April 18, 2005

Dad picked Min and I up to go to the Omega Grill for breakfast this mornig at 8:00. Min was exhausted and barely able to stay awake through breakfast. While I was outside this morning I noticed that Donny is back from Florida and that means that construction on the new townhouses here is going to be beginning in earnest very quickly. They are really hoping to have the entire development completed this summer. That will be really nice. This place will look a million times better once they get the construction done. And then we can get the road topped properly and get the mud cleaned up and make this place look presentable. I did notice that if you use Google Maps and switch to the satelite view, you can see our townhouse from the satellite. Only ours was done when they took the picture but you can make it out quite plainly and you can see where they prepared the space for the neighboring houses.

Min went to bed as soon as we got back to the house and I headed out the door to run down to Castile to get the AC adapter to my laptop. On my way through Perry, I noticed a blue Mazda Protege 5 sitting at the Faryna’s with Alabama plates on it. Ha ha. They think that they can hide but they can’t!

I got everything that I needed to done down in Castile pretty quickly and I went back up to Perry and stopped in at the Faryna’s to see who was around. Emily is terrible about telling people when she arrives or even when she might arrive or even when she might leave so I have to actually go there to see what is going on. Turns out that Craig wasn’t able to leave Alabama so he is stuck down there working and Emily drove up on her own. We hung out in Perry and chatted for about half an hour. I managed to talk her into escaping to get some lunch so we drove up to the UofR and picked up Eric. He was quite surprised to see Emily in town. She and Craig have been in Alabama since last June and no one has seen them since then. The three of us went into Brighton and got lunch at Aja Noodle. Aja Noodle rocks. Em and I both got Pad Thai. Eric just got coffee. Min had been raving about their spring rolls so I got those too. Everything was yummy as always. I also got some dinner for Min to take to work with her. She was really sleepy when I left the house.

After lunch we made a quick pitstop at the Barnes and Nobles to see if they had the cheap books that we are getting for the Castile school. I was in luck and managed to find a number of them as well as a Microsoft text book that was marked 40% off that I was interested in as well. So this was a good shopping day for me. I took a quick turn through the bargain books section and also discovered a Bible in the New Century Version from Thomas Nelson that I was interested in and it was very inexpensive. So I picked that up as well. As many of you know, I am very interested in Bible translations and this is a relatively new one from around 1996.

Eric drove us back to the hopsital while I went on a conference call about the job that I was supposed to have been doing this summer. So far, not much has happened there. Things are still happening, but I can’t tell if things are getting positive or not. I am becoming more and more wary of the process and less and less interested in actually doing the job. I hate to leave the customer hanging but it is hardly my responsibility to watch over them.

I drove Emily back to Perry after my phone meeting was over and heading on home. I brought Min her Pad Thai to take to work with her tonight but she was still sleeping when I got in. She was really tired from last night and needed to do some catching up this evening.

Min got up and made some dinner that we ate while we watched some more of Angel. Only a few more episodes to go in the first season.

Min went to work at the usual time and I tried to watch another couple episodes before turning in. But tonight was destined to be a more exciting night than we had expected. Min called the house at 11:30. The phone rang four times and Andy picked it up but there was no one there. I checked the phone and saw that Min had called from the hotel so I went up to ask Andy what she had wanted. He said that there was no one on the line when he picked up and he hadn’t known that it was Min since he didn’t recognize the number. So I checked my email to see if she had left a message (our phone’s voicemail forwards directly to the email system which is one of the handiest things in the entire known universe). But there wasn’t any message. So I called her back at the hotel. I called the main line from the house phone. It was busy. Hotel phones should never be busy. They have like 20-40 phone lines coming into a hotel, it is practically impossible that every one of them is in use at the same time, especially during this season when there aren’t all that many people staying in hotels in the western NY. So I tried calling back a few times and it was busy every time. Andy thought that there might be something wrong with our phone so I tried calling from my cell and it didn’t work there either. Then I tried calling the line that goes straight to the desk in the back office at the hotel which is on a different exchange from the rest of the hotel. That was out as well.

