They swarm their prey in a frenzy, ruthless and without reason.
They feast on their finds. In their gluttony, they stuff their bags until the bags can accept no more. They leave nothing but morsels to their mateys.
Or nothing at all.
They’re the piranha of hotel housekeepers.
My coworkers, many of ’em, are a selfish breed. First thing each morning, we load up our carts with supplies for our tasks of full cleans and stayovers at a well-known hotel chain that shall, for my protection, remain unidentified. Hint: Think opposite of Worst Eastern.
Rags, microfibers, shower curtains and raggedly old pillowcases that’ll be stuffed with sheets and towels from stripped rooms are hot commodities.
There are plenty to go around — with the caveat that housekeepers take only what they need. Repeat: ONLY WHAT THEY NEED.
But they don’t. They jam so many rags and other fabric supplies into their “pillowcase totes” that their bags rival Santa Claus’s on Christmas Eve!
They stuff ’em full. They stuff ’em like a bank robber stuffs wads of cash into his duffel bag. They stuff ’em like a glutton stuffs his stomach on Thanksgiving. They stuff ’em like they’ll never be another rag to be seen in all of humankind ever again.
They stuff ’em like NO ONE ELSE MATTERS. Like no one else exists. Like no one else needs rags.
And I am always left holding the bag.
The empty pillowcase bag that needs rags, shower curtains and other supplies to do my job.
I’m no babe in the woods. I’ve witnessed the greed and selfishness and Me-Me-Me that runs rampant in humankind (and in Western culture). So it’s not like a light bulb went off!
Problem is: IT’S A PROBLEM!! The piranhas leave no tools for me and a small handful of others. We can’t do our job. We can’t do a damn thing.
Neither can our supervisor. She’s talked to them. Told them to take only what supplies they need so others can also get theirs. Appealing to a sense of fairness, reason, thoughtfulness, consideration or kindness … blech. Falls on deaf ears. Ears deafened by individual selfishness, greed and carelessness about others’ needs.
Posting signs is just as useless.
You can’t teach consideration and thoughtfulness, you see. People either have it or they don’t.
Problem 2 is: We’re now in our season. The hotel’ll be busy busy busy for months ahead. The workload’s heavy and the staff running at full tilt. Which makes it all the more imperative that SUPPLIES BE SHARED. TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED SO YOUR COWORKERS CAN ALSO GET SOME.
Since the piranhas can’t be trusted or depended on to abide in fairness, the very busy laundry staff has been employed.
Like they don’t have 1,000,000 tasks enough to do as it is!!
Now each morning, laundry will divvy up the supplies into sets equal to the number of housekeepers working that day. Each housekeeper will receive her prestocked set from laundry. Think of it as folks at the food bank each receiving an equal share of bread.
Think of it as: babysitting kindergartners. For that’s exactly what it is!! There’s just no other alternative.
After being left empty-handed AGAIN by the swarming piranha — who arrive 15 minutes ahead of scheduled start time just to get theirs!! — I spoke (vented) to the laundry chief and our supervisor. They’re well aware of the problem and the above solution, they agreed, is the only solution.
Jesus obviously never worked in a hotel housekeeping. If he had, he wouldn’t have been able to say that the meek shall inherit the earth.
All I’ve inherited is grief, anger and occasional disgust with my fellow human beings!
Anyhow, since I’m off today and tomorrow, I won’t know until Wednesday how this new distribution of supplies will work out. Can’t imagine it’ll be any worse than the mad scene — think Wal-Mart on Black Friday — and shelves and bins emptied of their supplies … leaving me emptied-handed and setting me way behind in our timed tasks.
This I know about many of my coworkers and humankind in general: Greed knows no bounds and selfishness no stoppage.
And piranha are vicious creatures. Housekeepers with a penchant for overstuffing their rag bags come in a close second.