Go! Go! Go! job’s gone & bye went my gym!

I don’t miss my all-brawn no-brains job.

The job from which I was laid off exactly a week ago; seems longer.

Don’t miss the slog of scrubbing bathrooms down into the corners of tiled floors. Every day I’d go home with evidence of my industry painted on the knees of my required beige pants. Beige: not the best color for housekeepers who crawl about in their work.

Every day or two, I’d toss those pants into the tub, and use the bristly side of my pumice stone to scrub off the large knee patches of dirt. Hang ’em outside to dry for the next day with hopes that a sudden monsoon wouldn’t derail my effort.

I don’t miss pushing a cart laden with housekeeping tools and supplies down the walkways under Arizona’s summer sun.

I don’t miss the time. Oh the time! The hotel’s requirement of full cleans completed in 30 minutes, stayovers in 15.

I could list — rest assured I won’t — a hundred reasons why this requirement’s lame. Each room’s different. Some are so trashed by guests that it takes 10 minutes just to collect up the garbage, bottles, pizza boxes and bottlecaps strewn across the floor, and another 10 for the sheets off the beds and extra roll-away.

Other rooms, the guests have practically cleaned ’em for ya. Once I had a room where the guest had actually stripped the bed! All the towels and sheets were in piles waiting for the housekeeper.

Now THAT’S thoughtful — made me wonder whether the guest was/is a housekeeper — and EXTRAORDINARILY rare!

I could go on about the absurdity of timed rooms. I cared/care more about quality and thoroughness and a job well done than the clock. That made/makes me a freak fore sure.

On the other hand, I never shut the room’s door thinking: “Damn, I did a shoddy job! I really sailed through that one cutting corners! Hope the guest doesn’t notice! Or my boss.” Yep, supervisor checked EVERY room being done EVERY day!

I don’t miss always being last off the floor at day’s end. As the oldest gal there — and with a good 30 years on some coworkers — I couldn’t perform at rabbit speed. Even in my 20s, I was the tortoise, not the hare! It’s my body type. Deal with it. Or don’t.

I don’t miss the ridicule, hurtful wisecracks, comments and judgments. I knew they talked smack behind my back. One, they’re females. That’s what females do. They’re bitchy and catty and vicious and backstabbing. Not every female on the planet; I mean generally.

Two, I’m verrrry sensitive. You don’t gotta tell me nuthin’, I can FEEL it.

Three, I didn’t belong or “fit in.” That’s a loaded statement so best to let lie. Just sayin’ that belonging to cliques has NEVER been a goal. I march to a different drummer. The whole catty backstabby gossiping thang that females do never interested me. Isn’t in my DNA.

In short, I don’t miss the negativity directed my way or the negativity overall.

Tell you what I DO miss, only somewhat. Keeping fit. It was one fucking strenuous hard job! All that walking, being constantly on the feet … bending … lifting … carrying … squatting … stooping … kneeling climbing stairs … hastening to laundry and storage rooms for this or that … hurrying! hurrying! hurrying! because of the timed element … swear to god, you couldn’t get a better workout at the gym!

Which is why through the two months I worked there, I didn’t visit the gym once!!! No friggin’ need! What I NEEDED after work was rest! Sleep. Downtime to relax and regenerate so to rise and do it all again.

Now with my “hotel workouts” things of the past, my body and mind are goin’:

“Gotta start movin’ again. Not so tirelessly and strenuously as before but gotta keep those muscles toned, those tissues clear of toxins buildup, those ligaments stretched but relaxed.

Gotta keep the blood flowing, the bile moving, the anxiety and worry low and the positivity high.

‘Cause this I’ve always been and known about myself: I’m a mover. I NEED movement, physical activity, exercise. I need motion like I need air.

I’m neither a lazy ass nor a couch potato! Ergo I’d make one truly lousy modern American who wants to just sit around all day at a TV or computer feeding their Fathood and sucking off the taxpayers’ money and Obama-designed socialism!

Do not get me started on that theme!!

