those of you who are lucky enough to have your Mother, take the time to say " Thank you". Trust me, mine has been gone almost 30 years, and the pain I feel today is just as strong as the day she left.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Theory disproved

O.K. this will give someone a boost of smug satisfaction. I have to admit my Dessert tray theory, is wrong! So much for my Nobel Peace prize.... not happening. Cripes, it didn't even manage to make my day wonderful. Oh, it did make it nicer, like the cupcakes, and tarts, and sundry other goodies the morning waitress has been treating us to, but Dusty Bum made the attempt to give a selection of goodies, and I still have to admit, my day  sucked!Oh, I really hoped that treats would wipe the doom and gloom off my average work day, but, along with treats, came a long list of checkouts, and instantly the day goes down the toilet. Maybe it would have worked if I had received it at 3:55, oh for sure....that really is the one and only thing that makes my day wonderful, finishing it!!!I guess I must accept that the only solution to whisk the dark cloud away would be to win the mega lottery. I certainly would not be one of those idiots who tells the news camera they will not give up their job, just because they won a fortune, Hah!! I think I would actually donate enough to convince all my co-workers to walk away, as well. Now, don't hold me to this, I am only thinking....Lord love us, now I am worried that someone will copy my blog, when I win....I know, could happen, but..unless all the crap happening in my world, is just a build up to when I get this windfall, I don't hold out much hope, so the rest of you best not get too excited. However...in case one of you happens to win, I will certainly be reminding you that I extended the offer.
  I will say, one positive is the addition of bright shining faces to our housekeeping staff. I am blown away by the young girls who show up in the morning all chipper and ready to get to it. Was I ever like that? They are so nice, offering to lend a hand when they are finished, dancing in the hallways, polite and friendly to the guests, what on earth is wrong with them? I know, it takes time for the nasty, oily ,stinky coating of Bizarre to enfold these young people. I almost feel like warning them, but...that would likely make them scurry away, and leave us old, miserable, whiny biddies holding the bag yet again. I love the fact that, for a short while, we don't have to worry about killing ourselves. These girls actually leave the building walking straight, gosh, don't think I have ever managed that. I am jealous as well. They are young, and this job is just something to get them from point A to point B, it is not what they are working towards. Heads up girls, I can tell you that when I was young, and energetic, doing the various jobs between school and raising children, I had no clue that my point B was going to be this! Something went drastically wrong after point A! One thing you must ensure while on your journey, do not limit yourselves to a small town. Because one of these bright shiny faces is that of my youngest, she will not be allowed to stay longer than the summer, she will be driven out of town by her father and only allowed back for specified periods of time. I refuse to imagine any offspring of mine, finding this at the end of point B. You can be sure the wrinkled old crones are not looking for fresh replacements to suck the life out of, but fair warning, we were perky, happy, non wrinkled 20 year olds when we started at this job about 8 years ago....

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Oh Oh

Now, I don't know if anyone has clued in yet, but, I have a dream of writing a book, during my lifetime(better during, than after). I have so many ideas , but, besides my grammar issues, I just can't seem to decide what to focus on. The blogging seemed to be a step forwards, to get back into writing, and perhaps allow me to get comfortable enough to begin the process. Now, I am a tad concerned. I sat down after work, and wrote this long descriptive rant of my daily grind. I guess I felt I had gone a little too far, and clicked into see what legal ramifications could happen, if the wrong person read my blathering. Oh, Oh, guess there are laws out there, and if I get too descriptive, I could very well get into trouble. Cripes, I don't use names, my circle of folks in the "Know" is very small, but, I am leery. My life seems to be filled with nasty, evil Karma. I have not, as yet figured out what I have done in the past to fill my days with gut punches, and I keep hoping I have almost reached the end of my repayment. I have decided my wicked witch fingers may be a result of crossing them so tightly, hoping my turn at the knocks of life is over, but so far, no luck. If someone is going to get dinged legally over a blog, it will surely be yours truly, so....I must tone things down.
