Monday, March 19, 2007

Dream weavers and 911

I started this blog, not as a personal journal or a place to rant and vent, but as a place to share some of the more weird and funny things that have happened to me as a Night Manager of a hotel. I wanted to share these as humoursly as I could, but at the same time, I didn't want just a list of this happened and that happend, and oh, this was funny. As a result, the Honk'n'Holl'r was started, and the Inn Space episodes of Dursten Shaw'tz were born. And I'm still hassled at work by co-workers asking when Episode 5 is going to be ready (And it's coming--honest). Well many unique experiences have happened to me after starting this blog, and it has been a wonderful journey so far. I've met many bloggers that I can now call friends, close friends, well as close as fibre optic cable will allow. Even after the journeys that this blog has taken me, I still didn't want to put up journal type personal posts. I wanted it just to be as entertaining as my limited writing skills would allow.
That was then.

All my working career within hotels, from bartending, to managing bar, to Food and Beverage Managing, to Night Managing the whole enchalada, family (the hoidy-toidy ones, of which I have a few, Doesn't everyone?) and close friends always gave me the "When are you going to do something real with your life," or "Are you still doing that, hotel thing." And it doesn't seem to matter how I explain that I love what I'm doing, they still turn their nose up at what I do. Sure, I'm not rich or famous, like some of my family, but I don't look down on anyone, or frequent a therapist.

But February 13, the night before Valentine's Day, something very unique happened to me at work and I just had to share this with everyone. I didn't feel that I could adapt it to place it in the Inn Space episodes either, because of the type of thing that happened. It needs its own post.

Just before going off shift, the Front Desk radioed for me to come to the desk right away. Upon my arrival the clerk told me that a little girl in room 215 just had surgery and is now bleeding very badly from the mouth. She informed me that it was the girls grandmother that phoned and she is in near hysterics. I called for our Security guard to come to the room with me to observe the problem. When I arrived at the room, I knocked and announced myself. A shaky, almost hyterical voice said to come in quickly. I immediately used my master keycard to let myself in. The grandmother was pacing the room frantically, not knowing what direction she should go, or what she would do next. She saw me and she simply said, "The Bathroom." I knocked and said who I was and let myself in to the bathroom. A little girl about nine or ten years old was haunched over the bathroom sink making the most gutteral of choking noises. I looked over her, and she was coughing up a large amount of blood. I immediatly motioned to the guard to get the ambulance and told him to meet them at the main entrance to escort them to the room. The little girl was still coughing up, but she was breathing, albeit rapidly, so I knew she was not choking on something and her airways were clear. She looked at me, and very hoarsly said, "Tonsils taken out," but her attempt to talk made her cough up some more. I told her everything was going to be okay, just hold on a little longer because help is on its way.

The phone rang in the room, and it was 911 asking for more information than the Front Desk could provide. The grandmother answered the phone, and very nervoulsy gave all the personal information while I attended and comforted the little girl. The grandmother asked me to the phone because 911 wanted to know more about the girls condition. I explained what the girls state was, how much blood she was couphing up, and that her toncilectomy may have ruptured. The 911 operator thanked me and said that a unit should be almost there.

The girl, all things considered, was very aware, but nervous and anxious. She was scared, scared of all things bad that a little girl could be scared of when seeing that much blood. The grandmother was anxious and more nervous than the girl was. She was scared, scared of all the things a loving grandmother could be scared of when thinking she's helpless in saving her little grand-daughter from she didn't know what. I asked the grandmother to come to the bathroom with me. I then talked to both, reassuring them that everything was going to be okay. The ambulance should not be very long. Anything I could think of I said to help put them both at ease.

While I was in the main area of the room talking to the ambulance, I noticed that the room had been filled with dream catchers. There was one over each bed, one over the large mirror, and one on the window ledge. I immediately noticed that they were not purchased dream catchers, but very well crafted hand-made ones. I took the chance that these were made by the grandmother, and asked her about them in an effort to help take her mind off her grand-daughter. The grandmother told me she does make them, and she makes them for all of her relatives and members of her Cree community. The little girl hoarsly got out, "Mine's the big pink one." The grandmother and I laughed, but the little girl smiled and another wave of coughing started. I kept the conversation going because it eased the grandmother, and the little girl seemed to settle a bit by listening to something pleasant.
About then the ambulance arrived, and within a few moments the little girl and grandmother were taken to the hospital.

About halfway through my shift the next evening (Valentine's Day), I got paged to the desk. When I arrived, the Desk Clerk (a different one from the previous evening) asked me if I was the one that went to room 215 for the little girl the night before. I told her I did attend the room. She then handed me a bag and said that the grandmother had left it for me. In the bag was this card:

And two hand-made well crafted Dream Catchers
And a box of chocolates

About two hours later, (after the bellman went home for the evening, and just before I went off shift) I got another call to take two pillows up to room 215. I got the pillows and immediately went to that room.
I knocked and the little girl answered the door. She looked up at me and smiled and I gave her the pillows. She reached for the pillows and turned to go back in to the room. She stopped and turned and looked up at me with her big brown eyes and throatily said "Thank you." She clutched at the pillows and tried to hide her smiling face in them because a wave of shy had now come over her. I smiled back and simply said, "You're Welcome."
She retuned into her room, and I could hear her say to her grandmother that, "It was him."

I how have the two Dream Catchers hanging at the entrances of my home, and I don't think I've had a bad dream since.

So, why do I do this job. Well it certainly isn't for the money, or for status, but every once in a while something out of the ordinary does happen that make it all seem very worthwhile. I will remember a little girls big brown eyes and toothy smile, and a nervous, but loving grandmother for a very long time.


OldEnough said...

Hey Foxxyfyrre
That was a great entry. What a cool story too! I bet you'll remember it for your whole life. I was checking out your other blogs and noticed that you do art too. I collect and post on my blog pictures of myself drawn by other bloggers--it's so interesting to see how people end up with such different pieces of art when they start with the same thing. Would you be interested in sharing a piece? Check my profile for my email and let me know.

Greenwoman said...

What a lovely story....

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

My Dad was in the hotel business some 35 years. We owned a motel once together and I ran another property of his at the same time.

This is a great story. The hotels I ran didn't have guards or luxuries. I have no "great" stories. I do have some good "horrible" ones. Great post!

FoxxFyrre said...

Hi, I'm interested, and thanks for stopping in. sounds like fun, I don't get enough practice doing portrait drawing.

Green woman, Thanks for stopping into my blog.

Thanks Bud, Things like this do happen, but very rarely does it 'touch' you when it's all over. This one was sure unique. And yes, even with a guard, I must say that some of the 'horrible' stories vastly outnumber the good ones. Most are just weird, and when you finally settle down you find the humor in it all.

Anonymous said...

Frank, that is a wonderful story. The note from the little girl was priceless. You know at the college where I work out, the nursing students do a tonsillectomy complication simulation with SIMs or programmable robots. Very dangerous operation. Sometimes the nurses don't respond quickly or seriously enough when the SIM children start to bleed out and the SIMs don't make it. Great story. Thanks for sharing.

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