I got a job. I applied in October, but didn’t hear anything back until November. I thought they had hired someone else and wondered why they hadn’t hired me.
One morning I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. I answer those calls because not all of my contacts transferred when I had to get a new phone, and The Man could be calling me from anywhere since he doesn’t have a phone and has to borrow one if he needs to contact me. This time, the call was from the manager of the place where I applied to work. She asked if I could come in the next morning at 10 for an interview. I told her yes!
I arrived a little early. I walked in by 9:57, and she was waiting for me. She whisked me into her office. By 10:04, I was back in my minivan, and I had the job.
The manager didn’t really interview me. She held my application in her hand and asked, So, you worked as a personal assistant?
I said yes, then talked for 40 seconds about what sort of tasks I carried out as a personal assistant.
Then the manager looked back at my application and asked, So, you worked for a home health care company?
I said yes, then talked for 30 seconds about how I helped disabled people in their homes.
Finally, the manager looked at my application for the last time and asked, So you worked at a gas station?
I said yes, then talked for 25 seconds about the work I did at the gas station.
When I finished speaking, the manager said she thought I would be a good fit for the position. She said I should come back on Friday afternoon before 3 o’clock to complete some paperwork. Then I walked back out to my van. I sat in the driver’s seat and felt so grateful to have a job. I was glad I wouldn’t have to fill out more applications or participate in additional interviews. I was so relieved that I’d gotten a job, I forgot to ask how much it paid.
By now you’re probably wondering what kind of job I got. Ok. I’ll tell you.
I’m the breakfast attendant at a mid-range hotel not far from a major roadway. I arrive at 5am, get food out of the cooler, cook sausage and eggs in the microwave, make coffee, and put out all the food. Some days I have to mix waffle batter. Some days I have to boil eggs. Throughout breakfast hours, I keep all the food stocked and, most importantly, keep the coffee flowing. I wipe tables when customers leave and pick up any trash they didn’t throw away. I wipe up spills on the counters, most often waffle batter from a self-serve waffle experience that has gone awry.
At 9am, I shut down the breakfast room. I turn off the TV and the waffle iron, unplug the toaster and the steam tray. I put away muffins and Danishes and hide all the cereal and condiments in the cupboards under the counter. I throw out any eggs and sausage that weren’t eaten. I wash the pans I cook the eggs and sausage in, as well as all the serving utensils the guests have used. I sweep and mop the floor and vacuum the carpet. I take out the trash, then head home for the day. I’ve always gotten out of there before 11am.
I only work three days a week. I work three days in a row, then have four days in a row off. That’s truly the best part of the job.
Another thing I like about the job is that no one is breathing down my neck. When I work, I am the queen of the breakfast room. The guy who trained me showed me how he does things, but told me that when I’m working, I’m in charge and can do things the way that most makes sense to me. The manager has corrected me a couple of times and given me some tips, but she’s not on any kind of high horse. I appreciate the corrections and advice she has given to me.
Of course, no job can be perfect…
On my first day of training, the manager and the guy who trained me warned me about Karen, the night auditor. I’ve worked in hotels before, and the night auditor has always been a weirdo. I think those disrupted sleep patterns really take a toll on most people. Hotel managers never want to fire night auditors though, no matter how difficult to get along with they may be because it’s so hard to find anyone willing to work the overnight shift. Hotel staff just have to put up with night auditor weirdness.
Karen has worked at this hotel longer than anyone else, including the manager (who just turned 25 two weeks ago). While Karen does know a lot, she thinks she knows everything, which, of course, she doesn’t. Karen is also bossy and smug.
The first day I worked alone after training, Karen tried to get bossy with me. I nipped it right in the bud, letting her know the way I did things was just fine. She got huffy and walked away. Good riddance, Karen.
Later that morning a third coworker (one of the front desk workers) warned me about Karen and said I should let any of the desk workers know if Karen hassled me. I told her how I had already taken care of things with Karen. I also let her know I’m open to correction and suggestion, but I don’t need Karen or anyone else bossing me for the sake of being bossy.
Every morning when I hurry in at 4:49, I give Karen a hearty, cheerful Good morning! She grumbles good morning back to me, but I can tell saying it pains her. On the rare occasion I ask her a question, she delights in giving me an answer. I think Karen enjoys knowing more than other people and showing off her knowledge.
All in all, the job is fine. It’s certainly not rocket science. I’m not working too hard. I can even sit down and watch the TV or flip through a tourist magazine when there’s no particular thing to do at the moment. It’s an easy job, and I’m grateful for it.
Also? Now I can add “Breakfast Attendant” to the long list of interesting job titles I’ve held.