Zealous

It’s the last day of the 2017 A to Z blog challenge. I’ve had some fun with this years theme there have been some posts about writing but they are connected to my hotel life. I believe everything is connected.

When I first started to serve and became comfortable with my serving style I became a bit zealous with my guest service. I was passionate about providing good service, I didn’t want anyone to have a bad experience. There is nothing wrong with that, right? Well there can be. I fell in the trap of caring too much about the people who were sitting at my tables. At first I looked at everyone as a tip, I was working to making money to pay for university which happened for the first two summers I worked at the Luxury hotel and resort. Then after university when I was going to take time off before I decided what I was going to do next. When I started to pay more attention to the guests I was serving there was more of a connection. They gave a higher gratuity because they said I was engaging and interesting. Really? I needed to know more about how to connect with people. I decided I could be a great fine dining server and was eager to learn as much as possible.

I was the first to sign up for any new wine tastings, whiskey seminars, food knowledge, anything that could help me wow the guests, I was there. Then as I started to learn more I saw the potential of advancing to possibly a host, a supervisor and eventually a dining room manager. I was committed to this serving life now, whatever I could get my hands on I wanted to learn. I asked more questions and thought that if I could get more knowledge I could work my way up the corporate ladder.

The problem with being this committed to one thing was forgetting about the one things that actually gave me joy, not just the rush of getting a better tip, a better position in the F&B food chain. Creativity was left by the side stand where I placed my drink tray to pick up the silver water jug to make sure my guests where well taken care of. I was becoming overzealous with a job that I said I only wanted to be temporary so that I could write full-time. Now I was working full-time and writing very part-time. I had to change my way of thinking and be just as fierce with my writing as I was with the serving.

As I started to move around from property to property, gaining more and more experience, advanced in my hotel life, I’ve complained and struggled that I am working more in the hotel world than I do in my writing life. Geez, who made those decisions? That’s right, me. I then realized that the hotel life is part of my writing life and I can be just as committed to both, but lately it’s more about the writing and that’s okay – the hotel life is there to support me and maintain this beautiful creative life and for that, I am deeply grateful.

Thank you for joining me on this years A to Z blogging challenge. If you ever want to connect to talk about writing, get together to write, please drop me a line. You can find my email in Contact Me. Thank you again and I hope to see you soon.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Renee Silverman for the jumping photo

I am Writer

I am a writer who happens to work in the hotel world. I may have written about these details before but I’m pretty committed to sharing about my writing life. Writing has always been in me. I am aware that creativity has chosen me to work with and sometimes I have failed to not show up, I have chosen to slip deep into the hotel life, partaking in the drama that is connected with the hotel world, sometimes it’s all I can do to hang on from falling into old familiar patterns. All I want to do is be with creativity, to write the stories that have been shared with me, little whispers of characters, glimpses of places and situations that have a story, I am the one that has been chosen to tell the that possible dirty little secret or heart warming romance, scare the hell out of you thriller. It doesn’t matter to me, I’m my truest self when I’m here on the page and everything else can all fall around me.

I am writer who happens to have been chosen to work in the hotel world to gain experiences to share. I have seen some things that no longer make me think, what the hell are they thinking? Or, is this really happening? Yes, every situation, every guest interaction is happening right in front of my eyes and I get the privilege to share those moments with you. I get to share the most spectacular moments of human connection or down right idiotic conditions that really make me shake my head. I witnessed a man who looked civilized enough argue with the front desk agents that he did not sign his dinner to his room and he was very adamant he paid for it with cash. He was at a point where I usually step in to ask him to sit quietly in the lobby while we investigate his concerns. But, once the front desk was able to show him the signed bill that he indeed did sign he could not stop being wrong, he barked, ‘fine just leave it and charge my credit card.’ And walked away. He’d rather show face then apologize for his inappropriate out burst of unacceptable behavior towards an employee. Little did he know once he left, the others guests who witnessed this situation shared their apologies for this man who was acting like and ass. They shared to the front desk they hope they don’t’ take it personally and continued to give nothing but praises to the hotel and employees.

I am writer who witnesses a lot and will share moments that may help others learn and grow and for the pure joy of writing and sharing. I am writer who knows what she wants to write about and also happy to share whatever creativity is happen to show me. Bring it on, I’m ready!

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

V is for Vicious Cycle

In the early days of my hotel life it seemed to be a vicious cycle, I know it sounds a bit harsh, but it’s my truth at the time and for others as well. As a follow, up from the underground world, the times we spent at the staff pub after our dinner shifts were more common than I’d like to remember.

