Thursday, July 13, 2006

The monied life of a chamber maid

Today I cleaned 17 toilets, changed 25 beds, refilled 12 coffee packets, and rode 8 times in the elevator.

I started a job as a chamber maid. And no, disappointingly, I do not have a cute uniform. I was sorta counting on it.

Having no parental support (father died 32 years ago in fatal crash; mother currently in rehab, again) I must take jobs as they happen to fall into my path. Besides, always wanted to know what it was like to peer into dirty rooms, other people's lives... imagine what type of person leaves the TV on for a whole day before they venture into a new city, or, how one person can use all 4 disposable coffee cups in one 12-hour hotel cycle. In walking into 17 different versions of lives today, I realized I wouldn't recognize my own if I happened upon a room with various sorts of clothing, footwear or toiletries. I suppose that means our things don't really define us after all. Maybe we define them. Or, there simply is no definition. Only perspective, or impression. But I suppose to have an impression of something you would naturally be expected to define that expression.

The monied life? Occasionally, I'm told, either tips or alcohol are left in rooms for the maids. But one must be careful. If you look too grateful or greedy and boast about your free gift, you may suddenly experience a drop in scheduling.

I am a very, very tired poet chamber maid. I am being paid very little. I don't know how long I will last. But it is interesting work. I am working with South American girls. One told me today, a delightful young new mother named Valeria from Argentina, that it is good for a person to work. For someone who's been spending all her time indoors working on Web site projects so far this summer, I have to agree. That aching muscle in my right shoulder blade? That's called living.


Blogger Amanda said...

Melanie Little has a great story about being a maid in Prism International last summer. It was called "Wrestling" and she won $2000 for it. Good luck on the chambermaid gig. Hope it inspires more than it tires.

10:13 a.m.  
Blogger MissWanda said...

I'll have to ask her to recount the tale next time I see her (she's supposed to come this way eventually...)

I will hold out hope that one day a room I clean will leave behind $2000--just for me. And I won't even have to write a story (fat chance).

11:06 p.m.  

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