All said an’ done, point is with my Go! Go! Go! job over, I’s gotta make time for workouts & exercise ’cause Slackerville ain’t got my name on it. Ain’t no mailbox or assigned parking spot for me there!


hangin’ up the ol’ blue coat

“Be careful what you wish for” goes the adage.

Can’t say I agree with it. Too too too many times I’ve wished for something, prayed for it and the wish wasn’t fulfilled. About as often I get what I don’t want or wish for! So, ya know, I vote for scrapping this adage!

Anyways, I’m officially out of a job. Unemployed. ‘Course I didn’t know that — couldn’t know it — just a few short hours ago as I blogged about my job and its concomitant fatigue.

So upon arriving dressed in my blue housekeeping coat and being called immediately into the supervisor’s office even before the chance to grab my work bucket, I knew sumthin’ was up. And that that sumthin’ was either gonna be a reprimand or a layoff.

Not that it was a shock or surprise. I saw it comin’, the end of this job, either by their hand or mine — and in either case the best for all. I just didn’t it see it comin’ NOW. Today. First thing this morning.

It’s weird to drive all dressed up — or down, depending — ready to work and be shown the exit door then and there. Actually, I didn’t need to be shown, I knew where it was all along. ūüėČ

“Can I stay? Give others a hand even for a couple hours?” I offer.

Not necessary. Looked to be a slow Saturday in a slowing season and no staff shortage.

So after a friendly and civil chat, I turned in my name tag, removed the blue coat, took it over to laundry, chatted with one of the ol’ gals (like me) and called it a day.

Even though I hadn’t stripped a single bed, laid a single sheet or scrubbed a single sink!

As far as job partings go, it was calm and like I wrote, friendly and civil. She encouraged me to use her as a reference — “you do good work” — and thanked me for my service. I thanked her for letting me be of service.

About 16 eyes of my coworkers were on me as I single-filed out of her office. Somewhat unnerving, yeah. Suppose my carrying rather than wearing the blue coat signaled what was up.

Surely my sudden departure will be a subject of speculation, gabbing, gossip and rumors among the girls. That’s how girls go. Oh well. Truth is, it wasn’t as bad as all that. Like a packaged hunk of beef, the job had an end date. Just had hoped it’d be at the end of the month rather than beginning AND after I’d secured a new job.

And in case you’re wondering about collecting unemployment, forget it. Unemployment benefits are calculated on a percentage of income over x-number of quarters.

Between gaps of not working and extraordinarily low income when I did work, any unemployment will be NEGLIGIBLE if there’s any at all. Around enough to buy a couple postage stamps to mail off a couple resumes. Filing’s worth neither the time nor paperwork.

So, universe, it’s up to you to bring in new work now! I’m doing my part — and will continue to — as usual. I walk my talk for sure when looking for work. AND I need your help, universe, pronto! Unemployed is NOT a good look on me.

“Sorry” to be so un-American … meaning modern Americans are all about Entitlement and NOT working and lying around on their big fat lazy butts sucking up government handouts earned by WE the WORKING PEOPLE!

Well, fuck that. If WORKING means being un-American, so be it! I’ll happily carry the banner in that parade! Point being, universe, I need to work and want to so please don’t neglect me or forget me. Help a good job happen immediately. Thank you.

On Saturdays, slavery and spiritual evolution

The proverbial Monday morning blues. I’ve got somethin’ that can top ’em

The first day of the weekend. Saturdays in conventional workweeks but for me Mondays since weekends are the busiest at the hotel and it’s full staff on. For convenience, I’ll use Saturday to convey the first day of the weekend, even though for me it’s technically Monday.

Saturdays are when I wake up feeling like I’ve been hit by a freight train … a bus … a semi-truck. In other words, a big fucking piece of industrial-sized moving metal!

Too, Saturdays are when I catch up on all the lost sleep from the workdays. Sleep sacrificed to the early-morning alarm clock. Sleep lost to shoulder and back pain and injuries. Sleep unattainable on a not-good mattress that comes in the rental room and a new foam mattress topper that’s hit and miss and unlikely to survive the cut.

Saturdays bring unfitful sleep above and beyond the workweek’s norm. Reason 1 is the body’s habituated to rising early and so awakens early even on the day off.