As servers, we worked hard and we played even harder. We made serious money in a short period of time and once and awhile we would treat ourselves with an expensive bottle of wine or high-end whiskey or scotch, then drink it in one night. Why save it when we could by another one? We deserved it, we had to put up with some pretty unacceptable behaviour from guests who thought they were the next best thing since sliced bread. They would talk down to us as if we were their personal servers. Yes, we were serving them breakfast, lunch or dinner, but that didn’t mean they could belittle us with snaps of fingers, pointing at us and summing us to them,  oh waitress, bring me another martini and make sure the bartender puts four onions this time, he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of the perfect martini. Or so this is your career, waitressing? Don’t you want more for your life? I’m not kidding you, this is what one of many people have asked me over the years when I was serving.                                                                                                       Sometimes I would share I’m in the middle of my BA and my aspirations of becoming a published author then that started another kind of conversation, oh a writer, I guess you do need to serve to make money for rent. I wish I could make this up. After too many of these conversations, I wouldn’t waste my time on people who assumed. I started to tell people I was in the middle of my BA and my next step was a Master in literature to become a professor, or some BS like that. The things I said to avoid the judgemental look was becoming a new art form.

It seemed like each night was the same conversations and then the same bottle of beer after work at the staff pub. The same shot of tequila or rye to stay awake only to shuffle to the after pub party at someone else’s staff accommodations. Any day of the week there was an after pub party, you only needed to stay until last call at the pub to get the invite. If you weren’t careful months could go by until you realize that you’ve pretty much poured all your tips down the drain for one more shot at the after pub party. A vicious cycle. There is a happy end to this, most of us took the beer blinders off and saw the light. Like every habit to break, it took one night away from the pub to break the routine. Much like writing, I just needed to take the first step and start putting words on the page. Now here I am twenty years after all those interesting adventures, I’m grateful for everyone one of them. My first memoir about my hotel life is in the final stages of revisions and hopefully self published in the next few months.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

F is for the F-bomb

Words are powerful.

The f-bomb for those who may not be aware is using the f&% word randomly on a frequent basis, maybe because they can’t find another word to express the feeling, it can be a filler word, or it’s a habit from hearing it so often in society, movies, TV shows. I will be the first to admit that I use the f-bomb and not that this is an excuse, I am a Navy brat, I grew up around sailors and living on a Navy Base doesn’t help the cause, it’s bound to happen but again, no excuses.

When I was in junior high , my friends and I used the f-word like it was going out of style; hurry-up-and-use-it-before-it-goes-away type of hurriness. Then after a while, one of my friends said they didn’t want to hang out with me anymore because I swore to much. Ouch! I cried because my friend was the one who encouraged our filthy language, she made it out like it was our little secretly, see how long we can get away with it type of manipulation. A week later after I stopped myself from using any curse words, what do I hear? The very girl who befriended me for swearing. What the (insert your choice of word here).

Thirty years later I find myself cringing at the filler word and stop myself if I’m amongst friends and have the urge to let the word fly. It’s a habit that I am breaking. I ask myself is this the best version of me? Usually the answer is no and I chose a different work to describe my displeasure. As a writer it’s fun to find new words to slip into the vocabulary. My new word for displeasure; conniption, this makes me smile to let go of what no longer serves me.

Until next time, keep on typing….

 

 

 

 

 

What is your experience with cursing? Have you noticed a shift your language verses others? I would love to hear from you.

C is for Crazymakers

I love Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way. I read it for the first time over eight years ago and I have been re-reading it, the book is now dog-eared, passages highlights, sticky notes on the side. It is one of my number one go to inspirational and motivational writing reference books. The first time I read about crazymakers I was shaking my head and saying ‘oh yes, I have a few of those.’                                      What is a crazymaker?

They are people with those personalities that create storm centre’s. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And, for the creative person i their vicinity, they are enormously destructive. You know the type: charismatic but out of control, long on problems and short on solutions. Crazymakers are the kind of people who can take over your whole life. To fixer-uppers, they are irresistible: so much to change, so many distractions. . . .

I knew who were my crazymakers in my life and it took some time to walk away from them. I would want to be writing and the people who needed my attention for whatever reason sucked me away from the page that I was ready to fill with stories to share. I only had myself to blame on the choices I made, therefore it came to a point where I said, enough is enough and writing comes first, my friends will understand and my friends did understand. My crazymakers tried to hold on, but I slowly let go and now it feels like a faded memory of how I was bogged down with trying to fix others when I needed to work on me.

