It is a busy day at the hotel in Zeltingen-Rachtig. All rooms are occupied. In the breakfast hall people are roaming around like snakes. Like a lot of hungry snakes put together. This is how it feels.
My role is to provide solutions to all their requests. They have high hopes during their week on holiday. They hope to feel better. To relax and to enjoy themselves. Maybe to crack some problematic nuts as couples, but this is stratospheric already. It is 1 million times easier to eat. And I have to bring more food. I have to put their food on the table. I am feeding the black dogs each morning, lunch and evening.
First of all, I have never done this job before. I do not know how to carry 4 plates at one time and not plant them in the middle of the dining room. Hot plates with food on them. This is when my boss, I don’t even dare to think about calling him my colleague, enters the scene. He has entered and left 6 times already but if you are a little bit like me, you did’t see him.
He is working two dining halls at a time. He knows what’s missing on the buffet. He is serving green drinks on the terrace while talking to the new victims entering the hall. He is throwing personal remarks towards the guests, just to stir them up. To tame them. They all know each other, because, as I mentioned before, this has been going on for years. They really like this script.
Second of all, in the kitchen there are 3 little Vietnamese cooks who are yelling at me each time I fail to burn myself with the damn hot plates. I would like to address this message of peace:
Dear Vietnamese people,
I know that life has been harsh on you but it has been the same for me, I am from Moldova for God sake! I know what hunger and insecurity means! I went to school in wet shoes and in second hand boots not my size. I did not eat fried dogs or any other strange animals but I did eat snow and silence.
So, please, cut the crap and give me some help here, some understanding and …love.
So it goes day by day. The tension is rising and some of us are close to KO. My ubiquitous boss told me one evening during a slight disagreement between us (since my lesson here is to learn to hold my grounds, I tend to get involved in these sessions of self creation in the middle of the storm) : Du hast mich enttäuscht! You dissapointed me!
I have been working my ass off, have been suffering the Vietnamese torture while burning my hands and melting my stock of patience and kindness and this is what I get!?
You must be mad. Sir.
The reason for his uninspired remark? -The absence of a few plates the on the buffet. I would have completed the stock after having dealt with a request from a snake, of which you were NOT aware of Sir. Got ya!
How do I manage to get to the end of each day under these circumstances?
As you can see, I am laughing at the ridiculousness of the all of us. I am making fun of myself and I put myself in the shoes of the others. I change perspective with the hope of seeing the clear sky and land ahead. I understand that these people have their systems, their processes and I am not allowed, not under such high tension and in a short period, to change anything, they see it as a disapproval, a personal attack. I am training myself in listening life by getting he pulse of the situation as a whole.
I am not allowed to change anything but still, I do, this is my job.
I am present here with them, in the chaos, I am watching them in the eyes, and I am willing to be disapproved of because I know that there is a lesson of love for each of us.
I choose to give love.