Reason 2 is house/roommates’ activity is in full swing in the early morn — an’ I hear it all!

Reason 3 is come Saturday, my body and mind awaken to the reality of the feats they’ve been pushed, prodded and pulled through to accomplish job responsibilities. And they are not happy campers!
I’ve got a job that’s age-inappropriate … which is to say that at 57, I’m doing a job of a 22-year-old. All physical. All about brawn and speed speeed speeeeeeeeeeeeeed, wheeeeeeee! Even at 22, I was the tortoise, not the hare! It’s unrealistic to expect me to perform at the same speed as the youngsters. Nonetheless, expected it is.

There’s also the all-important matter of shoulder and back injuries that slow and impede movements. Honestly, I deserve a medal just for my efforts and accomplishments despite real physical obstacles and pain. But what corporate service industry cares about its PEOPLE, really? It’s about numbers.

Anyhow, all told, come Saturdays, I feel like shit. It’s not unheard of me to sleep ’til noon — 5 hours past my workweek alarm. A significant indicator of just how fucking fatigued I am.


Fatigue of the adrenals and kidneys was revealed in yesterday’s jin shin jyutsu treatment — a modality that’s doing WONDERS in my recovery and healing!! As if I didn’t have enough on my plate with whacked-out liver and gall bladder and spleen and joints and bones! Welcome newcomers adrenals and kidneys!

It’s all connected, I realize. Anyways, central is the awareness that this hotel cleaning job has a short shelf life. The muscular development and toning associated with this physically demanding work have plateaued.

Advancing to Level II of muscle development/toning would require a commiserate ramping-up of activity and that ain’t gonna happen at this job, neither should it. I’m not aiming to make the cover of “Brawny Women.” No one wants to see me oiled up in a bikini flexing my muscles!!

There’s an arc to the positive effects of all this physical movement and output … and that arc is just about reached. Maximum results are achieved. It’s downhill from here.
Again, fatigue. For no good cause. Which can mean only one thing: the end of the job is nearing.

Or is it?

The inner slave and slave-driver don’t know when to stop. More importantly don’t know HOW to stop. Lifetimes, including this one, as a slave and a slave-driver impart the message: “PUSH THROUGH PAIN. YOUR SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.

“You may die from overworking — in fact, chances are you will. No one could accuse you of being lazy! PUSH PUSH PUSH THROUGH THE PAIN. Then you die. Life over. Goals accomplished.”

Them’s some powerful lifetimes of hardships and brutalities and equally powerful messages I carry still to this day.

Until I don’t.

Saturdays. They top the Monday morning blues because that’s indeed the day when the body awakens to the realities that must be circumvented, ignored, denied, submerged under the demands of the job. Because if I let my body and mind truly feel and experience, they’d say what?

I know what they’d say. “What the fuck are you doing lifting mattresses by the corners with a seriously injured shoulder?!?

“What the hell are you doing crawling around on your knees scrubbing floors again?!? Haven’t you had enough?!? Enough lifetimes and enough jobs in THIS lifetime in menial service and in serving OTHERS, many of ’em authoritative assholes?!!

“Haven’t you got the message that you’re a writer, not a cleaner (though you love cleaning when it’s your own space!) Haven’t you got the message that you don’t have to do this anymore?!?

“You CAN wake up on Saturdays and enjoy them as they’re meant to be enjoyed: Leisurely. Awaking at a slow relaxed pace. Enjoying the sensations of a body rejuvenated by slumber and dreamtime. Lingering over a cuppa dark roast and a green smoothie and the newspaper. Taking your time saving the simple pleasures.”

Let go of this job so new and better can fill the space. Let go of slave jobs and enslavement so that your voice and light can shine!

And so that Saturdays can be special instead of the scene of a physical & mental train wreck!

That’s all on this your Tuesday, my Sunday. ūüôā

High School Redux at Age 57!

Working with women is the worst.

And I’ll take the worst male boss over the worst¬†female boss — and I’ve been on both sides of that fence — any day of the week!¬†

Men at their worst are cruel and brutal. Women at their worst are vicious. You ever listen to and watch two felines¬†fighting? It’s UGLY. And the sounds are unreal. They don’t call ’em cat fights (between females) for nuthin’.

