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All posts for the month November, 2016

The Great Move is At Hand

Published November 26, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

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Today was my last at work. Due to last minute changes from the higher-ups, I was not scheduled to work the holiday as I had planned. So much for a little extra pay. But my last day went smoothly and I am happy to leave behind the world of housekeeping and cleaning up after people who think it’s their given right to leave horrendous messes in their wake.

There have been a few wrinkles in the system. Most have been smoothed out, the rest will be worked out as best we (roommate and I) can.

One of the wrinkles was refilling my medications. I rang today to refill them one last time. I six tablets left. Six. I was told it’s too early to refill the prescription. I find it hard to believe that six days before I run is too early, but on the other hand, I am not surprised.

This ‘health’ clinic has failed me over and over since I was assigned to it as my primary care provider. I rang two weeks ago to get in to speak with my primary care physician. I was told two things: She is on vacation for a week, and there are no appointments until next month. No offer was made to set me up with someone else, even after I explained why I wanted an appointment.

Next I tried the walk-in clinic. I was told in the past the walk-in clinic would ALWAYS take care of me if I could not get in the see my primary care physician. At the window, I explained my situation. I was told that while it may be urgent to me, the walk-in clinic did not provide the service I required. This is the third time the walk-in clinic has failed to meet my needs.

But with the medical issue aside, the rest has been going fairly smoothly. The furniture I can not take has been sold or given away. I have my boxes neatly stacked in was once my bedroom ready to load on the truck Monday morning. I was worried about having enough room, but a tape measure and moment taken measuring the length of my box stack assured me I will have enough room. Whew!

I have my trusty air mattress set up in the living room and made up. The apartment is beginning to have the echo-y sound of an empty apartment. Almost everything has been packed. I have a few more things to pack up and few more cupboards to wipe clean. I have managed to clean all the blinds, window sills, and spackled holes as I took things off the walls. Curtains have been taken down, laundered, and folded into a box. To top things off, the weather is supposed break a little for loading and driving. What more can one ask for?

While here are few things to iron out at the destination point, The room-mate and I are hopeful those wrinkles will shake out in a timely manner. We do have an alternate plan, but we are hoping we won’t need to use it at all, or at least, not for very long. Please cross your fingers everything falls into place.

Here’s to a new adventure!

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The Various Hotel Guest Personalities

Published November 14, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

As some of you know, I am currently working as a housekeeper, or maid, at a hotel. It is a large chain hotel with a medium price structure.

It’s interesting to note the personalities you meet as a housekeeper.

The Neat Nic.

This guest is all about neatness. The trash is in the bins, often the bag is tied shut, ready to be picked up. If they use more than one bag, the bags are neatly tied shut and lined up next to the bin. The bed has been slept in, but generally one side is still tucked in tight. The used towels are piled into one spot or in the bathtub. They rarely use the glasses and ice bucket. The mess is almost non-existent. This guest often leaves a tip.

These guests leave their room so neat, it is an easy clean. I am in and out in a short time. I like these guests.

The Accidental Slob.

We all know that person who makes a mess without meaning to. They always knock over the drink on the table, or open a bag of chips and the chips go flying. They don’t mean to be a slob. It just sort of happens. The Accidental Slob does not mean to leave a mess. They just do. There is a spilled drink on the desk or dresser (they often try to wipe to it up), there is generally a trail of crumbs or nutshells, the towels are mostly in a pile but there is often one or two hidden elsewhere, the bed looks like they tried to not mess it up, but managed to do so. The trash is mostly in the bins, but some of it missed.

These rooms are fairly easy to clean. They tried to keep together, but it just didn’t go as intended. There is a little more picking up to do. A little more wiping up and real cleaning (as opposed to just dusting), but all in all it isn’t a horrible clean. These guest sometimes leave a tip. The ones that do, often leave a good sized one.

While they take a little longer clean, they aren’t bad.

The Total Slobfest.

This type of guest is the one no housekeeper likes. The room looks like a tornado hit it. The towels are tossed helter skelter all over the place. The bed looks let twenty people tried to share it. The trash is everywhere. I mean everywhere. The trash bins seem to a suggestion or piled sky high in precarious leaning tower. However, the desk, the dresser, the floor (especially between the bed and the wall) seem to be where the garbage belongs. Candy wrappers, fast food bags, wine bottles, beer cans, plates still full of food from the hotel, nutshells, stuff I don’t want to know what it was, gooey stuff… just EW! One room I cleaned had sticky, red, candy hand prints all over the place. And there were no kids in the room. Drink spills are everywhere. The sheets are stained with food, make-up and often, er, other stuff. One room had soap all over the full length mirror. Why? The parents let their toddler finger-paint with soap on it. I have personally taken up to four 32 gallon garbage bags of trash out of one room.