  The problem is, toning down, does not come naturally to me. This past week has seen me requested to speak quietly, huh? Hey, I don't care if those who I am friends with tell me to "shut up" that's acceptable, but when someone outside of my social circle, decides they want me to tone it down a little, because they are having a separate conversation elsewhere, Excussse me.....I AM loud, and I don't candy coat, I have inherited my Mother's gene of speaking my mind, and sometimes, that requires me to speak less than quietly. My mouth has had to clamp down so much lately, and it seems my tongue has had more than it's fair share of bites doing this. I feel like one of those Pet shop puppies behind the glass. Yipping and yapping , and barely being heard. Nope, I don't want someone to take me home, but I do want  to be accepted  for who I am.
  Hey, my mouth could very well be a disability. I do my work, there is no doubt there, I dare anyone to dispute my employers get their monies worth out of me.  I appear when scheduled, and sometimes, even when I am not, (or I used to do that, when necessary). My only fault is my mouth, and that is beyond my control. I don't use my mouth to purposefully hurt another, but I will speak the truth, and that comes spewing out without warning. It's not like my brain is wired like the average person's, there seems to be a detour that by-passes the thought process, and whatever has popped into my mind, instantly comes out my mouth. Once the words start, there is no stopping them, perhaps I do get louder, I don't know, I am on the wrong side of the words. I do think the stronger I feel about something, the less I can get a handle on my mouth. Like I say, I don't set out to be hurtful, and in my mind, I am simply being helpful (I am a Virgo after all) stupidity is not acceptable, and if something strikes me as stupid, or perhaps bizarre, the mouth is in motion.
  Those who have taken the time to get to know me, have also learned to be ready for the "Mouth in Motion" to occur at any given time. I get teed rather quickly, and I want insanity to cease, so perhaps I am a tad loud? Don't you ever get the urge to just scream when something drives you batty? The difference with me, is, I am constantly driving down the Batty road. Things that one person just lets slide, I fixate on, and I get more and more annoyed if it doesn't stop. I can't grab folks around the throat and squeeze, to stop the lunacy, so my mouth opens. Some find it very annoying, too bad, so sad, walk away, I don't care. My family and friends have accepted my inability to turn the off valve on my mouth (well most of the time) and those who find me offensive and/or loud, can just stay out of my world. I am quite satisfied with those who have the gene that allows them to basically sift through my rants to get to the issue. Those who only hear a voice they presume is conflicting with their separate conversations, should perhaps find a closed room in which to conduct them.
  So, now you know, if you happen to hear words coming out of my mouth, getting progressively louder, I am simply letting off steam about something that irritates me. It is the only way someone like myself can survive. If I attempt to hold it all in, quietly, I will simply blow up larger than I already am, and explode. Not a pleasant possibility.......well, for those who actually like me, anyway.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Verbal diarrhea

More than once today, I was asked if I was going to blog. Well, some days, I just want to come home and forget work. It often ticks me off just a little too much, and I have to distance myself, or I may go off down the wrong road, and  off the deep end. Sadly, I am about to go off the deep end about things not really connected to work, but that have been driving me nuts. If you are looking for hotel stuff, today, this is not the place, but if you want to read some of my better rantings, sit back and lets go....
  First, I want to ask the mindless question, When did it become proper to bill someone to bill them? O.K. I know there are a ton of Green Peacers reading this, and I am aware I have you to thank for this insanity. The excuse they give me for the $2.00 tacked onto my already bizarre bill is apparently because I am getting paper!!! Hello!!! Now, what if I deducted $2.00 from those bills I pay on-line? Hey, I am saving paper there, right? Imagine the confusion if I attempted this, but, in truth, why can't I? Who in government gave companies the right to charge to bill? What about oldtimers who don't have computer access? I assume that each one of those folks must dish out an extra $2 or sometimes more, to pay their bills.Talk about Elder abuse. Folks getting dinged after 50 years of paying bills one way, simply because someone decided to save paper!
 What happens to all those $2.00's? Is there some huge fund somewhere that is planting trees? Come on, get real!!! I bet that all that money is in some sort of slush fund set aside for little perks, hey, it is free money, folks pay that to pay!! How stupid are Canadians? I say, Canadians because I hope no other country has seen fit to bill people for bills. I figure if you want a bill paid, you send it, you don't charge someone to let them know they owe you money. How about it, lets make a change in the system, start deducting $2.00 for a paperless payment!!!I just can't grasp the concept, and I don't understand how it was allowed.