My job is High School Redux. The entire housekeeping staff is comprised of females ranging in age from early 20s to late 50s — with the vast majority in their 20s. They’re young, immature and self-involved ¬†— can’t really hold that against ’em.

They’re also backstabbing, judgmental and gossipy.

Oh. The. Gossip!

Now, I don’t play. I go to work. I do my job. I go home. I don’t hang around with the core group of girls today any more than I did in high school and for the same reasons: I’m not them.

I don’t like gossiping, backstabbing and petty small-mindedness and the petty sniveling criticisms of others — ESPECIALLY OTHER WOMEN — that females engage in. At any and every age. I steer clear of it. It doesn’t interest me. It doesn’t excite me. Engage my interest or intelligence.

That, however, doesn’t stop others from talking smack about me behind my back. I know they do. I feel it when I walk into the room where core members of the clique are yakking away. I feel it in the way they look at me. I see it in some of their eyes.

Girls have a meanness that’s hurtful. Mean Girls. Just like the movie title.

Anyhow, it’s a very negative and toxic environment, my workplace. Thankfully the supervisor’s a cool chick and has never treated me with anything other than friendliness and respect. Definitely can’t say the same for a good number of the others.

As if the hotel housekeeping work itself weren’t physically demanding and exhausting enough … I’ve also got this assault of negativity directed my way by my workmates (“mates”). Fuck.

It’s hurtful and there’s not a damn thing to be done about it except ignore the judgments and Girl Shit the best I can and continue doing the very best job that I can.

Today I discovered something that illustrates why I go to craigslist and other job sites every day.

For reasons unknown to me, the supervisor writes the average time it takes each girl to clean a room up on the big white board in the common room. We’re timed in our rooms, you see, and 30 for each is the rule. It’s a stupid rule because there are so many variables in each full clean and stayover. (We’re not robots but the Big Hotel Man seems to think we are!)

I’m at the bottom of the list. No surprise because I’m very attentive to detail and methodical. Plus I’ve got about 30 years on most of my coworkers!

Also posted on the board is the number of callbacks — errors or oversights we made that we’re called back to a room to correct. My callbacks number is very low — 2. (In fact, I didn’t even know I had any callbacks since I wasn’t called back to fix anything but what the hell.)

The girls talk smack about me and my slower times behind my back. Today I noticed that someone had added digits to my posted numbers … turning my 48 minutes into 1 hour and 48 minutes … and my callbacks of 2 into 202.

Now, part of me was amused. And another part took it badly, recognizing it as the attack that it was. The Mean Girls’¬†attack.

I’m ready to quit this job the moment a new one is offered (and again, I am looking big time!!!!!). That it’s so physically taxing plus harmful to some major health issues guarantee a short-lived span.

The Mean Girls are only adding to the impetus and the NEED to go soon as a new door opens.

I Mean It. ūüôā¬†



Okay, I could be compared to a dog.

I chugged that Sam Adams and inhaled those snacks so fast, I could be Blake.

Blake’s a dog. Not my dog. My roommate’s. He’s a rescue black Lab and Rottweiler mix. Blake doesn’t EAT his food. Doesn’t chew. He inhales. Gulps. Swallows.

And when his bowl is emptied, he licks the plastic down to the nib. THEN, when the other two dogs are done, he licks THEIR bowls down to the nib too.

I’m Blake after a day of work.¬†

Like I’ve written before, I’ve got a cleaning job that’s very very physical. Go Go Go! — and I don’t mean Go Go dancers! Since we don’t get lunch breaks (and I force down a smoothie every morning knowing full well that I’ll regret it if I don’t), I usually¬†return “home” from the job ready to eat a half a cow. Raw.¬†

I don’t like to eat like that — reaching for the quick carbs to replenish. However, in my mindfulness about health and diet, I don’t keep “crap carbs” in the house. My Go-To Food NOW!! might be nuts. Maybe pretzels. Tonight radishes. I don’t pollute my body with fatty greasy worthless nutritionally-empty calories.¬†


Now beer’s the “exception.” Not crap beer. Bud. Coors. Miller. The Big 3 in the States. I like good beer. I like craft beer. I like beer of some quality. Because I’m not about “getting drunk.” I love my beer like I love my wine and spirits.¬†


Today after work is¬†a 3-beer day. Yes. I’m just that beat and just that CRAVING of carbohydrates after the seemingly zillions of calories i burn off at work the job that I couldn’t replenish fast enough once I got back to the house!

