Below the hotel is an underground world that you don’t know about. A place where only the strongest of will can survive, three is no room for the weak here. Or so I felt when I first started at the resort on top of a mountain. My young impressionable over active imaginary mind saw things a little differently, but not far off. It’s not that we walked below the hotel like a bunch of ants waiting to surface to go to our allocated departments, but sometimes I felt this sense of separation, guests versus employee type of feeling.
When we entered the hotel for our shift we walked along hallways where on the other side were guests paying hundreds of dollars to stay in a hotel that was famous for it’s unique location. We were not allowed to enter any guest entrances or walk through the lobby, unless we were serving a function in the lobby area. We had our employee areas and if we steered away from the rules we would be reminded of our place. Sometimes it felt like the old saying but slightly off: don’t be seen or heard just do your job and go home. Yes, we gave great guest service while we were at work and I had people wrapped around my baby finger when I served them. If you asked for a gin and tonic I would up-sell to the most expensive brand because you’re on vacation and it where else can you say you’ve had this gin on top a mountain? When I wasn’t working, I had no urge to run back to the hotel and hang out with guests. I wanted to hike up to the Big Beehive and soak in the magic of the Canadian Rockies.
We had a staff pub and that was our place, a sacred homage of drunken debauchery to let loose and complain about guests who couldn’t pronounce Merlot – always with the ‘t’, seriously? Some nights it did feel like the dark pub was where only Hell’s Angeles were aloud by the way we talked and acted, like we left all of our intelligence at the door and replaced it with another shot of tequila chased with another beer and another. Unfortunately, this lifestyle was one that we fell into night after night. If you were not careful a month could go by and after each dinner shift you were still sitting at the same table with a line up of tequila shots and beer chasers. This underworld is a bit more of the darker side of working and living in a hotel resort setting, more like a viscous cycle that is for tomorrow’s letter, V is for viscous cycle.
Until next time, keep on typing. . . .