  Now tonight, I experience yet another doozy. I must have forgot to pay one of those paperless bills, and the phone rings. An automated voice says "press one for English" being a social idiot, I did as I was told. Then another automated voice claims "we will be with you shortly" and music comes on....Hello!!! I am not about to sit listening to "Flight of the Bumblebees" until some person finds the time to actually speak to me and tells me I owe them money!!!
  How did we get a government that seems to think we should bend over and accept charges on top of charges? I have to speak about my Natural Gas bill. Now I know full well Natural Gas prices have gone down the toilet, I see it every single day on the Market report. Why then is my bill going higher and higher? I have so many charges above my usage, often my actual Gas use is lower than 1/2 the bill. I pay midstream, I pay delivery, I pay some stupid franchise fee to the town I live in, and I pay a basic fee!! WTF!!!!
   I see these fees appearing on absolutely everything I get, my Hydro...HOLA, there is a winner! I live in a town with 2 bloody great Dams sucking the river outside my door up and spitting it out whenever they want. There are folks who have lost family farms, displaced Aboriginal groups, etc. all so that we can have Hydro. Now, the question that I have to ask is...why do we not have some sort of special rate? Hey, this is the area that has been affected, folks on Vancouver Island continue to receive lower  utility rates because someone was smart enough to bargain for this way back in the day, but not us idiots. We sit back, knowing full well that Hydro and our government will soon stick yet another Dam in our area, flooding out even more family farms, flooding out our highway, causing all kinds of changes to our community, and now I have to listen to psycho babble on TV telling me that as a Hydro user, I am going to have to accept higher rates..HUH???Why on earth would I do that? The darn thing is going to mess up my life, perhaps mess up the bank of the river my home sits on, and I should happily dig deeper so I can pay more to have my lights on. Hydro doesn't even pay their share of the blasted property taxes in our area, they get a special deal, where is mine???I see the waste of Hydro money, folks coming in from Texas to work as contractors, every single thing Hydro does now, is contracted, what exactly does Hydro do? They have to haul folks in when the power goes out in our town, even with Dams all about, makes no sense. I see money spent all about with stupid stuff, flowers for wives when husbands work Overtime!! Hello!!! Those husbands are getting money for that work, why do the wives get flowers? Every morning larges clumps of vehicles all drive out to the same place, why don't they conserve and have a bus?  So, excuse me if I get ticked when I am told I am going to have to pay more for my power. Cut out the flowers and special housing grants, and Christmas parties at the lodge, live like the rest of us, and if you still need more money, let the people of this province see your budget, and where all the money went last year, and maybe we can help you tighten your belt. I am so sick of tightening mine!!!
  Whoa...I just might have gone too far this time, but, some stuff just has to spew forth so I can lighten my burden. Now I don't really feel better, as I will still have to pay my bills, and the only thing that can possibly make it better would be to win the lottery, and then pack ourselves off to some exotic place, where we don't need lights or gas. Could happen.......

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Screwed, blued and tattooed

O.K. I figured this time I would give a smidgeon of information along with my blog. If you grew up in my time (apparently the stone age) you would have heard this expression often. I never questioned it, as although I was naive, I wasn't totally clueless, and knew it wasn't something good. I decided on this title, and as I wrote it, I wondered exactly how the term came about....so, here is the smidgeon.
  .The definition goes back to early machinists. After inspecting a finished manufactured or repaired part, the toolmaker/machinist would
1. tighten all parts and screws (screwed)
2. Use Blueing,a blue paint like stain that stuck easily to metal. (Blued), and
3. Put his inspectors mark through the blue paint with a sharp Scriber (Tattoed).
   Now enter into the Stone age (my time) Apparently the original saying was Screwed, Blewed, (not Blued) and Tattoed.
  Screwed, essentially means "Cheated", Blewed, meant "lost or robbed of", and Tattooed refers to a beating with very rapid blows, in the same sense as a Military Tattoo (a rapid drum beat).
  So, now you have a clear knowledge of this expression, and I doubt you could ever confuse me with a machinist, so, guess what the meaning behind my use is?
