All I wanted to do was go down to the hotel lobby, eat some breakfast, and return to my room in time for an eleven o'clock telephone interview with a Florida based magazine. And yet, as so often happens in my life, someone interrupted that quest to tell me her story.
"I'm sixty-two years old," she said without provocation from me.
I stopped. No words came from my mouth.
"And I am so sick of this cart that if you read one day that a hotel employee pushed her house keeping cart off the roof you'll know it was me."
"Okay," was all I could say.
"I've been at this, I've been pushing this damned cart from room to room in this damned hotel, for twenty-five years. I've had enough. My children are grown. I put them all each and every one of them through college pushing this damed cart. My husband says I can retire now so I'm gonna do just that. Today is my last day here."
"Okay. Congratulations on your retirement."
And then she stopped and looked at me. Her angry expression softened.
"I'm sorry. You're a guest at this hotel. I shouldn't be telling you my miseries."
Whereupon she pushed her cart down the hallway, turned a corner, and was gone.
Of course she shouldn't have been telling me, a guest of the hotel where she had worked for twenty-five apparently miserable years, her miseries. Not me the guest. But of course she had to tell me, the not guest but the person to whom these things so regularly happen, her miseries because that's what people do. To me.
At this point I'm used to it. It's been going on most of my life. Generally I don't pay that much attention to this phenomena.
However, should I one day read of a hotel employee pushing her house keeping cart off the roof of a hotel I will definitely think of her and the toll twenty-five years of cleaning up the messes left by others can take on anyone.
However, this day is her last day of pushing that particular cart and cleaning up these particular messes.
Congratulations to her on her retirement.