Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

I really like this Blogger template. I really do. But I think it is perfect for my knitting adventures, but not for my goofy weird stuff.

For goofy weird stuff, I much prefer my other website. I will move the link up on the sidebar, so it is easier to get to.

No sense irritating knitting people who might still visit (nah, not likely!) with drivel about my job.

I promise to write as soon as I have KNITTING NEWS.

Love to All.

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Email so nice, I wrote it thrice

Excerpt from an e-mail I sent today. Names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty.

By the way, I will be posting this and future crap of this type to my other weblog, here is the link:

Hiya Tina!

I can't quite remember what my questions were now! I am very slow on checking my emails, since I started working at the Hotel.

Prob'ly, when I first emailed you (or was it comment on your blog? I forget) I was mystified by something the cook told me. She implied it came from the inspector. Fly swatters are "dirty" and must not be found/used in the restaurant or kitchen. EH?! So the flies that come into the restaurant from the rooms or the doors the customers open...what?! We let 'em just fly around and die of old age?! Catch 'em with our hands? HERD them out the door again? We cannot use chemical bombs around the food. Apparently, fly-paper is a no-no, like the flyswatters. Don't tell anyone, but the head cook stuck some sort of sticky clear "fly-tape" onto the back door, 2 strips about 6 inches by 2 inches each. One fly flew onto one of them, by accident, I think. They are too busy swarming around the garbage can, 3 feet away from the strips. Hubby found the actual legislation for the "Food Service Industry" on the net. It has about one small paragraph about "pests", which covers insects, rodents, everything. It basically says, "Keep 'em out!" Nothing about flyswatters being too dirty to hang beside the kitchen back door.

I just read what I have written, and I sound crazy. Well, it's a weird situation. I feel a weird, strange, bizarre gratitude (!) to this job, because when I started, I weighed around 200 lbs, and I huffed and puffed my way through my cleaning chores. But I was eating way less, and getting excercise. Hell, this job is like a gym membership they pay ME for! And when I had to work in the kitchen...I was nervous enough that the LAST thing I wanted to eat was ANYTHING on the menu in there! So now, two months later, I am about 166 lbs. and I feel just like a SPRING CHICKEN! One who can borrow (some of) her daughter's clothes! Woot! (It's only first thing in the morning I feel totally elderly. Totally. Ibuprofen and caffiene are my best friends in the morning.)Anyway, that's the scoop on my questions.

Except...do you know if there are any rules about room-cleaning you could pass along? Or tell me how to find them on the net? Or have someone who works in a Real Hotel In The City email me and tell me how to do it? I am thinking I should be using the "Official Manitoba Government Sanctioned Bleach-Solution For Disinfecting, May Be Put In A Spray-bottle, Don't Forget To Label And Make New Stuff Every Week" on the toilets, tubs, floors, sinks in the bathrooms... Right now, we are using a commercial cleaner/disinfectant spray, and wiping down with a clean rag...but I know the instructions say to kill germs, we are supposed to leave it on for 10 minutes...HA HA HA. We smear it around with a clean rag, sure, but I dunno how disinfecting it is. I know the Bleach Solution sprayed on after the surface is cleaned and clean-looking would prob'ly be better. (It is AMAZING how weak the Official Solution is: TWO TABLESPOONS per gallon of water. I would use scented bleach, of course...)

Anyway, if you know any computer literate, friendly English-speaking cleaning-people who might want to educate a poor, ignorant (real meaning of that word!) country gal, please forward this email to them! I know you are the "Cute Gal Who Works At The Front Desk" type of hotel worker. That's why I'm not expecting you to answer these weird questions. Anyway, Thanks for listening to my rant. (Reading my rant).

Have y'all picked out your vacation destination yet? I'll have to go read your blogs now! Hee hee! I love to live vicariously through you young'uns.

Luv, Nargus' Mom
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Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's all in the details...

So today, we have found out for sure that SMALL THINGS MATTER. Especially when they are accidently sucked down the drain of a hotel kitchen sink.

