One of my writing intentions was giving my writing the attention it deserves. Time management is key to this goal. It requires time for this goal and if I take twenty minutes to sit down and focus I am following through. I am honoring my passions.
I will share some draft material from my next memoir. Procrastination has latched on to me, yet when I am sitting here working on my blog, I can get the words down. So why not trick procrastination and get some writing done! I’m experimenting with my prologue at the moment and this memoir will be a little darker than my first memoir about working in a luxury hotel in Lake Louise. My debut memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, was a glimpse of my experiences while working at the Chateau Lake Louise during the summer, where everything on the outside seems to be perfect, but I share how it is far from perfect.
The next memoir still doesn’t have a title that I am excited about, so I will keep the theme and continue with, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Winters. This memoir is about my experiences working for the same luxury hotel only in the winter. Then I move from this hotel to another hotel within the same hotel chain. A different hotel, but the same drama and heartache of this creative being’s journey of self-discovery. Thank you for being here with me. Here we go…
Hotels Keep Your Secrets
Hotels keep secrets. The secrets left behind in a hotel are more than you may believe.
After 25 years in the hospitality business and more important as a front-line employee at the start of my hotel life, I have been privy to situations that I’m sure guests would hope no one would remember. I have heard conversations between guests that I am sure guests would deny. Or not care to reminisce. I know this to be true because I’ve heard the words. I was serving in the luxury hotel’s fine dining room, The Edelweiss, during my first winter at the Lake. I enjoyed the slower pace of knowing my guests vs proving Frisbee service to tour groups. Get’em in, get’em out type of dinner service. In the fine dining room, I had to know about wine pairing and scotch. I couldn’t offer house wine because why sell a six-dollar glass of wine when you can sell an eight dollar glass? The higher the bill, the higher the tip. Servers, and I was no different, thought about money and how much we could make each night.
The new couple that sat down in my section looked like they had been together for a few years. She was tall, shoulder-length, wavy, dirty blonde hair. She walked with confidence. He was slightly taller, short black hair with a hint of superman wavy style hair. He had his arm around her waist as they walked. I smiled as they were seated at the table of two by the window overlooking Lake Louise. I introduced myself and offered pre-dinner drinks; he ordered a bottle of Louis Latour Chardonnay. He said it was close to their wedding anniversary, and it was his wife’s favourite. She smiled and told me it reminded her of their vacation last year to France. People tell me their stories. People trust me. I listen and smile. I engage in conversation at the right times. I was trained, and I paid attention to the training.
As I walked away to put the order in, I heard, I love you… come from the gentleman. There was some type of acknowledgment from his wife, but there was silence. I checked on the two other tables in section to see if they needed anything and picked up the bottle of wine. As I approached the table, I heard something that I should have walked a little slower to the table.
You’re a liar. The woman gruffly whispers she has seen the phone number on the cell phone bill (this was the mid-90s and bills were still being mailed to our homes). The woman called the number, and a woman answered. It could mean only one thing. The man is silent and speaks from the side of his mouth, we’ll talk about this later…
I walk up to the table and present the bottle of wine first to the woman and then to the man. They hardly look at the bottle. I don’t want to even talk to them but I had a job to do and all I could do was open the wine. I ask with caution.
Who would like to taste the wine? As I open the bottle, a staged task I’ve also been trained to perform night after night. A five-minute procedure that connects me to my guests. It’s where I learn a little more about them and use it my advantage as I see fit.
The woman points to her glass and forces a brief smile. I go through the motion of pouring a small amount for her to taste. I was for her to smell the wine, swirl it around, smell it again then takes a sip to swish around to make sure it’s a good wine. I try not to look at her or the man, but I glance at them both, quickly. The man is staring at the blank space on the table where I would place his entrée choice if they made it that far.
It’s good. Thank you. She points to her glass and I pour the standard few ounces to make sure the wine stays chilled.
More, please. She whispers and I pour as she requested. They’re the one paying for the meal, I’m not one to say otherwise. I pour the man the same amount and he asks for a double Johnny Walker Black on ice. She huffs and almost gulps back the wine. I pour her another glass and ask if they need more time with the menus. They look at me and nod in agreement.
The rest of the meal is in silence. It is chilling to go up to the table during my quality checks. They both are polite. The praise the food and when I walk away, there is silence.
I thank them as I place the bill down. I hear, I’m going to the room and I don’t want you to come up for a while. Ouch! I think. This will not be a good night for them. Why go through dinner? Why torture yourself? Sure, it was entertaining to my creative being trying to come up with all sorts of conversations they would have. Who was the other woman? Why would he cheat? Did he cheat? Maybe the other woman was an event planner setting up their wedding anniversary surprise for her from him? There were many possibilities my imagination played around with. The man signed the bill and as he walked to leave the dining room; he apologized for their behavior and asked me if there was a bar in the hotel. I told him about the Glace and he wandered off to find more scotch to ease his bruised ego. I desperately wanted to ask him if he was cheating, or what it all a big misunderstanding?
I never saw the couple again. My curiosity questioned if he went back to the room, and they had a big fight? Did she leave the hotel and not tell him? What happened to this couple? I experienced a few of these uncomfortable situations when I was serving at the Lake. This may not be a secret, but this situation lingers in the walls of the hotel. Sometimes I could feel the ghosts of the past linger in the lobby as I walked through to a function I was working. I wonder if my stories are hanging in the air of the dining rooms where I started my unexpected hotel life.
Thank you for being here with me today.
Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…