Saturday, September 20, 2014

Just Another Day At The Office

Now I work in an office where literally thousands and thousands and thousands of people pass through on a daily basis, seven days a week and three hundred sixty five days a year.
It certainly keeps things lively and turning out to be right up my alley!
Each and every single day you encounter something or someone amusing, astounding (in a good OR bad way) and sometimes even heart warming. It may happen on your lengthy commute to or from the trek out to concourse F, the last on the farthest end away from the terminal. It may happen while you are working or it  may happen on break...but trust me, It'll happen!
I was a nervous wreck starting this new venture and still have a lot to learn but feel am starting to grasp the gist of it all and think I'll turn out to be pretty good at it. (At least  hope so)
Just the other happened twice.
I was at the host stand with the young host staff. The stand sits right out in the atrium on the outside of the restaurant. it faces an elevator that takes you downstairs if you have a stroller, wheelchair or simply not able to take the escalator beside it.
The elevator had been acting funky all day. People were getting off when the doors opened but if you walked up and pushed the down button for it to come up on its own, you'd literally be waiting all wasn't working. There were two women in their late sixties, each  waiting with a small rolling suitcase. I started to ask the hostesses if they had told the women it wasn't working when they gave up and walked away. Both seemed able bodied and spry walking over to the escalator about ten feet away. They let five or six people go in front of them while they intently watched the others go down.  The one woman seemed ready to go but became quite apparent the other was at the VERY least extremely uncomfortable about boarding the slow moving stairs with two sturdy hand rails and descend slow as turtles down to the first floor where flights boarded. Finally the apprehensive lady asked a man behind her to hold her suitcase. She stepped up to touch the hand rails and quickly removed her hands. She stepped up again and tried a foot out on the moving step but pulled it back and moved away. Her friend finally stepped up and boarded the escalator, bag in tow and descended. Her friend at the top (now holding up the man holding HER bag) took a breath and leaned as far out as she could, missed the first step but caught the second one which pretty much propelled herself forward as she reached out to each side to find the hand rails and began to slowly white knuckle her way down behind her friend.
I was talking with the Sous Chef later on telling him about the episode and said had witnessed the same type thing on the way UP the escalator that morning on his way into work. He said a man in front of him was flailing around at the bottom of the escalator like he was having some issues and started to ask the man if he needed assistance? He said then the man finally sat his luggage on the first step and it began up all alone.  Said the man's bag was over half way to the top when the man lurched forward, grabbed the hand rails and propelled himself onto the moving stairs in much the same fashion as the woman I saw had. He was still thinking the man must be disabled but then suddenly the man started walking up the escalator stairs like it was nothing, trying to catch up with his bag.
So let me get this right.
You are frightened to step on to slow moving steps with two sturdy rails which also move along with you at a snail's pace but have no qualms about climbing aboard a hollow metal cylinder loaded with jet fuel and travel six hundred MPH  at 35,000 feet across the Atlantic or Pacific ocean with up to almost four hundred people you've never met, including the dude (or dudette) at the controls flying it?

Go figure THAT one out.

 Just last week I had two women at my table waiting to board the Barcelona flight. Neither spoke English and was a lot of pointing done by all three of us. They were extremely nice and I at least knew the words "Cerveza" and "Vino."  Once they had their beers we started with the food portion of pointing.  One of the women pointed to our signature dish with braised pork and pasta. I told them it was "Muy bueno" but tried to explain it was pork. (in case they didn't eat pork)  I finally drew a little pig on my order pad like this:

I could tell they had no clue what I was saying so excused myself for thirty seconds with the universally known held up forefinger sign "Just a second" and went back to confer with the dishwasher, who was Latino. I told Albertina I needed to ask how to say this word (pointing at my pig drawing) in English? She peered thoughtfully at my pad and promptly said "Gato!" I just looked at her and said, "It's not a cat."

Guess I also needed improve my drawing skills.

I shook my head no and pointed again at the tiny fat nose and curly tail.

"Aye" she nodded quickly and said "Puerco!"

Back to the table I went (with me new learnt word) and told the women "Puerco" as I pointed to the dish on the menu.

They both nodded, ordered and loved it!

My manager later told me there was a translation app on my iPhone you could download and the person could speak into my phone and would translate into English.

Here's my problem with that. It took THIS dummy  until a few weeks ago to learn how to use the alarm clock on my phone, still screw it up (has made me  late more than once) and still have no idea how to use Pandora or about ten other things on my iPhone. I don't know how to snap chat or instagram and have never even put out the first tweet. I'm lucky I know how to make a call, answer one, text and take a picture.

