Yesterday I was officially out of a job. It's been coming since October. Our boss sold the hotel. No one knew what was going to happen, but as the months rolled by, and the closing was postponed over and over, tensions and stress grew higher. By November 15, and the 3rd postponement, I was ready to kill someone. Ah, but my intention, which I stated categorically to my co-workers was to sign for unemployment. I would stick this out til the end. Shock and Awe, baby. Shock and Awe.
The rumors started flying. We would all be out of work; some of us would be kept on; we would be required to work one girl to a room (we work in pairs) with a limited time allowance for said room; our wages would be cut (we get paid minimum wage - even those with 5-6 years of service!), yada, yada, yada.
Apparently, the girls never thought of signing for unemployment. WTF?! Come on, girls. Get with the real world! Well I must say, everyone is now on board. Too bad we weren't union. I'd make a great union rep. But I digress........
Things did not end amicably. We all had to fill out job applications for the new owners and were told there would be interviews. Our current boss never once came to us and told us what was going on, what we could expect. She would mention things to one of the desk clerks and they would pass on the rumor. She never had the balls to talk to any of us! Everything that has happened with this transaction was relayed through the grapevine. That's enough to piss anyone off!
Well, Monday I had mine. It went like this..........
New Owner (with my application in hand): "How long have you worked here?"
ME: 2 years
NO: "Can you work any day?"
ME: Well, yes, but my schedule is Monday and Friday and weekends. Actually, I requested those days because I have a disabled daughter who works the opposite days, and I have to take her to appointments and such. So I prefer to keep my schedule.
NO: "Here's what we're going to do. We will pay you $3.50 per room. You can take as long as you want in a room and do as many as you want to. Is that agreeable to you?"
ME: You mean Three dollars and 50 cents per room?
NO: "Yes. That's right".
ME: (shaking my head side to side and with the most "are you shitting me" look on my face Icould muster) NO. I need to make at least minimum wage.
NO: (with one eyebrow raised and a "oh, you Americans" look on HER face): "Well, I will let him know this and we will call you ----after 3:00?
ME: Yes, after 3:00, I'll be home.
End of interview. No phone call. No job. Hallelujah!!! Thank you, Jesus!!
I must add here that with each of us girls, the interview and questions were different. Some were told they would get $3.50 per checkout and $1.50 per stayover; my supervisor, who's been there for 10 years and makes $12.00 an hour and is "on call" 24/7, was offered $7.50 (she refused, after much soul searching - she's a single mom with 5 kids!!); the desk girls were told the only shift they would be working would be 2:30pm until 10:30 pm. No mornings, no midnight shift.
So, there are 10 of us out of work. Let me also tell you that this is the only hotel within 25 miles, and our town has a population of 400 people. As a matter of fact, the next "big" town (pop. 1200) IS 25 miles away.........gas is nearing $3.00 a gallon...........everyone pays minimum wage............see where your math skills start coming into play??!!
When I went up to see the girls, I told them how much I was estimated on receiving on unemployment. Each one of them jumped on the computer at the hotel and looked up their own estimates. Smiles came across their faces; they lit up like a 150 watt bulb; they started getting giddy and laughing. "Hey, I can live with that til I find another job" was echoed throughout the lobby. They all felt much, much better.
That's right. Shock and Awe, baby. Shock and Awe.
Let the spinning and knitting commence full bore!
5 weeks ago