The Hook is a real bellman at a busy hotel in Niagara Falls. He will take us behind the scenes regularly with tales of some of the millions of visitors to the city. The stories are true. He couldn’t possibly make this stuff up.
THE HOOK/Special to Bullet News
I’d like to tell you about the 18th annual installment of “Take Our Kids to Work Day,” an event my daughter has been anticipating virtually since birth.
For the uninitiated, Take Our Kids To Work Day (boy, that’s a mouthful isn’t it?) is designed to give our children an opportunity to see their parents in action and hopefully enlighten them as to the inner workings of our world.
Personally, I think some civil servant just wanted to shut his kid up after hearing “I hate school! You’re lucky, all you do is work all day!”
Getting back to my daughter, Sarah, after hearing – and reading – about my job for years, she’s been dreaming of the day she could finally “live the dream” as it were. So did it live up to her sky-high expectations? You be the judge.
To begin with, she arrived 20 minutes late to an orientation/presentation – some people would call that smart – but she made it in time for the nickel tour, which had her raving afterwards. Her tardiness falls squarely on my shoulders, but in my defence, I knew nothing of the hotel’s plans for our junior associates. I was, however, aware of the five buses we had arriving later on that day, not to mention my daughter’s numerous pleas to be a part of that process.
Her old man, unfortunately, lost his zeal for bus tours years ago. The irony was not lost on me.
At any rate, Sarah’s youthful enthusiasm was infectious; she put a smile on the face of everyone she encountered, including my fellow jaded employees. I swear, if she had been wearing a beret, she would have been able to toss it in the air and it would have hovered there.
I realize that reference will be lost on most of you, but I stand by it. We spent the morning engaged in the age old winter-time routine of a bellman:
Do a call: a nice old couple from Collingwood who were “tickled pink” by my sidekick.
Sit in the “bell room” – a low-rent version of the Batcave, minus the cool toys and the butler – for 20 minutes.
Do a call: two redneck couples whose greatest unrealized ambition is to produce a single child capable of walking upright. They stiffed me, but they were from New Jersey so I figured Mother Nature and God have meted out a far worse punishment to them than I could have ever conceived…
Sit… You get the idea.
Truthfully, November is not an ideal time for this sort of program in a tourism town like Niagara Falls, but that didn’t phase Sarah one bit. Not only was she thankful for the break from the high school grind, she soon realized that being the daughter of a bellman made for a pretty sweet deal when it came to Take Our Kids to Work Day.
“The other kids are cleaning rooms and working in the laundry room. We get to move around and make tips.”
My job in a nutshell.
The afternoon began to take its toll – on me, not Sarah. She was still glowing and ready to rock ‘n roll when the buses began to arrive. The two hours that followed brought with them a realization that every father simultaneously adores and dreads: my little girl proved herself to be a capable and conscientious worker.
Seriously, I’ve worked with a lot of bellmen/bell people, and Sarah proved to be every bit as capable as any of them. Heck, she even left more than a few in the dust.
She loaded carts, some with bags that matched her body weight. Steering a full cart can be a challenge on an even grade, never mind an incline, but Sarah managed it like a pro. Bags were delivered to the correct room and in record time.
Five buses later she was still rarin’ to go, but Mom arrived to wrangle her little worker bee back to a teenager’s reality. I decided to pull the plug early and join her; it was New Comic Book Day after all.
Twenty minutes later we were home and we both crashed out in front of the couch. The evening ended with a new episode of Supernatural and a sweet memory. One final note: at one point in the day we delivered bags to a high-maintenance, upscale African American gentleman who was concerned about whether or not we’d be able to deliver-his bags quickly and safely. We succeeded on both counts and were compensated … with a toonie.
“That’s it?” was Sarah’s reaction.
I’ve never been prouder.
The Hook’s first book (Yes, rhyming is awesome!) is available for the Kindle or in print at amazon.com or amazon.ca. You’ll also find it at Pulp Comics, 4413 Queen St., Niagara Falls. Its a great read, even if you’re sober.