Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pass or Fail

Today marks my one week anniversary of my time at The Orchid and so far it is still smooth sailing. There are new additions to the list of "Things I Can't Say" which include:

cheapest (least expensive)
"We can fit four guests in that room." ("That room can accomodate four people.")

I swear, my supervisor must be nervous that the next phrase to escape my mouth will be 'git-r-done!' Thankfully my voice is finally reaching a normal octave when talking to guests so I'm not a completely hopeless case. Thus far there have not been many interesting guest happenings at The Orchid. I suppose it's partially due to the difference in the clientel I received at the Inn? I do miss my DNR Boys. There will be no "I cain't play wit you no more," or "Georgia, where are the cookies?!" at The Orchid.

Mackinac Island, however, is gradually becoming busier and busier. Mother's Day weekend provided a harrowing experience of trying to walk down a Main Street sidewalk in order to get to the Starbucks, and no matter which side of the sidewalk you chose, you were headed against the flow. Sunday was also Free Ferry Ride day and the line to one dock actually stretched over two blocks. While sitting in a coffee shop with another fellow front desk clerk, Rizzo*, we watched as about fifteen horses were led up one of the streets. From what I learned from a local, there are about 200 horses on the island presently, but during the summer season there will be about 950. This is just the beginning!

This once again brings us back to the continuing coverage of my roommate, Dahlia (I promise once the summer season begins I will start talking about hotel business once again rather than personal drama. Right now the most I can say about our guests is that there are a lot of adorable older couples checking in and out and none of the casue any sort of disturbance worth writing about!). Following the trend of our first night working together Dahlia did not let me down the second night when she spent the last three hours of our shift calling all the hotels on the island to see where she and her boyfriend could stay at the end of May. I, on the other hand, was making flashcards for our big Room Exam (which will be more pertinent towards the end of this post). Dahlia would ask me random questions throughout the shift or complain about something, but there was a solid thirty minutes were not a word was spoken between us. The silence was broken, however, when Dahlia suddenly sighed, "I can't believe I love him so much." Having heard enough about her boyfriend for one night I continued to fill out my flashcards. Dahlia then leaned back in her chair and shook her head sadly. "It's painful, you know," she said, "opening your heart like that to someone. I did it once and I promised myself I would never do it again."

Now I knew I had to reply. "That sucks."

"And he's so jealous of me hooking up with someone else while I'm here. So jealous." Her voice had now gone soft and whispery, giving me the impression I had somehow fallen into a scene from 'Twilight'.

"Well that's not good to have so much jealousy," I replied.

Dahlia leaned forward in her chair and stared intensely at the desk. "He was so jealous in the beginning," she said. Surprisingly, that was the end of that conversation.

The next day, Dahlia was off so only Rizzo and I had to take the Room Exam, which we both passed with flying colours. One test down and two more to go! I came home the night to find Dahlia in a mess of papers that had lists of rooms on them. I asked her how the studying was going. This was apparently the wrong question to ask. Before I knew what was happening I was thrown into a tirade of, "I'm the 'special needs child' or the group," and, "you are all fresh out of college and young and outgoing and I'm just not," and my personal favourite, "I study and I study and it just doesn't sink in no matter what I do!"

First of all, the age breakdown of the four front desk clerks is currently 22, 22, 23, and 24 (with the two 22's turning 23 over the next six months). I'm sure everyone can surmise that Dahlia is the 24 year old, which, in her mind, makes her slower and less able to retain information then the rest of us. I tried to explain to her that 24 is no where near "old", but she just wasn't having it. Second of all, the night was the first time I had ever seen Dahlia study. The rest of the time she was either complaining, snoring, talking about her boyfriend, or talking to her boyfriend.

Dahlia continued to freak out for the next twenty minutes on a continuous cycle about how she cannot "memorize things like everyone else", how her sinus infection was preventing her from concentrating, and how she was "different" from everyone else. I told her that I sympathized with her situation after my experience on the Blue Ridge, but those of you who have read this blog from the beginning know how THAT turned out. Needless to say, that was not the best example in the world.

The following afternoon, Monday, Dahlia took the Room Exam. Rizzo and I had been touring the Grand Hotel and walked into the EDR (our employee lounge/cafeteria) just as Jenny was going over Dahlia's score. Dahlia looked like she was going to throw up. Rizzo and I made some sort of excuse that we had to go to the women's dressing room and we heard Jenny say, "You'll have to retake this Wednesday," as we left. We came back to the EDR as Jenny told Dahlia to go back to the office while she (Jenny) would go talk with Tracy*, the Personnel Director.

I came on duty about a half hour after the awkward encounter in the EDR. Dahlia left to meet with Tracy the moment I got there and did not return for nearly fifteen minutes. When she did, she asked Jenny for a map of the island and basically hauled ass out of the building. An hour later I went down to the EDR for dinner, where Rizzo immediately asked me what had happened. I told her I had no idea, but that Dahlia was obviously very upset and went home. Rizzo told me she had asked Sandy*(a veteran Orchid front desk clerk and mine and Dahlia's third flatmate) the same question and she had only replied, "[Dahlia] no longer works here."

Whoa. Apparently Dahlia's test had been the "worst" they had ever seen and when Dahlia went to meet with Tracy once I came on duty, that is when she was fired. Not gonna lie, I did not see that coming so soon. The Orchid really does not fool around!

That night, when I got back to the room, I told Dahlia I was sorry about what had happened. Dahlia immediately replied, "Don't lie, we all saw this coming. No one was surprised by this." She then went into a small rant of knowing the job was not for her from the beginning and having been plagued by nightmares for the past week. Dahlia then began asking me where places were located on the island because she planned to scour what businesses she could to try and find employment before she was kicked out of Orchidhousing (which will happen tomorrow).

Although I do sincerely feel sorry for Dahlia I can't help feeling she is the creator of her own demise. From the beginning of her time her at The Orchid she has had a defeatist attitude that either had to do with her being "too sick" or "too old" to retain any information. While Rizzo and I were studying during most of our free time, Dahlia was stressing out about find a place for her boyfriend to stay at when he comes to visit each month.

As I headed to bed I heard Dahlia on the phone with her boyfriend. She was listing off all the restaurants she was planning to apply to in the morning. Having not explored the island very much, each restaurant name sounded new to her and her voice would trail off until she had located it on the map. I heard her mention The Lilac Room*. The Lilac Room is a very popular restaurant on Mackinac Island and I have been told that it is not only a favourite for tourists, but locals as well. The dining room has a piano bar and offers a gorgeous waterfront view and patio seating. The Lilac Room is also The Orchid Hotel's restaurant.

Dahlia was right. We all saw her termination coming.

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