So that's 7 recouches and 7 blancs. Excellent I say as I trudge up to the third floor using the very narrow and badly carpeted stairs, (there is no lift and even if there was, I doubt it would work). I have just come back off of my 2 day break and am working, as always on a Wednesday, on my tod...
An Australian lady who stayed one night (instead of the 3 reserved) referred to the little hotel that I work at as Fawlty Towers. At this point I had only been there 3 days, eager to please and thankful that someone had finally agreed to employ me! What do you say to that? In any case over the weeks that followed, I began to agree.
Now I'm not Manuel (thank goodness they don't hit me), there isn't a restaurant anymore (they don't like working in the evening) and they don't breathe down my neck (although sneaking up on the unsuspecting chambermaid is a favourite pastime!) but in 20 years of working, I have never been so amazed by the lack of organisation, attention to detail and frankly words fail me! My bosses clearly don't give a flying monkeys!
Now I am what you call a Jack of all trades but my speciality lies in paperwork, deadlines and office work. What, I hear you say, are you doing in a hotel then?? To cut a long story short, I moved to La Baule in December last year to follow my dream of partner, home, family etc...leaving behind a perfectly good position in a hotel as a directors assistant, a perfectly nice flat and all that goes with it and a bloody good social life.
Unfortunately my new location is very touristy and I don't know anybody so no word of mouth and no one knows what I can do. No pieces of paper to say that I'm intelligent and capable and no letters after my name. The (now ex) boyfriend doesn't want me working Sundays and Bank Holidays so all the good reception jobs are out and no one in the offices wants me....can't even get in the door and I don't have a car so another black mark.
So after going stir crazy walking along the 8kms of beach during January, February and March (very blowy and rather salty), I manage to get some cleaning work as an "Extra" in a residence. Unfortunately its only part-time and then even less than part-time so of little use. Next I see an add for an "Employée du Ménage". I race to the hotel, run the interview myself (that should probably have been a clue) and tell them I'll be back the next day to show them what I can do so they can decide if they want to employ me or not.
I arrive the next morning for my "essai". The boss gives me a basket of cleaning products (all unlabelled), opens the door to a room and says there you go then. This one needs cleaning, the clients left this morning and leaves me to it... :o!
Anyway, resourceful Jack of all trades that I am, I get on with it, all goes well and I am employed -Woohoo!
In the meantime, my partner, home, family dream bites the dust. I am sadly not skinny enough for him and he doesn't like my silhouette, (I would point out that I've dropped 10 kilos since January), I don't behave or dress in a manner that pleases him and on and on. More importantly I've already been replaced by someone who supposedly fills these criteria. I'm not bitter but he could've said something sooner...like before I moved here!!!
So I'm heading back down South. I can probably get my old job back (apparently my replacement is "not me" whatever that means) and I can even have my old flat back if I want...almost as if I'd never left...
Now the last 6 months seem to have been a bit of a nightmare but at the same time I have learnt many things...if you are not already asleep, this is the meaningful part of my post...
I am going to pick up my new (second hand) car tomorrow - I've called her Capuscine (I don't know why but I like it) and she is a Peugeot 206. If I'd stayed in Lourdes, I doubt I'd be buying a car right now.
I've realised that I truly love living in and around Lourdes, despite all my grumblings about tourists. It is also an area that allows me to make best use of my talents and yes everyone knows "la petite anglaise qui parle des langues étrangères".
The weather is SO much better down South! So is the food and the wine and the "aperatif'" ;)
The people that count the most for me are there (excepting of course my family who are all over the planet).
Most importantly of all, of all the places that I have been, either to visit or lived in, Lourdes is the one place where I wake up in the morning and I am truly happy and when I stick my head out of the window and look at the gorgeous pyrenées, I breathe in deep and the joy inside tingles all way down to my toes!
Love & Light - Blessed Be <3