The other night, I was working in the kitchen as the chief food heater 3rd string cook chef, and one of my duties is to wash the pots and pans. The waiter or waitress gets to wash ALL the customer's dishes, plates, cups, cutlery. (Tip your waiters well, they may have to work very hard where you cannot see!) Anyway, I was washing dishes too ('cause I'm a nice kid) and I was using a dishcloth. The young man didn't know about the dishcloth, and I left it...in the water. Yup, he pulled the plug. Slurp! And he didn't realize it. So when I pulled the plug on my last dishwater a lot later...hmmm...that's draining kinda slow...

I got to work early this afternoon, and all the bar toilets were flooding out into the bar, all the restaurant toilets were flooding out into the restaurant, all the kitchen sinks...well, you get the idea. The plumber was just starting to try to figure out where the blockage might be, and I told him that my dishcloth went missing last night. So they started there.

Heh heh heh...sure enough, there it was. The plumber's snake dragged it out. Wasn't looking too good, after it's little adventure. I found a nice little spot in the garbage for it, it won't be doing that again.

So now things are back to SNAFU at work. After they fixed the drain, I got to do more laundry, so tomorrow I should just be able to rock cleaning those rooms.

Today was a waste of time in the room cleaning department, it was so hot. I tried to pre-cool the rooms I was about to do, but somebody set the conditioner units on "stun". Big noise, no cooling: the dials were set to 1 instead of 10.

Yup, details matter. The customers need to find the right amounts of cups, coffee, sugars, glasses, soap, shampoo...all those things that make your hotel stay bearable. They will have to figure out how to work the air conditioners on their own, though. I will leave them set to "MAX".
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More Fun

Well, things are lookin' up here. The other Sous-Chef (sp?) is back at work after minor surgery, and I have time off from the kitchen. So just the rooms. There is nothing on the room-cleaning schedule, it is just blank. So I guess it is just me, although the boss is firmly convinced that the other lady, the one who quit, will be back next Monday to resume her job. This would mean: 1. The boss is crazy. 2. The only way to get vacation time around here is to quit and come back. Neither is a pretty picture.

So on the KNITTING front, which is a much more pleasant subject, I found another neat blog. (I find them all by accident, and I don't seek out more knitting blogs, because there are a GAZILLION knitting blogs. I don't have time to KNIT, much less go lookin' for more to read. But, I followed a cool comment on the Yarn Harlot's June 23 post, and found out who Roxie of the comments is. Click on this post title to see her.

I'll write more when there's more news. Over and Out.
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Saturday, June 17, 2006

What the heck have I been doing?

Well, kiddies, I just got home from my job. I signed on at the local hotel for employment. You can click for the rest of this post, if'n ya wanna know what I do. You still with me? Great. I signed on to this job as a housekeeper. Maid. Chambermaid. Cleaning lady. You get the picture. This little local hotel has a bar, restaurant, and 12 rooms to let. 2 rooms are used by the owners, and one room still has the stuff belonging to the late father of the former owner. 2 owners ago. (In a small town, things like that happen. Mike sold the hotel to George, and then George sold it to Etinder and Gagan's family. I think they are family, or maybe just Managers, I am not sure. Etinder signs my cheques, anyway.) There is a rumour going around the coffee shops that the hotel has been sold again. This always happens, and the scuttlebut is usually wrong. I know I haven't been told anything. Anyway...

So just when I'm getting the hang of doing the rooms in a prompt and efficient manner, the Chief Cook informs me that I will be doing cooking duties in the restaurant 2 days a week. YIKES! I told them I am not sure I am the one for the job, but everybody keeps telling me, "Not to worry, don't panic, you'll do fine." Right. Hubby and I are the Adult ADD Poster Children. It takes me a long time to get into a routine. Way longer if I have to make up the routine myself as I go along.

Doing the rooms is OK. I figure I have stayed in enough nice (and not-so-nice) hotel rooms in my lifetime, I know what hotel patrons want: cleanliness. And convenience. The first few times I did rooms, it took a long time, mostly because there were a couple of things I had to do, so I thought. Then I had to start arranging the "maids' room" a little.

