Leeuwenhoek had stolen and peeped into the fantastic sub-visible world of little things, creatures that had lived, had bred, had battled, had died, completely hidden from and unknown to all men from the beginning of time. Beasts these were of a kind that ravaged and annihilated whole races of men ten million times larger than they were themselves. Beings these were, more terrible than fire-spitting dragons or hydra-headed monsters. They were silent assassins that murdered babies in warm cradles and kings in sheltered places. It was this invisible, insignificant, but implacable-and sometimes friendly- world Leeuwenhoek had looked into for the first time of all men of all countries. ~Microbe Hunters

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Well That Was Awkward- Work Edition

For a while in high school, I worked as a housekeeper at a Hotel and Conference Center. We hosted company conferences, lunches and weddings. The housekeeping staff consisted of 7 ladies who should be retired, and one high school student- me. As break, they would talk about their sick husbands, all the people they know who died recently, and their soaps. Then, after an over-stretched break, it was back to work.

We each took a floor, or a building (there was one large building, and 3 smaller ones) and were left alone until someone would pop up behind you, expectantly, and tell you it is time to meet for break. In those long hours of being alone, I decided to entertain myself by profiling the people who were staying the night in that particular room. I theorized who you were by the type/kind of liquor in your ice bucket, if you partially made the bed in the morning, if you destroyed the bed sheets, if you used one towel or two, etc. I especially liked the people who had a picture of their family on the nightstand for a 3-day conference or the artwork by small children- so cute.

This one time, I was working with this old lady, sharing a cart, so I was on one side of the hall, and she was on the other. It was just after a big wedding, and there were still lots of people in their rooms, even after check-out. After knocking and calling out, "housekeeping" with no response, I preceded into the first room. To my surprise, a man and a woman were still passed out, naked. I had strict orders to get the people out of their rooms, because other people were coming to check-in in less than 2 hours. What do I do? They're naked! I thought that no one was in the room, but I was apparently mistaken so I tip-toed back out of the room, and closed the door behind me. The old lady and I switched hallway sides, and she banged on the door until they woke up and got out. Boy, was that awkward! Happens all the time, apparently.

A few weeks later, I was working with the same lady. She went ahead to start working on a corner room that has a second room attached with a pull-out couch and a few extra chairs in it. I went off to get some more towels and when I got back, she said she was all done with that room. Great! We moved along. A few rooms later, she said we had to go back before the end of the day and finish cleaning the corner room. Apparently, she walked in and made the beds in the main side, and when she walked into the attached side, she found a man laying on the couch, playing with himself. He didn't call out through the open door or anything, he just stayed there and played with himself until she caught him. That is disgusting.

3 out of 4 of the buildings at the Conference Center are haunted, so we have random groups of people who call themselves "ghost-hunters" who come and want to stay in the most haunted building. That building has 6 rooms and 2 communal washrooms. Since it was the only building being used, I was the only one working one Sunday morning. My mind was playing tricks on me and I found myself talking to the ghost after a while. I was terrified. When I was in one of the bedrooms, I felt something in the hallway. I thought it was not good to breath, let alone move, so I stood there in silence until I mustered enough courage to go and check the hall for suspicious blood or flying objects. To my dismay, I found nothing. However, later, at lunch break when I was sitting with the groundskeeper, he told me he had snuck into the building and was waiting in the hall to scare me, but since I never came out, he just left. That was the meanest prank, ever.

Shockingly, this housekeeping job has not been the most disturbing job I have ever had. Last summer I worked for The City in horticulture, cleaning toilets in the morning and picking garbage after the washrooms are clean. When you are picking garbage, you get into this zone where you are incoherent to everything and just focusing on the garbage on the ground. One day, my crew-mate and I were picking along, and I was following this trail of what looked like pieces of toilet paper. Half-way though the toilet paper hunt, a man greeted me, and I greeted him back- its all about public perception. I put my head back to the ground and kept picking. It was then that I noticed something. There was a hole in his crotch that was clearly homemade to pull his wang right out and expose himself to me! Public park, public beach, families all around, small children playing nearby. Seriously, dude?? We reported "the flasher" to our boss, and the second time it happened, we called the police, and the third time it happened, the police caught him!

Darn good and sure of it,


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