I drank that Sam Adams in record time. And inhaled those radishes and pretzels with a generous dab of homemade spicy fresh dip like I AM Blake the vacuum-cleaner dog.

Now, normally none of this would present a problem — only remind that I must find a better job that’s of BALANCE and on life path and purpose. I assure that cleaning hotel rooms ain’t it!

But tonight — only tonight — that inhalation of food and three beers — immediate carbs¬†to replenish that wealth of calories burned off at the job¬†— comes at a disadvantage.¬†

There’s the wine party tonight! LIke 30 bottles of wine. And as many appetizers!

What’s a girl who’s already had her instant and immediate¬†fill to do?¬†

I’ll go of course. Of course I’ll go. I’l go and mingle and meet people I don’t know– which is everyone — and try to be cheerful and friendly even when my life’s a fucked-up off-path nightmarish mess.

I’ll contribute wine and food and partake of likewise. Come back to the house hopefully not too inebriated. Gotta get up super early tomorrow morning for the job!

What’s left to say except that Inhaling Food … a very Blakean mannerism — after a day at the Go! Go! job almost … ALMOST … makes me wish I could trade it in for a spot as a Go-Go Dancer at some club. If I’m gonna stay¬†starved all day, the pay’s a fucking lot better there. ¬†

Solve the mystery, win the Maytag.

Some days are better than others in sleep and health.

And some days you just know are gonna be long. 

I didn’t sleep soundly (due to ongoing body/structural pain). Then I was awakened around the crack of dawn by a roommate extracting goods¬†from the garage, which borders my room, for his garage sale.¬†

So I feel unrested and off-kilter. And it ain’t even 8 a.m. yet!

Wouldn’t ya know it! Though I was scheduled to have today off, yesterday I volunteered to come in if there was staffing need. And there was. On my end, there’s $ need. And while a day’s work is equal to a tank of gas, it’s a tank of gas I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

My crippled shoulder and other related body issues/injuries get in the way of a job that’s entirely physical. I’m pushing past the pain, putting my body through its paces. It’s none too happy about it. I deserve a medal. However, I’d prob’ly be too tired to receive it!

Then, tonight I’ve got a shindig featuring wines from Paso Robles region in California. Everyone’s to bring a bottle from the area and appetizer. With reportedly 30-plus people attending, that’s a LOTTA wine and variety of eats. That’s¬†a late night. And a “toasty” night. ūüėȬ†

Except … except I gotta work tomorrow. When you’re a hotel housekeeper, especially during the busy season, you don’t get weekends off unless you’ve got a very good reason. So that definitely puts a¬†cork in the¬†fun.

Speaking of fun, it wasn’t yesterday, cleaning the handicapped-access room. My boss assigned me to a wing different from my usual and it included the handicapped-access room.

The two queen beds are laborious enough but the sizable¬†bathroom with the large wheelchair-access shower … ugh. ¬†It’s a slog. Felt like time stopped cleaning that room! Upon finishing and closing the door, I said I hope I never see or am in that room again! Really. I said it out loud. Fortunately there was no hotel guest present to overhear a justified bemoaning of the handicapped room.

Speaking of work, it’s that time to roll. Why is it that¬†an hour at the laptop with a smoothie fly by and the same hour at the job feels like two?! Ahhh, solve that mystery and you’ll win the Maytag.




The meek MAY inherit the earth. But they won’t get the supplies.

Do I know people or do I know people?

I do and it’s a f**king curse!

I could’ve predicted it. I saw it coming. Not with 100 percent certainty. But the possibility crossed my mind 78 times. Give or take.