I was getting worried so I started getting ready to drive up to the hotel and the phone rang again from Min. It turned out that something was wrong. A creepy guy had come into the hotel and she was worried and tried to call me so that she could stay on the phone with me while he was there but the hotel’s phones weren’t working. They had known about the phones being out during the day shift but the manager hadn’t bothered to do anything about it nor where they informing guests that the phones weren’t working reliably. Luckily Min had been able to get a call out to 911 one time when the phone was working. The sheriff had come by and managed to pick the guy up heading to the next hotel. Min had told him to leave and he had started arguing with her. He was apparently casing the hotel – standing in the lobby looking for video cameras and stuff. The police knew who he was, apparently he has a record of being a disturbance in the area. They didn’t think that he was too dangerous but he easily could have been. Min was really shaken up because they have no panic button or any type of security whatsoever – no working phones part of the time, no panic button, no alarm, the back door wasn’t locking properly and the front door is one of those cheesy magnetic locks that any normal sized guy can just yank open. When she wasn’t able to call anyone and no one was able to call her, it really freaked her out. And to have found out that she had no means of communications when there was someone scary in the lobby sure didn’t make things any better.

I was furious and called her managed at home and got him out of bed and made him go in to the hotel and work the shift himself. If it wasn’t important to him that the place be safe then he could work the shift himself. I drove up to the hotel to make sure that Min left and they didn’t try to talk her into staying. I couldn’t believe that her manager would have the nerve to not have any security whatsoever in a hotel in an area that has a decently high crime rate (this is only three doors down from the Days Inn Rochester South that Andy and I worked at that was robbed twice while Andy was working because they didn’t bother to have any security back then and just a few blocks away from the hotel that had the desk clerk killed several months back.) The 7-11 just up the street was robbed over the weekend. So having no security where she was working was just out of the question. The problem with the Marriott Fairfield Rochester South is that they are owned by E J Del Monte Corporation and EJD gives bonuses to their managers if they skimp on expences at the hotels. The lower the hotel’s operating budget, the higher the manager’s salary regardless of whether or not the hotel is meeting Marriott standards, safe, hazardous, whatever. So, in fact, they would directly require the manager to pay for a security system out of his own pocket since he is given the money if he doesn’t spend it.

On my way up to the hotel I called the customer service number that Marriott has listed on their website and told them what was going on at the hotel. They told me that there was nothing that they could do and that they didn’t even have a mechanism for getting me into contact with anyone who could do anything and, while the person I talked to was sympathetic to the safety concerns of the uninformed guests staying at the Fairfield Rochester South, the position of the Marriott Corporation was simply not to care. This is really the attitude that we have discovered from them during the time that Min has been working there. They go out of their way to treat their customers like crap. E J Del Monte actually pays out bonuses to the hotels if they oversell the hotel which means that they take credit cards for rooms and sell them to other people. A truly dispicable and illegal practice. Travellers who arrive at a hotel that they have already paid for who discover that the hotel felt that they could make more money by reselling the room to someone else can be very hurt by the situation, especially if they have been travelling a long time, are visiting a sick relative, have an import meeting nearby in the morning, etc. So, I was not unhappy that Min wouldn’t be working for those crooks anymore. Everytime that she talked about work I was disgusted by the way that they treated their customers. We even went and stayed at a Fairfield in Clearwater Florida just last year and the place was one of the worst hotels I had ever stayed in. Marriott doesn’t even require that they hotels have mattresses. At that Fairfield they just had a foam pad on a box spring – no mattress. It was awful. The Marriott Fairfields have the same quality control, apparently, that the Days Inn does and we all know how pathetic that is.

I got to the hotel right as Min’s tired manager arrived. He was definitely worried to see me after the lecture that he got from me on the phone. I waited around for about half an hour while Min got him all set to take over the shift. We came back home and we talked about the job and how dangerous it is there and how bad the job is and decided that there was no good reason for her to be there. I was completely set against her returning to work there. I didn’t feel that it was responsible and it sure wasn’t our problem to deal with safety issues if her boss was so careless about it. He even tried to defend why he had disconnected the panic button and why he didn’t even bother having a fake camera. The bottom line was the panic button was costing him money every month and it was his safety that was in question so he turned it off. Good going EJD, nice of you to pay one jerk to remove the safety of someone else. So at 3:00 am, Min called into the hotel and told her boss that she wouldn’t be coming back to work. I don’t think he gave her a hassle because he was scared of me. She is going back in on Thursday to have an exit interview to make sure that she has their signature on a statement saying why she left the position.

So that made for an exciting night. And it answered the question of whether or not Min will be looking for a more fulfilling job right away. We had toyed with the idea of her looking into a help desk position or something similar but weren’t sure if we were going to move on it or not. We also played around with the idea of her getting more (and worse) hours at the hotel because they had to fire the inept trainie auditor just two days ago. But we decided against that because working at the hotel does not make Min happy. And we didn’t feel bad about them having to fire the inept auditor because everyone had told the manager that she wasn’t able to do the job and he didn’t do anything about her until she spent a night on her own and completely lost control.

The job hunt begins tomorrow now.

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