Now the lady that was the maid when I started is quitting. Yikes. I am not sure yet what happens now, do I get all the maid work? Do I still cook 2 days a week? The maid I am talking about also worked in the kitchen a few days a week, but disliked that duty a lot. The lady that worked in the bar a lot was transferred out of town with her husband and his job, so they have a new girl in the bar. Plus the lady who did rooms, who is quitting, was also working in the bar. I think we may be getting short-staffed!

There was an array of waitresses working in the restaurant, but some of them are finished at the end of June, I guess they are high-school kids who want a fun summer life. One of them is going to hockey school, I think. So my darling daughter, who thought the waitress job was so part-time she needed another part-time job to make enough money for university, had to call off the second job already. I guess that's a good thing. She is so good at the waitress job, it shocks and pleases me no end. Greeting customers, serving the water and taking orders, taking the coffee, soups, salads, the entré (when the cook puts it up, on the "ready to go" shelf with the heat lamps), the desserts, ringing in the payment, cleaning the table for the next customers...whew! And the restaurant has, I dunno, 15 or 16 tables? And the customers fill and vacate these tables in no particular order? Aaaughh! I surely couldn't do this. But she does great, and the tips make the difference between a crummy minimum-wage job(i.e. chambermaid) and a good job.

Hey, I get tips too. So far: $3.06, 6 beer, a chocolate bar, a miniature chocolate bar, and a packet of Kool-Aid. Not just any Kool-Aid either: Mystery Flavour, Mystery Colour Kool-Aid. Woot! That was today, actually, I can hardly wait to make it tomorrow.

So that's what I been doing. Now I am going to log off, and go shower off the layers of sweat and deep-fryer flavour and aroma. Talk to you later.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Well, hello there. SURPRISE! I am making a post. I had to take a hiatus from knitting, blogging, and a lot of other things I really enjoy doing, to concentrate on cleaning up the poopy mess left by my failed business. That, and finding a new job. Since I kinda like the analogy, about that poopy mess? Let's just say we scrubbed, sprayed it with Lysol disinfectant, and threw a scatter-rug over it. Every few weeks, around payday oddly enough, I will trip over that scatter-rug and lavish some hard-earned money more disinfectant upon the ugly, reeking mess spot. For about the next 20 to 30 years. (I smell a book here..."Kill Your Ailing Business Before It Tries To Kill You!")
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Vivid Memories

Have you ever had the experience of busily doing something mundane, like housework or dishes, and SUDDENLY a memory, over 35 years old, just WASHES over you like a big wave? A delightful memory of the sight of your 9-year-old foot encased in a beige hand-knit sock (over beige tights) as your father tightens the laces of your figure skate?

No? Well, lemme tell ya, it's beautiful. Add to that the knowledge that Dad tightened 3 pairs of skates at least 5 times a week, for about 10 years, and Mom knit all the beige skating socks (plus mitts, hats, and scarves) that those rink-rats needed over that time, and...well, I just had to sit down. At the computer. Searching for a sock pattern. Sucked into the socks vortex.

The one that caught my eye was "Dad's Function Over Form Socks" by Jessica Minier Mabe at about.com. That sounded so practical and comfortable. I wanted to make a pair of socks for Dear Hubby Trucker, not to wear under boots (even though the pattern author's intention is boot socks, but I anticipated my first socks would be a bit, er, lumpy for that) but to wear in the bunk of the Kenworth if it got a bit chilly at night.

So (Bad blogger! No in-progress pictures!) I knit one. (Next sock I will definitely take pictures, 'cause the way I do it is comical. Instead of four double-pointed needles, I use three different circular needles.)
Tried in vain to get a good shot of the sock without revealing my winter-legs...

But it seems the best way to photograph this sock is empty:

Pattern details: Done exactly as pattern, except used smaller needles for a firmer sock (plus hubby's a men's size 7) and made the cuff 1-1/2 inches instead of 8-1/2. Gives it a cozy slipper-like quality. I love it.
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Merino? Mohair? Alpaca? Someday!!

adopt your own virtual pet!