The possibility that my coworkers would circumvent a new method introduced to ensure equal distribution of tools and supplies for cleaning hotel rooms.

That method, as stated in the prior post, was for the laundry staff to preassemble bags of supplies to see that each girl receives her share of rags and other supplies.

This “policing” became necessary because the gals were thinking only of themselves and grabbing far more than they needed, leaving none for me and sometimes a half-handful of others.

There is no quelling selfishness in humankind. (This is hardly new information but a real downer all the same no matter how often I’m reminded of it.)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And the INTENTION of the preassembled supplies set was, like I said, to ensure each worker receives a set of tools because the gals couldn’t be trusted to act in fairness, kindness or consideration of others.

You’d sooner get agreement from the Pope to have a string of illicit affairs than fairness, sportsmanship and consideration of coworkers from the piranas of hotel housekeeping.

So, like I said, the plan was for each gal to get a preassembled bag of supplies, preassembled by laundry according to the number of gals working that day.

A great plan. In theory.

In practice, IT DOESN’T WORK.

And the reason it doesn’t work is because gals who are supposed to take only one bag of supplies are taking two or more.

Which leaves the well dry for others, which is always me.

When today I walked into laundry and discovered the supplies wiped out by my oh-so-thoughtful coworkers, I wanted to scream. Cry. Throw my hands up and find another job where people are more considerate (ain’t gonna happen, most human beings are incredibly selfish by nature). Curse the most of my alleged teammates for being thoughtless, inconsiderate, rude, self-serving, unhelpful and unintelligent.

It wasn’t a good beginning to my morning and colored my workday blue. It was a real downer.

Not surprising, mind you. Ain’t the first time (or the last) where I’ve had coworkers who by majority are selfish, greedy, thoughtless, inconsiderate ME ME ME children. Unenlightened adults with no developed sense of intelligence, reason, fair play or awareness of the consequences of their actions.

They’re the ones — and we all know ’em — who’ll MAKE problems for others through their thoughtless actions rather than ANTICIPATE problems and behave to prevent them.

What makes this so hard on me is I’m not like that. I’m thoughtful, considerate and very fair and fair-minded toward everyone except myself. I won’t take the last of something if it means another would do without. I’ll always accept the burden upon my shoulders to spare another’s lack.

Well, a lotta good that trait does me or anyone else in this world!!

The meek shalL inherit the earth. HA! What the meek shall inherit is heartache.

I really was so downcast and blue and relieved for a light workload that enabled me to call it an early day.

It wasn’t like I was expecting my coworkers to suddenly be shed of gluttony and thoughtlessness. No. You can’t get blood from a stone.

It was just that sorrowful reminder of humanity’s selfishness and greed and, really, how out of place I’ve always felt on this planet.

I’m a soul in a foreign land.

And, thanks to my coworkers, a housekeeper always left holding the bag. The empty bag. Sans supplies.

Run for the Roses — and the Failures.

The upper back muscles and shoulders weigh heavy, as if laced with lead.

Neck ligaments and tendons crack and pop in friction.

Leg muscles are sedated by a buildup of lactic acid from constant hours of motion — walking, kneeling, squatting, crawling — without ease or rest … from yesterday and the day before and day before that. At 7-1/2 hours, yesterday was the longest thus far.

Feet are tired, with muscles and bones that want to rest and regenerate, stretch and limber up. I wore yesterday the most comfortable pair of shoes I have: fabric clogs whose soles are of super-thick shock-absorbing rubber. Clogs I got when I was working the 10-11 hour shifts constantly on my feet and walking at the warehouse back in 2006-7.

That’s how old those clogs are and how well made they are that they’ve lasted countless miles (!!) and STILL are the best soles I’ve got!

“You have to wear regular shoes,” my supervisor thusly informed me yesterday. Buh-bye foot comfort, comparatively.

My body as a road is pockmarked with potholes, cracks, crevices and crusty uneven and irregular surfaces. It is not a smooth surface; it is not freshly paved!

My 57-year-old body, while gainfully of a sturdy and delicate constitution — one that seems a mix of German solidity and Irish poetic sensibilities — is, yes, getting a workout, a real workout, at the job.

