Ever have one of those days...the day that you spend every minute just skating on the ice of disaster, and you move from crisis to crisis?
Yeah, that was today.
I won't bore everyone with the specifics of the multiple crises that was my day, but I will share with everyone this summary:
First, as a hotel manager, when your hotel is busy and sold out every night (as mine is - during the summertime), the chaos is inevitable. However, because our ultimate goal (other than 'serving those who serve') is to sell the hotel, you're never going to complain when the hotel is full! But, when that happens, you better be prepared! We've got all kinds!
Today, because the hotel was sold out, I was forced to put a BRAND NEW Air Force service member & her husband on the street. The poor girl was FRESH out of boot camp, just transferring into Monterey with her husband...their permanent housing was not ready until tomorrow...and I had NOWHERE for her to go. This is the part of my job that breaks my heart. I mean, how does one do this and not feel completely guilty? Impossible. So, as I watched this girl's husband pack up their suitcase with nowhere to go (and, by the way...NO VEHICLE...again, she was FRESH out of basic training, couldn't be more than 18 or 19 years old), I knew that I just HAD to do something to make this happen.
I had to work very hard, but I managed to repair that magic wand and get on the phone to today's arrivals and beg that one of them move over to the Navy Lodge (an alternate military hotel here in Monterey) for a night, so that we wouldn't be forced to put this poor couple out. I played up the sympathy card, asking for understanding on this guest (a long-term service member) that this girl was brand new, and had nowhere to go. At the end of it all, it turned out. The couple stayed tonight, and the other family that was here for a graduation moved to the Navy Lodge without a hitch.
Just as that problem was solved, a similar one happened, nearly exactly the same circumstances, but this time it was an entire family of 5 that I needed to lodge!!! A FAMILY OF 5 WITH NOWHERE TO GO!! I need to stop here and clarify something: Someone not affiliated with the military would ask, "Why don't these people plan in advance? Haven't they ever heard of making reservations?" Well, yes. But folks, I have asked myself that time and time again, in my 11 years working for the Army. The best I can come up with?
Uncle Sam doesn't always lay out plans according to when I have rooms. That's just the way it is sometimes. More magic tricks up my sleeve, it turned out I had an 11th-hour cancellation, and I managed to accommodate this family of 5 for a few more nights. When I called THAT family, who happened to be a Major in the United States Marine Corps, I reported the good news, with a big smile in my voice. The Major was thoroughly pleased, and I said, "Sir, it's with great pleasure I serve the United States Marines...SEMPER FI!!", to which he sounded off, "HOORAH!"
Here's my bottom line, and I'm sorry if I've bored you to tears: Each time a crises arose, a solution appeared. I've got to be thankful that the Lord above knows my heart, and realizes that I just love what I do and WHO I do it for. He made the way, and He helped with the solutions...EVERY TIME. How can you argue with that?
At the end of the day, I came home to my little house with Chester anxiously awaiting. And you know what? He didn't care how many rooms I found, or how many times I had to say "I'm terribly sorry" or "Thank you for your patience." today. He was just glad to see Mommy. And you know what? I think everyone else felt the very same way today. I do what I do because it gives comfort to others. I don't do it for recognition, because the things I did today are MY JOB...it's what I'm supposed to do! What I do pales in comparison to what these great men & women do...FOR ME...on a daily basis, to ensure I'm safe. I mean, come on, I make a few keystrokes, and sweet talk a few people. They put their lives on the line on a daily basis.
I am so blessed to have a FANTASTIC staff; the housekeepers that clean these rooms every day, to make it possible for so many of them to come and go every day...the front desk clerks that answer the GAZILLIONS of phone calls every day, "No, sir...I'm sorry. We don't have any rooms tonight."...the maintenance man who worked on the cable box in room #358, and engineered it to work until the cable company can come and replace it.
It's an enormous machine that needs constant oil. And, thanks to faith and prayer, the good Lord makes me the mechanic.
What a blessing.
Take care of each other,
Toma's Favorite Song Today: "Rainy Day Man" covered by The Bacon Brothers