I want to thank my dear friend Christine Goyer-Swift for leaving me a copy of The Artist’s Way that one night during meditation. I left the sanctuary early and there on the bench was her copy of the book with a sticky note that shared I might like the book. We met people for a reason and I’m so grateful for a thoughtful moment that has flourished into a great journey.

Until next time, keep on typing….

Making Space for the Unknown

It’s been a creative week. I left the mini-marketing/writing gathering last week filled with enthusiasm and joy. I didn’t really have to tell myself that I had to hold onto the feeling, I just knew that what I was feeling, the pure awareness of the true self wanted to stay a front, to use her voice and you know what? I stepped aside and went with the flow.

My partner and I have been looking for a new place to live as you know we have been given notice so that our landlords son can move into the condo now. I have gotten over the grief of it all now, I went through all the stages, anger, sadness, and now I’ve moved onto the let’s-get-the-next-chapters-of-our-lives-going stage.             I’ve been ready to make space for what is to come. However the truth of it all is a bit frustrating. Victoria, BC, much like other major cities, is in this housing bubble where it is very difficult to find a place to rent. There are many places for rent but when you make an appointment to view a place you show up and the landlords have already rented it or are just showing it to see who is going to offer them cash on the spot to ensure they have a place to live. Or the pictures on the Craigslist add are slightly not what you is in reality or ten people show up to a showing and it’s basically a crap shoot who is going to get chosen. It’s very disheartening. What I am grateful for is our friends who are looking out for us, calling, texting, sharing with me places they have seen on their way to work, word of mouth, just a heads up. It’s all very comforting.

Faith is your best buddy when you’re scared shitless – Jenn Sincero

I have been packing up my books and cleaning out closets to make space for the new. This is to say that I am ready to leave this place and move into a new place, a safe and welcoming home that will help us get to where we are going. Sure I have fear pop up and say hello from time to time, but I’m okay. I have faith and trust in the universe that all will be as it should.

Then creativity shows up and whispers, don’t forget about me. How could I? I can never forget my creativity, she is right here with me. In the middle of what seems to be a daunting time, I have to carry on, I go to the hotel life and do my job. I hosted a first aid class during the week and without warning, like most of the time, creativity was there waiting for me. Our instructor was this amazing human being who said one line and creativity pointed feverishly like a little kid, did you hear that, that’s golden, he’s your Broc, he’s your Paris story! Get writing! In one moment I knew my story that I was given over a month ago was now falling into place. I watched our first aid instructor all day and made mental notes while learning how to save someones life. It was a very abundant and grateful day. Creativity is everywhere, it’s our job to pay attention and write it all down.

With change comes insight. I’m embracing the shift and taking one step at a time, I’m trusting that I am being led in the best direction that is meant for me.

Have you been faced with an unexpected change? How are you managing? Know that I am here to support you, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Reminders

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                 Painting by Laurie Pace

Another week has come and gone. I feel like time is slipping by quickly and I wonder if anyone else feels the same? I honestly didn’t take any time during the week to write beyond my morning pages and I was aware of my mood. When I don’t write or work towards my passion I am aware of how my energy changes, my actions reflect the lack of motivation I have for anything. I end up living the routine to just get through the day and that doesn’t do anyone any good.

Then in one moment I am reminded of my passion and that writing is always a part of my life.

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Friends of mine were staying at the hotel I work for and they were traveling with friends. When they stopped in to say hi I was thrilled to see them. As my friend introduced me to their friends she said “Marion Ann is a writer as well.” She waved towards her friend, we’ll call her Riley, and shared that her friend was starting to write blogs. I shared how I was a writer who works in a hotel and writing is always with me. They asked if I had anything published and I shared my short list (I’m proud of my list) and went a step further to share my intentions with my latest manuscript. Riley voiced, “I admire you for being on the publication train, I’m not there yet but one day.” And I shared, yes, it’s a journey but the writing deserves to be shared, it doesn’t deserve to sit in the desk drawer any longer. I was given this talent and I’m here to share the creativity. As I spoke these words I truly felt this notion, I’ve shared this before but it’s worth to share again and again. I whole heartily believe that creativity has chosen me to work with and my job is to write and share. So that day I decided to take Saturday off and to work on what was needed to get one step closer to sharing my work.

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I sat in my writing room and wrote the day away which was filled with mini breaks and sitting idle for the creativity to show up and share. For this I am grateful.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

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