When Jessica arrived at work, Suzie rushed to communicate the issues of the day; not many since the hotel was nearly empty. But the most important seemed to be that Jessica had not even been on the schedule for that night, the manager had switched things up for a new girl. But since the girl who was scheduled to come in was not arriving for another hour and was not answering her phone, Suzie was about to call Jessica in anyway. Suzie had to hurry to pick up her daughter from daycare because they had a special arrangement that someone would stay late to wait for Suzie. Her shift ended at the same time the daycare closed for the night.
Once she was alone, Jessica did not know whether to be grateful to the manager for switching up the schedule, or upset because she had not been told. Jessica looked at the schedule, so then she was pissed at herself for not noticing. She could have actually slept tonight. But then again, she would have ended up coming in anyway, just a little later and so gotten fewer hours. In the end, she was pissed, but could not tell at who or why. She decided to blame the new girl.
Just then the phone rang, it was the manager. “Oh, hi! I was expecting Suzie to answer, but it’s better that you are there, I hope you don’t mind having to come in since I made a mistake and did not put you on the schedule to train Kenzie, Suzie called freaking out that no-one would be in for an hour. I looked at the schedule again and I realized the mistake I made, anyway I told the trainee to come in an hour after the shift starts, so no rush on doing the beginning of shift stuff, I want you to show her the ropes, I know you don’t like working with other people, but you are the only one who can train her overnight, and it means that you will have some days off coming up once she is trained, I will keep looking for more help to get everyone off of overtime, but in the meantime, Kenzie will be starting her own shifts soon, she seems like a quick study, make sure to cover as much as possible in the next two nights so that she only needs one shift of training on the other shifts, have a good night!”
“You too, Ms. Thomas.” As Jessica was about to hang up, she heard more.
“Do you have any questions for me? You know that if you need me all you have to do is call, right? Well have a good night, and please let me know how training goes tonight!” And she hung up without waiting for the requested questions.
Jessica pulled up a chair and plopped into it, speaking to the manager was always exhausting. Even though Jessica barely said a word, she always felt out of breath just listening. Since she had been asked not to do much until Kenzie showed up, she just sat and relaxed for a change.
Jessica knew she wasn’t really supposed to sit while she was working, but she never understood how having someone standing, legs getting more tired by the minute, feet aching and yearning for a break looked more professional than having someone sitting, who stands up to pay attention to a guest. The act of standing is a silent way of acknowledging the customer. If you are already standing, it has to be spoken, or conveyed in no more than a look. Since Ms. Thomas knew that Jessica did not ignore guests, she sat sometimes anyway.
Jessica reveled in her solitude until Kenzie arrived for her training. Jessica stood up and started going over the shift, while Kenzie watched in near absolute silence. She nodded occasionally, and wrote notes in beautifully clean handwriting in the notebook that she brought just for that purpose. So went the night. Jessica had a very one-sided discussion through the evening, and when there was nothing work related, they stood in silence until there was.