You Missed a Spot

Suite Five has a full kitchen and a large expanse of tile that must be cleaned by hand. An older couple checked in to the suite. Within a few minutes, they went to the front desk and complained that there was a sticky spot on the tile. I had witnessed one of the housekeepers, on her hands and knees, cleaning the tile earlier in the day so I told the innkeeper (my boss) that the floor had been properly cleaned but that I would go and clean the floor again, no problem.

The sticky spot was most likely residual cleaning fluid but, when I arrived with rags in-hand, they could not find the exact area again so they stood above me, while I was on my hands and knees, and directed me to different areas with their toes.

“I think it was right there, more towards the sink,” the woman said.

“In front of the refrigerator as well,” said the man. “My shoes felt sticky when I stepped there.”

I scuttled from spot to spot, squirted the Clorox Clean Up and wiped with a dry rag. I didn’t mind, at first. I believed they were being a bit ridiculous (the floor was already clean) but it was only ten minutes of my day, no problem.

When I determined that I’d cleaned enough, I sat back on my heels and said, “I think we got it all.”

The woman said, “Thank you.”

I said, “It was my pleasure.”

The woman said, “I seriously doubt it.”

The man said, “I hope not.”

I paused, momentarily flummoxed. “I love my job,” I finally said, as I rose to my feet.

I believe they thought I was being sarcastic. Based on the tip (?) they left (a penny dropped in the middle of the kitchen floor) they did not appreciate the imagined attitude. It was not until I found that penny that I got pissed.

They should have paid by the minute for that little scene.

I do love my job. It’s honest work. The view from every room is breathtaking.

But…

Because this formerly part-time job has taken over my life, the release of the first in The Sublime Detectives Series has been postponed again and again and again. It’s sort of breaking my heart.

My housekeeper is exhausted and my writer is whining for more time.

The housekeeper says, “It shouldn’t matter how many hours I put in every day, you still need to find the time to write!”

The writer replies, “How can I get up at four in the morning, every morning, if you’re not in bed at eight the night before?”

The housekeeper says, “I need time to unwind after a ten hour day on my feet!”

“You need to tell them to cut back your hours.”

“We’re already short-staffed as it is.” The housekeeper rubs her strained shoulder. “I would have to quit to get less hours. I’m exhausted and resentful. I’m starting to make mistakes at work. And when I listen to you whine about how you don’t have enough time to write, I want to scream, ‘Would you rather be whining about not having enough money to eat?!’”

“This will turn around,” the writer says. “I will make enough money to support us. Maybe not a lot, but enough. I just need the time to write. You need to make that happen.”

And the housekeeper, right now, as I type, says, “Post your stupid fucking blog and get dressed. It’s time to go to work.” She glances at the word count at the bottom of the page and sneers, “Almost six hundred words this morning. Too bad they have nothing to do with your book.”

About Violet Graves

Writer of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Sex with a Vengeance www.violetgraves.com
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2 Responses to You Missed a Spot

  1. I did time as a housekeeper approximately a lifetime ago. Exhausting work, little time to write. Check. I also had some of the most fascinating experiences of my life, and met some of the most fascinating people. I’m pretty sure the experience of meeting and dealing with so many different types (the kind-hearted and the lonely and the desperate and the players and the bullies and the pros) helped make me as a writer, just like I’m pretty sure that incident with the nasty guests (and maybe some delicious revenge) will find its way into something you write someday.

    Hang in there, V. I guarantee as much as it seems to be working against you, it’s also working for you.

    • Thank you and you are right. The stories building up in my head, stories inspired by the events of this job, are monumental. They are going into the series I will be writing about the Cove (pop 500 give or take depending on the season) in the near future. I was feeling more than a little exhausted yesterday morning (battling a bug these past few days) so I let the housekeeper take over the keyboard because she needed to vent. That’s what she wrote 😉 and she demanded I post it on the blog. Her pathos is endearing to the writer, despite the harsh words.

      She needs to be reminded once in a while that her job not only pays the bills, it also provides amazing inspiration. I appreciate your reply, Bridget.

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