   Why is it, when you are royally screwed, you seem to be backed into a corner as well, and you have two choices, either accept the screwing quietly, have the knowledge that the fact occurred forever burned into your brain (a form of Tattoo?)and continue on with the acceptance that you will repeat this over and over, or....walk away with no recourse what so ever? Yep, sure, I know there are some out there who will say "Stand your ground!" "Be strong, right is might!" Hah!!!! I have been down this rocky road before, more than once, and in many directions, and maybe some of the potholes will get filled in a little, but, never, ever, does one reach a long stretch of paved road, that makes up for the bone jarring ride.
  I am not sure, is it because I am getting up in age, and feel I don't have time to waste on righting wrongs? For those who have had the energy to fight one of these battles, you know, the process is long and drawn out. You know that you lose a great deal along the way with the fight, friends disappear, whispers appear, social interactions become extremely uncomfortable. These "Screwings" also cost the" Screwee" financially, and trust me, I know from experience, if at the end of the battle the wrong is righted, the compensation comes no where near the cost of the road trip.
  So, I suppose, because I am old, and because I have only recently recovered from a severe Tattooing, I am simply going to have to bend over, and accept things quietly. One thing is for sure, each one of these experiences has left a scar. The scars never heal, and tend to itch like H-ll when instinct warns of another "Screwing" . and they are itching like crazy right now.
  I hope this tattoo isn't on my forehead, but, with my luck, that's exactly where it will be along with the great big " S", I already have!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

It's raining it's pouring

Yep, it's here!!! A sure sign of spring is the daily leak search. Some of them are pretty obvious, others like to move about. kind of like looking for the elusive Pine mushrooms. You know they are in the area, but they are sneaky, and move a few feet, or hide behind walls, to show up on the floor. I have never seen leaks like those in my workplace. There must be 15 feet of tar on the roofs, but, somehow the water finds a way in. I remember one room, the whole ceiling caved in. Oh, it was "fixed" and perhaps a month later, open the door to find the bed covered in white stuff and soaking wet, guess the fix didn't work.
   I often think the best thing would be to Duct Tape the whole place. I bet a roof made of glistening Duct Tape would work wonderfully, it would also become a point of interest in this small town. Hey, I bet we could get into the Guinness World Book of Records. Why stop at the roof? I think it would be of some insulating value as well. I have seen the Ice hotels, and the cost of staying in those is pretty high. We could coat the whole darn place in different coloured tape. Furniture, Duct Tape shower surrounds, hey, even the floor would be Duct Tape. We would just have to wipe everything down, and the whole room would be fresh for the next guest! If a rowdy guest ripped a piece off the wall, how inexpensive to repair? I think it would make guests feel comfortable, as they would know the room was clean. Can bugs survive on Duct Tape? I think not!!!! Oh, and we could simply change the colours, everything would be coordinated. We might have to consider guest slippers, to offer some grip, as I would imagine if there is any slanting rooms (we do have a few of those) a person may slide across the room when they get out of bed, and injure themselves.
  Think of the cost savings to the owners...They would be able to do maintenance themselves, just a ginormous supply of rolls of Duct Tape. I bet a person could get in touch with the makers of this amazing stuff, and get it shipped in far larger rolls, maybe wallpaper sized? Forget plumbing issues, wrap that Duct Tape around everything!! No more vacuums, just sponge mops, and cleaning rags.
  Think of the restaurant, Duct taped tablecloths, Duct taped chairs, Duct taped floors, when those messy little kids come in, it is a quick clean up! The waitresses could work in stocking feet, and just zip across the floor, serving customers quickly. They could put bumper bars about the room, just in case someone starts moving too quickly, and they could simply bounce off the bars and get their bearings.
  Hey, I spend plenty of time trying to figure out how to keep my job, if those leaks continue to grow at the speed they are, I will be unemployed in a few years. I am sure my latest solution is viable, now I just have to convince the boss to give it a try, one room at a time.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Spontaneous combustion

I have seen some pretty strange things in life! Do you know, I actually saw "Ball lightening"? Apparently that is a rare sight. I have seen Ruby silver, a "haunted Glory Hole", lived through the highest annual snow fall ever recorded at a weather station. I have seen (and picked) mushrooms worth $100 a lb. I have seen high tide that would flood so much, sidewalks were built with steps to higher ground. I have seen the return of a Bush pilot, who survived a crash that made Ripley's" Believe it or not". In truth, I think I have led a pretty interesting life, full of amazing things.
