I am quickly becoming a wearer of many hats, which I seem to keep collecting just for fun even though none of them quite fit me. In addition to waitress/barista/ironic purveyor of venison pies, it would now appear that I’m part-time managing a lodge on my days off in exchange for free accommodation. What does that mean? Essentially it seems to mean I’m the final word on a lot of things that, frankly, no one should ever put me in charge of.
For example: the folding of fitted sheets. Back home, I’d usually pull all my fitted sheets out of the dryer (often still half-damp due to my constantly short supply of both quarters and patience), bundle them up into one huge crumpled ball, and shove them in the bottom dresser drawer. The completion of this act would make me feel both productive and exceedingly responsible. But, knowing that I’m now working for a self-described “very fussy” lodge owner, I’ve stepped my fitted sheet-folding method up to basically treating them like giant burritos. (This, if you’re curious, is apparently also wrong, so today I may do them like won tons instead).
“Managing” also means I’m expected to validate the work of various helpers who live at the lodge; usually backpackers passing through for a week or two spending a few hours each morning making beds and cleaning bathrooms for free lodging. They ask me if the showers they’ve just cleaned look all right, if the beds are made properly. Now here’s the thing about bed-making and me: we’re not well acquainted. As my alarm went off each morning in New York, I’d play a little game with myself wherein I could sleep in a bit longer by eliminating certain daily preparations that weren’t entirely necessary. I could sleep an extra 15 minutes if I didn’t blow dry my hair, an extra ten if I bought my lunch that afternoon instead of making it, and an extra two if I didn’t bother to make my bed. I assure you, the bed-making lost out to extra sleep every single time.
So, putting me in charge of validating the cleanliness of an entire lodge, the precision of the folds in its sheets, and the appearance of its freshly made beds feels roughly akin to putting me in charge of, say, the Super Bowl: I know there are rules to be adhered to and the outcome means a whole lot to some people, but the reasoning and execution are just way over my head.
In any case, working for accommodation also means that on my days off from the café, I’m hanging around Arrowtown to check people into the lodge and make new bookings. The lodge owners and I have set up a wonderfully inefficient little system wherein the phone at reception redirects to their cell phone, and they then text me to hightail it back to the lodge from wherever I am. Thanks to the general inadequacy of my wireless carrier (way to go, Vodafone), my phone tends to alert me that the lodge owners have called about three hours after the actual missed connection.
Does this stop me from wandering? Well, no, as evidenced by the fact that I’m currently posting this online from my favorite free-wifi spot (located on a bench in a posh alleyway behind a store I’ve never been inside of). But it does make it a bit hard to make actual productive, outdoorsy, or out-of-town plans with my days off. Which is probably all right, actually, since we’re about to get a whole mess of non-stop rain over the next few weeks. But for now, it’s nice to be enjoying weather like this, even in short increments:
Which reminds me: I think I have some fitted sheets to go fold.