My tutor abandoned me moved away to college.

Every time I go see Massey to visit, she teaches me something new. Before you know it, this Wilma Flintstone will be making Jane Jetson look like she's scared of that robot maid of hers. I'm not very techno savvy but don't mind attempting new things and usually do pick it up after much trial and many errors. least I'm not scared to get on an escalator, and can even text while poking along up OR down the fancy electric stairs. I don't even hold the hand rails!

I think the most heart warming thing I've witnessed was on the plane train one day. It's the underground train which goes all the way from ground transportation at the main entrance, ten miles out to concourse F where I work. I got on one day and an airport employee was taking a man in a wheelchair to another concourse. They have people who's only job is to push people from one destination to another in wheelchairs and hopefully assist them in any way. For the most part they are extremely courteous but some talk with their charge more than others.

This very nice employee who happened to be African American was pushing a rather elderly Latino man who was obviously distraught. She had her hand on his shoulder from behind and soothingly patted his shoulder as he tried to wheel himself off every time the plane train stopped and the doors opened. She'd say sweetly "No honey, not yet...your family is waiting for you at the A gates. We got three more to go , just hang in there."

He had gotten separated from his family and she had been assigned to return him to the proper gate where his familia all waited.

I wished my Latino co worker had been with me, she could have told him what was happening but the woman was so sweet to him it made my heart sing.

When the doors opened next and he tried to get off I said "Uno momento solamente uno mas." I technically said " Minute one, more one only" (or something to that effect) but meant "Hang on pops, we only got one more to go and you'll be just fine".

My oldest boxer suffered from juvenile cataracts and totally blind before he was seven. I'd know those milky white eyes anywhere, I look at them daily. This older man was totally blind, in a foreign country in the worlds's busiest airport, separated from his family, likely missing a flight and didn't speak the language.

Now THAT'S something to be scared of.

Ham, our boxer is fine because we take care of, love him and don't rearrange the furniture or back yard hammock.

I'm fine because I had these two people for parents. They always loved me, raised me right (as we say in the south) and sometimes gave me a whoopin to teach me right from wrong when I did something which not only they but "I" knew wasn't right and taught me early on the value of love, answering for your bad choices... accepting the consequences and learning from those mistakes.


There's life in a nut shell for ya!

The two people above are nuts, let's just get that out there, but have never met more dysfunctional or better people. They helped save me when at a low point and allowed me to learn, grow and finally have the skills to land a phenomenal new job which paid a two month behind mortgage in a matter of three weeks.

Thank you Barb and Len!

I have the best sister and brother...and I really mean that. (and to think we thought that used station waggy was boss)

Then we lost our momma. She was in her forties. Everybody loved my momma. If you think I'm a dynamo you should have known her.

Pretty from the jump. Small pun intended for our oldest sibling.

She grew up dirt poor. Her father was a bum, guess it's okay to say that now. Her mother raised a boy and girl in immediate post depression times by herself. My father once told me he never even met his father in law until he was laid out in a casket.

Huge kudos for my momma going to his funeral gig.

That's the kind of woman she was.

This young boy, who joined the Navy at seventeen with papers forged by a bribed younger brother served his duty and came home to find this, pretty quickly!

Three kids, a mortgage,  blue collar job but a wife who could sew, paint or do anything... usually did and loved her like crazy to boot!

That my friends, is true love and not only makes my heart sing but inspires me.

Now it's just us knuckle heads left. Thank God they turned out better than me and have never once mentioned or brought that fact into play.

They simply love me, with all my flaws and only the occasional humorous comment.

Through it all, and has been over five years... have helped, sometimes paid for and pulled us through the darkest times we've ever encountered, and acted like it was nothing.

For the first time in almost half a decade we are not only making it but actually moving ahead.

I used to feel like this...

Now thanks to family, friends and even strangers feel like this...

I'm so thankful it isn't funny, even for me.

Every day I wake up (number one blessing) and think about the peeps (number two blessing) who not only "brung" me to the dance but stayed with me until they had to leave early and not only left me in excellent hands but taught me right from wrong, ethics and the true meaning of life.

It's an easy and relatively self explanatory concept. Just wish more people got it.

No worries, I'm out there banging it into peeps every day!

We should all do that... it's something that could and CAN change the world, and who's not for that?

til next time...COTTON

No comments: