Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The "Cleaning Lady"

Our family goes on only one vacation a year that lasts longer than 3 days. Sometimes we go to Virginia Beach. This year we went to the same place we always go. It is a boutique hotel with only about 30 rooms. Everything faces the beach. We like the patio suites on the lower level.

For myself, I only go for three days. That is my annual vacation. Never more. This year I needed my own room because my daughter brought a friend. Unfortunately, when I arrived they had accidentally given out my room! The only thing left was a patio suite, which they gave me at the room price! Big bummer. It's kind of weird, but very fun, to have my own room!

When I arrived about 8am (I left home at 0330) I asked when I could check in. "Oh, the 'cleaning lady' is doing your room now. You can get in when she's done."

I asked if she had a name. "Um, (thinking) Denise, I think."

As I approached my room, Denise was coming out.

"Is this your room, sir?"

I could already smell how clean it was! I said yes, and, "Thank you Denise."

Her very bright eyes lit right up. "Well, you're welcome, and if you need anything I can get it for you."

Wow, an eagle, not a duck! What's a duck? If you ask anybody anything - at the airport, post office, department store, well, you know - what do they say? That they have to ask somebody and they go behind a door. What's behind that door? A DUCK POND! What's in the duck pond? Ducks, none of which have an answer for you.

Denise is no duck. I could see that in her eyes.

I moved in, found the family, and mentioned how clean my room was. My wife said, "You should find out Denise's story."

So I grabbed Denise later. "I hear you are going to school."

She lit up again. "Yes. I put my three kids through school and now it's time for me. I'm studying Hotel Management! I take four classes a trimester. This time, though, I have math and really don't like math."

In two conversations I found out that - she is 52 years old, she has a B+ average, will finish in two more trimesters and is doing it all alone. Her husband left when she was pregnant and has not been heard from since. I told her that when she finishes she needs to walk into the Hilton or Marriott and tell them she is ready to work!

And that it's time for her to make some money and enjoy herself.

She agreed. She wants no help from anywhere. She says, "I can pay for it and I will. People say I should go here and go there for people to give me a check. I don't want that hook. I'm no fish." She also told me that her boss at this hotel did not want her to go to school! No wonder. She is not a duck. He likes that. He doesn't want to lose her. And he will!


The bald eagle is probably my favorite animal. Eagles do not flock. You find them one by one. Eagles use their brains and instincts to provide for and take care of their own. Eagles are fierce. Eagles are independent and strong. Eagles see far. Eagles rely on themselves. Eagles soar.

Denise is no "cleaning lady." Denise is an eagle. I like meeting eagles. I have little patience for ducks.

There are too many ducks in the world.

I left the eagle a nice tip. Godspeed, Denise.

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