These slobs never leave a tip. Ever. It can take a lot of time to clean up these rooms. This puts the housekeeper off her/his time (we are allotted a certain amount of time per room). It isn’t fun to pick up a mess like that. I do get a certain satisfaction from setting these room right, but I still don’t like cleaning them.

Tips are always welcome. Housekeepers don’t make much and we work hard (example: I had 10 rooms today, made 16 beds and helped clean two extra rooms) . We like helping our guests. We want you to have a wonderful stay.

Just don’t be The Total Slobfest.

 

Moving On

Published November 9, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

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Since I have lost the battle to stay in my little apartment, changes must be made. The means I am moving, again. I seem to live rather a gypsy life without intending to do so.

Initially, I had a friend who was going to share he very small space with me while we looked an apartment. Low income housing is as much a premium, even more so really, than reasonable priced housing. Housing in my part of the world is insane. Housing costs have raced far ahead of wages.

So we have been looking for a low-income apartment to share. She had already applied at one complex, and found she was number 97 on the waiting list. Somehow, being number 97 doesn’t say ‘Live here Today!’. But this new one, in a different town, closer to where she would like to be, popped up on Craigslist.

Off she ran to apply. There are a lot of hoops to jump through for these places. But she filled out the application and chatted with the manager. And waited. She was number 3 on the list. Three. A chance for an apartment.

Last week she got the call. She raced to fill out the remaining paperwork. Last week, I filled out my paperwork. Unless something goes horribly wrong with background checks, we are in.

We will have an apartment.

So I am packing and doing the things to close an apartment. I have written my landlord, cancelled my internet, reserved a truck and trailer and have begun packing up once again. I have to do this alone, and while I prefer to pack myself, but it does get old doing it alone time after time. My body tends to revolt more often than it used it.

This time the truck will be smaller and easier to handle (in theory), my friend will rally the troops to help unload at the far end. We will get it done and figure things out as we go. All and all, things will be okay.

As my follower, Laurie, said;

…this was not a battle lost but rather the beginning of a new amazing journey.

Thank you, Laurie. You were right.

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The Battle Has Been Lost

Published November 1, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

After all these months of fighting to stay in my apartment, pay my bills, and keep my car; all the things that come with being an adult living on your own, I have lost the battle. I have managed to stay put with help of friends, and a little luck here and there.

But now, the house of cards has fallen in and I have no way to continue as I have been.

My paychecks will come too late. They won’t cover the bills I have coming due. Even if I end up having enough, the rent will be late, and late fees will be charged. I will be perpetually behind, racking up late fees as I go, getting further and further behind.

Understand, I am not ‘living large’. I have rent, cheap internet, a car payment, a cell phone and one credit card with a low balance due and that is not used. Beyond that is food for me and my remaining dog (I lost my older dog to kidney failure last week).

I shop carefully. I rarely buy extras or rent movies. I don’t have cable.

I have the next two days off. They will be spent packing, sorting and looking for a storage unit for the few things I will keep. I will also have to draft a letter to my landlord explaining the situation and hope he is willing to not charge me the late fee, and, perhaps be a little understanding. I have no intention of stiffing him, but the money will be late.

I will sell almost all of my furniture, and anything else I don’t need and that can be replaced at a later date. Some things I will donate to the mission or food pantry (they also have household items to offer). The rest will be packed up and stored. A few things will go in my car for the trip north.

I have a friend who is willing to share what little she has with me. I won’t have to live in my car. I won’t have to be alone. I won’t have to struggle every minuet of every day wondering how to survive. I will homeless, but sheltered. I will be one of the lucky ones.

I will also become a statistic. I will be one of thousands of older women who is homeless. I will be one of thousands who are employed and are yet homeless.

I am not eligible for social security for 12 years.

So for the next 12 years, and most likely beyond, I must find a way to survive in a country with housing costs that do not match the current wages. I must work to find employment in a world that seems to believe anyone over 50 can not do a job as well as someone younger. I see more and more older people working at fast food restaurants and Wal Mart type stores. Why? Because we are ‘over qualified’ to do clerical work. Because employers want a ‘long term’ employee, even though employees stays at any given job for an average of just 4 years. Because the economy forced too many people back into the workforce to make ends meet.

I will do what I must, and hope things will improve. I will have friendship and sharing. We will both learn to live in small quarters and look out for each other.

Two older women learning anew how to live in a throw away world.