High-end housekeeping — in which every detail is attended to meticulously — is a real workout!

It ain’t the workout that’s making me wobbly in the knees. It’s the pace.

I’m not a Ferrari. Not a racehorse at the Kentucky Derby.

I’m the aged workhorse named Dolly who keeps pulling a wagon across the prairie. I’m the, well, I’m the Subaru. A FANTASTIC workhorse of a car that stay in service for 300,000-plus miles with the proper maintenance.

There’s the rub. I’m being pushed to be someone I’m not.

It’s funny, memories resurfacing at this job.

I remember in high school running track in regular phy ed class. (I was in fact seriously tempted to join the track team, I enjoyed it that much.)

No matter how hard I ran … no matter how much I willed my muscles to Go! Go! Go! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! … no matter how loudly the teacher/coach — I can still see her face but can’t remember her name — shouted faster! faster! … at a certain level, my body maxed out.

It could go no faster than it was going. My short legs could not lengthen their stride. My arms could pump no more air flow.

And in my mind, I felt like a failure. I felt a failure for being unable to keep up with the fast kids. The kids with the long legs and the short kids whose bodies were sprinters.

In my mind, I went down in defeat at every timed short- or long course. I might not be the one bringing up the rear but I certainly wasn’t the girl first to cross the finish line. Or the 10th.

Endurance. That’s what I was built for. I may be small but I can run, swim and engage in activities/sports for the long haul.

But. But endurance wasn’t rewarded in gym class or in life in the Western world. Speed is. Fast results. NOW. Take no time. Get it done. NOW. YESTERDAY. Why don’t you have it done? Are you stupid? What’s wrong with you?

That’s the Western mindset. It’s different in Eastern cultures. Longevity and endurance and perseverence and “in it for the long haul” are desirable and respected traits.

Stream of consciousness …

… triggered by a “simple” hotel housekeeping job. Who’d thunk it possible?! ūüėČ

Key point is, yesterday, my longest shift yet working the rooms solo, returns a glaring truth that I’m built for endurance, not speed.

I think I breathed three times during my 7-1/2 shift. I took no break, the pressure to crank out the full-cleaned rooms within a set time frame superceded my fatigue.

Just like that high school girl on the track, I pushed pushed pushed, I WILLED my body to move faster! faster! faster! as implored by the gym teacher, as implored by my own self and my hatred of failure.

And I failed. I did fail. My own best still isn’t good enough. On day 2 of working solo, the time it’s taking me to turn over rooms is twice that of the other girls.

There’s no issue with the quality of my work. None. In fact, it’s partly because I DO take those extra moments to ensure high quality that my cleaning time suffers. Which leaves the option: reduce quality, gain time. And that is outside my nature and impeccable work ethics.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how a simple (not so simple, really) hotel cleaning job can resurrect beasts and ghosts from the past.

Failure for not being a sprinter has long shadowed me through various situations and workplaces. An oxen of endurance and tirelessness hasn’t really had its reward from others. Being highly methodical, meticulous, thorough and extraordinarily attentive to detail sometimes come at a cost. And the cost of a job.

Can’t know when or how this cleaning job will end, only that it will end.

And here’s the thing. When this job ends — either because I get a new one or I’m let go under mutual agreement that it’s not a good fit — I want this to be the end of my “cleaning career.” I want no more the pressure and stress of timed cleaning jobs.

I want no more the feeling of failure for being the enduring workhorse and not the sprinter. That requires being at the right job, in the right environment where who I am and what I bring naturally are wholly an asset and not a detriment.

I was born a workhorse and I shall die one! I happily leave the field to the racehorses at the Run for the Roses and look to more fertile fields for me to plow.

Lastly, I hope for work one day that shall bestow accolades for tireless perseverence and commitment to quality to this ol’ mare. To be appreciated and valued for one’s true self is gift indeed.

There’s bringing up the rear. And then there’s taking it off.

Last night I dreamt that I was walking a lot in some unknown town with lots of folks. And in the dream I told someone I was walking my butt off, literally.

Must be referring to my new real-time job!