  But....I have seen something so many times, the average human being never sees. That is spontaneous combustion. I have encountered it so many times, it actually became something we had to warn new Housekeepers about. Who knew that a job like cleaning would require a person to be on the look out for fires? I remember the first fire I had. I simply took the kitchen cleaning rags out of the dryer, and placed them on the folding table. I must have been in the middle of something else, went away, only to smell something from the hallway, that was not right. I did not believe my eyes when I entered the laundry room, my recently dried kitchen rags were smoldering on the table. I didn't know what to do, looking around, all I spied were plastic buckets. Now, I have been called "Blonde" more than once, I knew plastic would not suffice, but it was all I had. I threw the rags into a bucket, and rushed them out the door. They were damn hot, smoke rising, and the nasty smell of baking grease..I dumped the bucket out on the gravel, and watched the rags disappear, until there was nothing left but charred black bits. This happened continually. The kitchen staff insisted on cleaning the grill with cloths, and then expected us to wash and dry them. Hey, do you know wash machines have warnings on the lids? These warning state that you do NOT under any circumstances wash grease, because it may cause fires, trust me, there is no MAY about it
  The unspoken or sometimes spoken rule, was to never ever leave kitchen rags in the dryer. We had 2 ginormous Gas dryers from back in 60's. They would never die, somehow no matter what, they could be coaxed back into working. Sheets would dry in about 5 minutes, the heat from the things would cause sweat to pour down our necks. My friend went off to New Orleans, not a problem, she had become acclimatized by her time spent standing in front of the heat from Hell. We hated these dryers, each time a load was done, we would open the doors, and feel the urge to grab oven mitts to remove the dried items. Finger tips would be burned off after a day in laundry, arms would be scorched red from heat burns. But, Lordie, the drying time was instantaneous,they built those dryers to last, and no sensor would kick in to tell the machine when to stop, that was a manual job, simply open the door when you figured they had enough time.
  Because they heated so hot, grease rags would go in, and as soon as the door opened and they got a whiff of oxygen, Bazinga!!! I have no clue how many fires we had over the years. We would constantly complain, but, the answer was always..." the kitchen refuses to use paper towels to clean the grill, you are just going to have to be careful". Hah! We tried, but on one day, when my friend and I had the  job to ourselves, we both decided to head to the outlying area together. There was a lot to be done, and both of us were needed. I don't know which one of us forgot about the kitchen rags, it doesn't matter, too much on our plates, and it just happened. We did what needed to be done, drove back to the parking lot outside our laundry room, to see a frightening sight. The owner and various others were rushing about, smoke billowed from the laundry room window, "OMG!!!" we did not have to try and figure out what happened, it was obvious. Somehow we had left the dryer door open a tiny bit, just enough to allow air inside, and sure enough, spontaneous combustion!! Flames roared out the dryer door, fire extinguishers were grabbed from every spot, the smoke billowed causing us to attempt to put the fire out hunched over to the floor. Alarms were ringing all about, and all of us idiots were trying to get those damn kitchen rags out of the building. I still shake my head at the stupidity of all of us, no fire truck, no firemen, just employer and employees. We managed to get those rags outside, the smoke damage was nasty, the dryer, well, we thought it was toast, but....a little elbow "grease" and a few wires replaced, the darn thing started no problem.
  So... we figured this would be the end of the fire causing issue, nope...the solution to our problem was the removal of the nasty old dryers and nice new fangled front loaders, that would not heat the rags up enough to cause a fire. Now...I know, it would seem to make more sense to stop the rags from getting to the laundry, but, there it is again...you know what I'm talking about....
  I hope this is the last of my experience with the combustion stuff. I will tell you something, though, although those dryers must have been tapped into the fires of Hell itself, they (like everything else from their era) worked darn good. These new front load crapola machines, look pretty, and have lots of bells and whistles, but they can't dry spit! You can have all those wonderful enviromental stickers slapped on anything, saying how they will us less energy, Hah! We have to wait over an hour for stuff to dry, and even then, if one piece is dry, the sensors seem to think everything in the ball rolling about inside of the sheets is dry as well. Never ever thought I would miss the skin peeling dryers, but like me, they were Oldies, but Goodies!!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Mechanical Rebuild.

