September 19, 2015 11:00pm
When I drove up to the hotel, I noticed the parking lot was mostly full. I was curious if I would have a sold out night. I parked my car, and walked to the building. As I passed the window looking into the dining room, I noticed it was filled with people. I could see the beer cans, and wine bottles on the tables. Hockey parents, or wedding? When I entered the building, my ears were immediately assaulted by the voices of more than fifty people between the ages of forty and seventy years old. They all had an unmistakable Massachusetts accent, and every other word was fahkin this, and fahkin that. I heard a woman shouting, “I just might sleep in my fahkin cah, because you didn’t get a fahkin caht in my fahkin room. Now I gotta take a wicked piss.” Tom was leaning against the wall; he looked like he was trying to seem more irritated than he most likely was. I clocked in, and he didn’t move from where he was leaning.
“Are we sold out tonight?” I asked. I was trying to avoid asking him why he looked so unhappy. It was bound to be bullshit.
“We have thirteen rooms left. These are the people from the wedding. Management gave them permission to use the dining room for a party. I have not been able to hear myself think all night. You have fun with that.” He said, as he patted me on the back. I wanted to shove him through the wall, as soon as he touched me.
“Those people look kind of old. I doubt they will be much of a problem for me.” I said.
“Trust me, you are going to have an annoying shift. Those people have shouted for the last two hours. It’s like my high school lunchroom in there.” He said.
“Well, they are all old people. They can’t hear each other. They have to shout in order for all their hearing aids to pick up the sound of their voices.” I said with a chuckle.
Tom just shook his head at me. My sense of humor would not deter him from being more irritated than he had to be.
“Okay then, here is something more annoying for you.” He said, as if he intended to make sure I would have as annoying a shift as he was having. “Thanks to you having last night off, the part-time guy they hired ran a virus scan on this computer, and it screwed up our entire system.”
“Screwed up how?” I asked. Tom shook his head, and grinned. He was hoping I would ask that question. Tom pointed at the credit card reader first.
“That no longer works. I tried making it work, but the computer doesn’t recognize it.” He rolled his eyes to show how irritated he was. “If someone walks in looking for a room, you will have to punch in their credit card number manually. It’s so fucking annoying.” He was scanning my face for a reaction.
“Is that it?” I asked.
“Nope! The printer also won’t work.” He picked up a stack of papers that he had printed before I arrived; they were blank folio papers. “I printed up a bunch of blank papers, and I’ve been getting the guests to fill out, whatever. It was the easiest way I could think to get their paperwork done.” He said, and then paused. He was waiting for my reaction. How does someone print a stack of papers, with printers that don’t work?
“The whole system is screwed?” I asked.
“Yeah! Most annoying night ever!” He was exaggerating.
“So that computer to our right also doesn’t work?” I asked curiously.
“Oh, that one works.” He said
I stared at him for a moment. I was trying to wrap my brain around everything he said, also trying to understand why he went through all that hassle. I took a deep breath before speaking again.
“So, if that other computer is working, then why didn’t you just use that one instead?” I asked. Tom looked at me a bit dumbfounded.
“Because this is the computer we all use.” He said.
“I often use both computers.” I informed him.
“But, this computer is where phone that we use is located.” He was feeding me stupid excuses now.
“There is also a phone next to that other computer, and it works just the same as this phone. In fact, when we get calls at the desk, both phones always ring.” I reminded him. I could see his eyes rolling around as he tried to find words that made him sound less like a moron. He chose to get angry with me.
“You know what? I went through all the hassle to make sure that these blank folios were printed for you, so all you will have to do is have the guests walking in tonight fill out the papers with their information. Don’t you think that deserves a thank you?” He said, attempting to scold me.
“Thank you Tom. Thank you for showing me, that you are too lazy to walk eight and a half feet to your right, which would have allowed to do your job without having to go through any of the annoyances that you just wasted your breath expressing to me.” I finished with my usual grin. Tom scowled at me.
“You are the one always calling me lazy. I took the steps to make sure that you understood how much effort I put into dealing with a busted computer, and you laugh it off. UN-fucking-believable.” He complained.
“Work smarter, not harder.” I said as I walked over to the computer that is working just fine. I used my log-in information, and started printing all of my paperwork for the beginning of my shift. Tom stood, watching me for a moment, and then stormed off in his usual angry teen-girl fashion. I heard another drunk woman from the dining room shouting again. “Wicked fahkin pissah!” Yup. That sounds about right.