Saturday, September 3, 2011
The road goes ever on and on...
Down from the door where it began…
Actually, the path goes just a couple hundred feet down the hill and then stops. We use it sometimes as a shortcut when we’re busy cleaning the cabins located conveniently near the path—or is the path conveniently located near the cabins?
The cabins—they are the main part, the heart and soul of our work at the lodge.
The lodge has ten cabins. Every day that someone stays in one of them, we do a daily clean—make beds and vacuum, wipe down the shower, toilet, sink, windows, and furniture. After the guests leave, we change sheets and wipe things down again, this time with bleach.
Imagine for a moment trying to do spring cleaning every day from about nine o’clock to three o’clock. That’s pretty much what we do here.
Remember—that’s not just one day in the spring, but every day for the next two months.
I can only imagine what the work is like July, when the cabins are full most of the time. We’ve only cleaned all ten cabins once while I’ve been here—and we finished it by three o’clock too! The other days, we cleaned three or four cabins, sometimes five.
Over the next two months, the other girls and I will rotate between the lodge and the cabins—one week working on the lodge, two weeks cleaning cabins. This was my week in the lodge, so I got to iron tablecloths and napkins, dust furniture, and sweep. We mop every other day and clean windows on Wednesdays.
On Wednesdays, we also get to dust the animals! (“The animals” includes two bearskins, as well as a mounted fox, lynx, and white wolf.)
When I got here, I was one of five girls on the cleaning crew. Two of the other girls have now left for the year, while the other two and I will work into October. The jobs that we used to breeze through by two o’clock on super-busy days? We now finish them about three o’clock on slow days, though we've also done some extra cleaning and worked on end-of-the-year projects.
After our morning work is done, we have a break from about 3:30 to 5:30, but sharp on the half hour, we have to be in the kitchen to help with dinner prep. That means finishing salads, warming plates, getting juice and water ready for drinks, filling jam bowls, and generally swarming about.
In between times, and throughout the day, we do odd jobs such as help customers at the lodge's snack shop—the Cranberry Cache. Just yesterday, we also cleaned the lobby at the hanger. We took about three inches of dirt off the floor before half a dozen people walked in and brought all the dirt back with them.
Oh, and I’m really enjoying the job—except for that wolf I mentioned, the one we're supposed to dust once a week. He almost got me once when I was trying to clean the couches by him.