Guess I will not be receiving the Nobel prize for my Dessert Tray idea, so it looks like I will have to continue at my present job. That sort of sucks, I would certainly love to get a wad of money, and spend the rest of my days doing exactly what I want when I crawled out of bed.
  Therefore, I suppose I will continue trying to fix all those things that irritate me immensely. The saddest part is, I must be subtle about everything, because, if I put things down the way my brain really computes, I would likely end up unemployed.....
  In the perfect world, I would have the ability to order folks about, and lay down rules that make sense to me, and ensure those rules were followed to the letter. Yikes, no one would want to work for me, as I would expect them to do their best, each and every day, because that is what I was taught. I was also taught, if I did my best each and every day, I would be recognized for that work, and rewarded. Perhaps, that is how I would have employees, they would clue in, if they pulled up their socks, I would recognize and show appreciation. There lies the issue at hand, appreciation along with common sense seems to be a thing of the past.
  I see it every single day I work. Someone goes out of their way to do something extra, and what do they get? Absolutely nothing!!! Oh, there is the occasional "Thank you", which is generally followed by a "This wasn't done properly", which totally negates the Thank you.Now, don't get me wrong, it is not only the employer, it is also others who have been in the lower echelons, and should certainly remember what is was like. It is funny how often it is those who have "been there" that tend to forget absolutely everything, and become "Lords of the Flies".
  I know I said dessert trays would solve all the problems, but, appreciation does not have to come in the form of food, it simply HAS to come, and often. When employees are working extremely hard, and it is obvious they are somehow managing to keep things flowing when over worked, appreciation goes a very long way.
  Years back, when I worked for the "best boss in the world", I was very young, and the first raise I got, I was blown away. I never asked for the raise, it simply showed up on a pay cheque, out of the blue. That raise made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and proud, and full of the knowledge that I was obviously doing something right.That raise and the ones that followed, gave me incentive, I continued to work as hard as I could for this man, and never felt that I was just a body to fill a spot to keep his establishment running, I was an important cog in the machinery of his business. I knew he was watching, and when he felt I was giving a little more to his company, in return he gave me more. I thought that was the way things worked in life.
  What has changed in the world? Wages are certainly not rising to meet the cost of living. My job has absolutely no benefits, so I am left, lucky enough to have a partner that has a job to give me the necessary extended medical, but, even his no longer pays for basic medical, so that comes out of my pocket. Income tax has gone up, the cost of food has gone sky high, utilities are through the roof, and I see signs that local politicians are planing to start charging for water!!! Hello...the only time I get a raise is when my friend goes into the office to complain that we have not received one in a very long time, and that we are working our butts off. Then, sometimes, we will grudgingly see a result on our pay.
  I don't belong to a union, there is no group sitting back watching to ensure my wage keeps up with the rest of the world. There is no employee of the week award, there is no cash reward for stepping up to the plate and going beyond the "Norm". When an employer does not acknowledge extra effort on an employees part, there becomes absolutely no reason to continue to pull this effort out of their pocket. Some take longer than others to accept the truth, but, it does happen, and you, as an employer, will find one day, every single employee shows up, and does nothing but the basics.
  I know this is happening far beyond my little job, it is a sign of the times, and, I am sure it all comes back to my past rant on "common sense". Employees are no different than those Lab animals, we will stop performing the bell ringing, and running through the maze, if we feel what is at the end is not worth the trip. So, it is apparent, appreciation  and acknowledgement are basics in the workplace, if those two things are given to an employee with a smidgeon of common sense, the result will be continued hard work. Without it, employers are taking the risk that their workers wake up one morning and decide that they are fed up with lack of appreciation and either leave, or, stop giving their best, and join the mediocre majority.Employers cannot have their cake and eat it too, just like the rest of the world.
  I don't know, the Dessert tray would certainly have softened the harsh reality, as it would definitely been a sign of appreciation, but...money and acknowledgement are necessities in the workplace. The cogs are starting to slip in the machinery all over this province, and it is way past time for a mechanical rebuild.