So here I am, working that 3-11 shift that I love. It is not quite 8 at night and we only have 2 more people to check in. Today is only my first full day on the desk and I’ve already been invited to a Shabbat dinner by one of our guests.
To be sure I’ll be treading water for a few weeks trying to fill in the hebrew words that I haven’t learned yet that I need here. But, most of the guests I’ve seen over the past two days have been English-speaking so at least I can shine when the guests come through. And from what I can tell, that is what matters here. Why? Because this is old school hotel. This is from when travel was classy as fuck. This is Bell Boys, bow ties, shined black shoes, ties on all staff, staff only elevators so as not to be seen.
Yeah, I’m pretty happy to be here. I am at minimum wage for the first 3 months until I get my first performance review. But from the amount of new staff I see here at the reception, I think it will go well – they must be looking for stability and will be willing to pay a better wage for that.
So here are some of the players in this story book:
Shmulik: My boss man, the one who does what I used to do at the Hampton. He is in his 60s and a “confirmed bachelor”. He has this really bazar balance of sassy gayness with overbearing control needs. He seems to have a less-than-stellar reputation but I think I like him. You just have to understand that work is the only constant he has probably had in his life. Don’t fuck with his way of doing things and he is probably a nice queen.
Mustaf: Shmuliks number two man. When first introduced, Shmulik said Mustaf is like G-d, you will never see him. It took me off guard for about 5 seconds that a Jewish man was calling a Muslim man G-d while we were all in the same room. But that is how things work around here. Outside the world is going to shit, but in here, Muslim, Christian, and Jew all work together.
Ala: This is the guy I’m working with tonight. A nice young man, 20 years old and getting married next week (we can talk about my biological clock screaming at me later). He was born in Jerusalem and I have had to tell myself that nobody likes to be questioned about their life the way I want to on the first time you meet someone. So maybe next week I’ll ask him of his experiences as an Arab-Israeli living in J’lem. Other than that, he his nice. He explains things that need explaining and doesn’t force small talk.
Amir: Bell boy. College graduate in sociology. A nice and quite guy. He is also relatively new but seems very well suited to his job.
Issa: Also Arab-Israeli. 28 years old as well. Also worked at a few hotels. He is very outgoing and I can tell that, while he isn’t annoying by any negative standard, I will probably have to end up telling him I need quite time if we work together a lot.
Elliot: In his 60s. Moved here from NY at 15. Is the perfect personality for this job, equal parts of caring with equal parts of joking/making fun of someone without them realizing it (wait, I need to replay every conversation I had with this guy now).
So that is the team I know so far. But for a hotel of 137 rooms, they have a HUGE staff (again, because this is old school classy shit). There are somewhere between 80 and 100 staff members.
Anyway, that’s all for this now.