It’s been an interesting few months, and as always in life, plans can change in the blink of an eye. My well thought out (somewhat) idea of working at a hotel part-time, and doing my masters in writing this year seemed like the perfect idea. I’d secured the job at a hotel, and started my uni application, tick, tick, well done me. However, then it turned out working in a hotel was incredibly tedious, and people whinge about the smallest details, like lack of a soap holder in the bathroom. One irate lady also complained to me that she had broken a nail opening a cupboard door. Poor diddums. And compounding these hard truths was the fact the manager was a complete nutcase who lived at the hotel, and was always stressed and irrational.
I’d decided to let all these annoyances go though as I figured it wasn’t forever, and I quite enjoyed how some days I had nothing to do so I could download a book, and read whilst on shift. I managed to read a whole Cormoran Strike novel over the course of a weekend at work, and if you aware of the books I’m referring to, you’ll know they are quite the bulky text. Regardless of this ease I felt vaguely depressed about the futility of my job, and kept thinking how the movie Dunston Checks In probably wasn’t the most accurate depiction of working hotel reception. There certainly wasn’t any cheeky orangutans causing trouble to make the job more engaging.
Regardless of this I kept going to work, and they kept paying me. However, about two months into the job I had an irritating interaction with manager, who randomly changed the roster to have me working a day in a week’s time when I had been rostered off. I emailed him to inform him that I couldn’t accommodate this. I decided not to question him about his ability to understand the concept of a roster. The following week, on the day that he had tried to last minute roster me on, I was sitting on the beach at Mooloolaba when the Christmas schedule arrived in my inbox. It was like a switch was flicked in my head, and I saw red. He had given me the worst shifts over Christmas and New Years, whilst everyone else either worked one or the other. I decided, perhaps irrationally, that he must have known that I was trying to chill on the beach, and he had planned to ruin my day.
I made an instant decision I wouldn’t return, and wrote a harshly worded email whilst on the Greyhound bus on the way back from the coast. I even laughed to myself maniacally as I wrote the last line, to the stares of the wanderlust backpackers sitting around me:
I will not be returning to work at XXXXXX. I find this roster unfair and unreasonable, especially considering I was told by yourself, about 10 days ago, that we would be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so I have made family plans accordingly. I also find it unfair that by week 2 of this roster that it will be my 5th weekend in a row working, and then, after only giving me one day off over Christmas (when we are closed anyway!), you roster me on the whole of the New Years weekend as well.
In general, I find you an unreasonable and irrational man, which makes for an unpleasant work environment at times. You might allow the business to squeeze every hour out of your life, and I’m sure your pay reflects that, but I’m on minimum wage and I’m not willing to mould to any hour you see fit for me to work. I hope you consider this as you sit at the front desk over the next week, covering my shifts.
I must admit, I did feel a little bad once my rage subsided but no real harm done. And you never know, perhaps it changed his life, maybe he quit his job, took up meditation, and moved to India to find enlightenment. Doubtful but anything is possible. Yet, despite my immediate buoyancy at the prospect of not having to work over Christmas, I was soon struck with a pang of mild dread at the realisation that I had rage-quit my job 10 days before Christmas, and the chances of finding a job within the next month were somewhat slim. In a frenzy I messaged and called any contacts I had that could possibly get me a job. I was particularly dismayed when a travel recruiter I had dealt with before told me that there wouldn’t be anything until mid-January at the earliest.
However, all was not lost, and when a friend messaged me about a few jobs going at the company I use to work for I immediately pounced on them. Yes, the original plan had been to leave there, and never come back but it seemed like a better option than maxing my credit cards while waiting for a job to arrive sometime in the never never. One of the jobs was in a department that books travel for the entertainment industry. They were looking for a travel manager, and luckily enough another friend works in that department. I sent her a message, the ball got rolling, and I started work 10 days later.
As you can tell, things have diverged from the line I was planning to walk but I’ve decided to realign my goals, and make this new situation work for me. I’m looking at it as an opportunity to save some cash, and travel to a few more places on the must-do list, though this is a forever growing list, which might take a few dozen years to get through. I’m still going to focus on my writing, and I am in the process of writing a book. The other day I reached the halfway mark, and gave myself an imaginary high five. And it was a crisp one too. I could hear the slap clearly.
Even though I can’t currently fulfill the option of studying writing, I’ve decided this might be a good thing. Instead of studying I will just do. My study plan can be making sure to sit back, and relax with a good book on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t need to be in an institutional setting to learn. Everyday I feel like I learn something new. Already in the last month I have learnt that I am not suited to work in a hotel, I enjoy sending scathing emails, I probably need to meditate regularly to stop being so irrational, and adaptability is key because no matter how perfectly you plan your future there’s always going to be a few rude hotel managers in your way.