It’s go! go! go! all the time! Always moving. Always on your feet! Never resting except for perhaps one 10-minute break in the day.

Like I said, always moving. Walking from room to room, pushing a loaded laundry cart. Pulling the big wheeled plastic trash can AND a vaccuum cleaner (since there’s no room on the cart) behind — a maneuver I’ve yet to master.

Inside the rooms, first stripping queens and kings and pillows, gathering up all the towels and trash, leftover soaps and shampoos and anything else guests leave behind before proceeding to a multitude of tasks in cleaning.

It’s not a job for a fat person, which excludes like 65 percent of Americans! And if by chance a fat gal were hired, she couldn’t remain fat! Unless she devoured a pizza when she got home.

Nothin’ makes ya feel your age like the passing years. I’ve had extraordinarily physical and taxing jobs before — and in the not-too-distant past, I’m afraid. Why, just some seven years ago, I worked long shifts in a warehouse.

There, I wasn’t just on my feet walking concrete for 10 hours a day but lifting or pulling boxes and loads of hundreds of pounds. Lil’ ol’ me! It showed! My body was sooooooo buff and toned, I looked like I lived at the gym!

But I’d also come home every night utterly exhausted. Fall onto the carpeted living room floor to rest my overtaxed legs and feet. And eat! Eat! Eat! Eat! At night yet! The worst time.

One, because the warehouse food breaks were insufficient. And two, my body needed the calories. I had to eat twice+ my usual intake just to maintain my weight.

And THAT job I did at age 50!

And like that one, my present job is suited for people half my age — that’s presuming you can find a young person with a work ethic and good luck with that.

But I digress. Speaking of butts as I was, the constant moving IS toning my body in places it needs. This old gal’s fit, yes; however, life’s hardships have prevented my athletic gym workouts & conditioning (couldn’t afford membership). That’s not the half of this past decade’s deprivations!

Anyways, I’m quote-unquote making up for lost years now at this job. Speaking of which, I just looked at the clock and gotta get a move on. Gotta go work my butt off! Literally. Well, as literally as the human body allows. ūüėČ Toodles.

I’m the tireless tortoise, not a hotel hare

My feet achey hurt.

My shoulder injury – a suspected torn rotator cuff — is painful, inflammed and inhibiting basic mobility.

I’m tired. Overextended. Just completed 6-1/2 hours of Go-Go-Going, pushing myself on “false energy,” to crank out full cleans at the job. No food. Insufficient water, particularly in this hot, dry Arizona climate.

Just pausing to drink from or refill a water bottle eats up time needed to hurry! hurry! hurry! and get those rooms cleaned.

In three days, I’ve worked thus far with two different gals, one 18 and the other 25-ish. Even in their youthful vigor they say it’s hard work. It is. I’ve got some 38 years on ’em and I’m dyin’, man!

Even in my vibrant youth, I was not a sprinter sort. I’m an endurance athlete; my musculature’s designed for the long haul, not speed. Try though I have, my body just cannot be made to go speedy-Gonzales fast.

This job requires that I ramp and rev at a speed doable not even in my prime. Risk of burnout is high. At 57, I can’t keep up pace with a 23-year-old.

After three days, I’m feeling some burnout already. At this pace, I’m having my doubts about whether I can physically do this job full time. In addition, the high-stress Go-Go-Go of my coworkers isn’t relaxing for me. Since I’m sooo sensitive to other people and my environment, their stress stresses me out.

After three days, two of them extremely busy and hard, I’m ready for a weekend. Turns out that the next two days are off. Then it’ll be five on. Honest to god, for as hard a worker as I am, for all my natural stamina, endurance and perseverance I embody, I must be honest. This is not a pace I can maintain. I can’t. Not even 10 Red Bulls could do the trick. Not that I drink them. I don’t.

Just sayin’ that there’s no substance that could transform my constitution into one suitable for this work.

I’m feeling down. And I feel badly for feeling down so early into a new job. I’m glad to have something productive and paid to do with my time. In short, the tasks aren’t outside my league. The super-duper Push-Push-Push Go-Go with no breaks for rest or refreshment do not bode well for health, balance or longevity.

That’s all for tonight.