Today was my first full day of being a motelier, and this is how it went.
I was determined not to panic. That was my waking thought, and the thought I kept close to my heart all morning, as I wandered in and out of the storeroom, the laundry, the kitchen, the office, vaguely wondering how all the dots joined to make a cohesive whole, and what role I might play in doing this.
Irene was magnificently competent, as was Arthur. Even Robert, a motelier of only 3 days’ duration, also seemed to be magnificently competent, and confident. It was quite overwhelming, being the person who knew nothing to their everything, and who had not even broached the concept of confidence for fear that it might turn out to be an empty pot.
I tried to catch at straws of information as they blew past me in a positive hurricane of activity. I watched over Irene’s shoulder as she did incomprehensible things on the computer; I asked her what she was doing and when she explained, it was worse, far worse, than when she didn’t explain.
Then I remember that he who knows not and knows that he knows not can be taught; although I did think that the ‘he’ of the adage had a lot more going for him in terms of not being an old dog who couldn’t learn new tricks. But I tried not to think too much about that either.
Then Robert noticed that I was looking calm and took me strongly to task, reminding me that we were to be left on our own – truly thrown in at the deep end – in just 2 days’ time, when Arthur & Irene take off for 5 days to attend to grandparent duties, leaving us with a full house and an empty belfry, and that I should, in the spirit of the thing, be in a thorough panic.
That threw me. I was in such a thorough panic that I had to go to bed after lunch, and have a nano nap.
I arose, refreshed, and ventured into the belly of the engine-room to offer my services. Irene kindly offered me more instruction and then, when the phone rang, since it was safely 3pm on a Sunday afternoon and traditionally the quietest time in the life of a motel, she suggested that I could perhaps field my first phone call.
© Jane Grieve – www.janegrieve.com.au