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Posts tagged ‘Working holiday shift’

Painter’s World: MEET ZACHARY

A True Hotel Holiday Tale…

 

At first, I thought the teen might have had a problem with depression. He sat on a nearby bench, doubled over. Just staring into the ground.

 

But depression turned out not to be what was weighing down this kid.

 

His name was Zachary. He was visiting Walt Disney World with his parents and grandparents. It was his nineteenth birthday. And evidently, one year ago, on December 24, he’d lost his little brother, Matt, to brain cancer.

 

“Matty was only nine,” the teenage guest told me.

 

We continued to chat as I clear-coated the span of wood railing.  Zachary said that his only sibling had had “a rough time” from the start.

 

“Matty was born with a hole in his heart.” Then the child was only five when he started to complain of “feeling whoozie” and “having pain inside” his head.

 

Zachary said that he felt guilty for being alive. And, with no problems at all.

 

Eventually, I ran out of railing to finish coat. And, I needed to move on to the next project on my list.

 

That afternoon, Zachary showed up again. I was repainting a large built-in seat in a rest area. The teen watched intently. He appeared to be much calmer.

 

“How do you do that?” he asked.

 

“Do what?”

 

“Maneuver that brush that way? Really radical.”

 

“Radical? Like in…?” I asked.

 

“Like in neat. Cool.” He hesitated. “I’d like to learn how to do that.”

 

“Step up. I’d be glad to show you.”

 

It was completely against policy. Letting a hotel guest be in a “fresh paint zone.” Letting a guest – a kid – handle any of our word tools, or use any paint product.

 

Probably, I could have gotten fired on the spot if my chief engineer would have come along. But, this kid – practically an adult – reminded me of someone else when he’d been grieving. Me – for my father.

 

Zachary stepped forward. I handed him a second two-inch angled paint brush, dipped in a little Forest Green paint.

 

“Closely watch my hand. It’s all in the wrist.”

 

The teen guest watched, then tried to mimic my wrist-hand movement. On the third try, he got the basic idea. A smile of satisfaction crossed his face.

 

“Matty loved to paint. I bought him an artist kit – you know, one of those sets in a metal box? The Christmas before… His last Christmas with us.”

 

The teen’s look dropped again. Like when I first spotted him that morning. I needed to do – to say – something.

 

“When my dad died suddenly, I thought I’d never paint again.” I told Zachary that my dad and I had worked together. “That made it extra hard,” I acknowledged.

 

I told the teen how one day I looked at Dad’s brushes. I picked up one of them. “And, you know what? That heavy feeling in my heart? It just sort of got a little better.”

 

The teen guest looked at me. He handed my brush back. And, he started to walk away. He turned back.

 

“I just remembered: I brought Matty’s artist kit along in my luggage.”

 

Zachary was going to be all right. At least for now, perhaps he had a way to make some sense of the whole thing. And, be able to enjoy the holidays with his parents, and grandparents – in their eighties.

 

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Take note. Heads up. Every guest… every coworker… could use a little boost.

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A year’s worth of thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s View: Working a Holiday Shift

Working a holiday shift has its rewards. Take Labor Day at a hotel or hospital.

 

  1. The overall mood of the staff is more upbeat, spontaneous and relaxed.
  2. Guests or patients are feeling upbeat and sociable, even to staff.
  3. Fewer members of management may be around to interrupt your work.
  4. Supervisors tend to move in slower gear, and accept the same from team members.
  5. The painter’s tasks and work orders can often be completed in minimal time.
  6. Management demands cause less stress.
  7. The overall atmosphere around the property is lighter, even enjoyable.
  8. The dining menus offer more festive, fun choices – even in the staff/employee cafeteria.
  9. Lunch breaks may be a little longer if the workload is light – and relatively routine.
  10. More opportunities may come along to chat with teammates – in your own and other departments.
  11. Extra treats, from the chef, may be available for free. Particularly, if he and his kitchen helpers have been cooking for a big event at the hotel.
  12. Clocking out may be a little later than usual; but the reason is usually worth it.
  13. Guests or patients like the chance to visit with you a few minutes.

 

 

Eight Tips for Enjoying that Holiday Work Shift

 

  1. In advance: Pick a painting project you can easily leave and return to throughout the day.
  2. Schedule to eat lunch with one or more teammates, and share the holiday spirit.
  3. Share your morning and afternoon breaks with any fellow staff member that’s nearby.
  4. Help a teammate handle a work order that is clearly a pain in the grain.
  5. Look alive! Lend a hand when you see a coworker struggling with a large arm load of stuff, or trying to move a piece of furniture or equipment.
  6. Treat your supervisor on duty to a soda, coffee, or snack.
  7. Say more than a “hello” to guests or patients located in your general work area.
  8. Volunteer to help a teammate or supervisor with a task or work order so everyone in your department can leave on schedule.

 

Turn your holiday work shift into an experience you wouldn’t mind repeating. And, help others to feel the same.

 

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Your hotel’s or hospital’s paintshop doesn’t close just because it’s a legal holiday.

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Thank you, holiday shift painters, for staying on the job.

 

And thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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