What's the difference between a hotel operator and a governor?
This is not a joke. Well, it sort of isn't. In the early 1990s, I worked for a couple of years as a hotel operator in a large chain hotel. Like most corporate entities, this hotel chain had firmly laid-out policies and codes of conduct for employees. There were infractions for which I could be officially disciplined, be put on probation, and be fired. This was a union job, so firing someone was pretty difficult--but there was one thing our union couldn't protect us front-line customer-service grunts from: the No-Call, No-Show.
If you didn't show up for work and didn't call in sick, you got fired--unless you had a very good excuse. (That is, a comatose-in-a-hospital sort of excuse.) And the No-Call, No-Show happened more than you might think (unless you, too, have worked a full-time job that involves dealing with the public--if you've done that, you may understand). We'd occasionally hear of a coworker in another department who'd gone AWOL, who'd contemplated his 9-hour shift carrying room-service trays to rude and ungrateful conventioners, said to himself, "Dear God, I can't face it. . . I just can't!"--and left immediately for a three-day nature hike, say, or unplugged the phone and sought out the self-annihilating embrace of a new lover.
He couldn't even bear to pick up the phone and speak to his supervisor. Even to lie, "I'm sick; I'll call tomorrow." And, well, he paid for that decision with his job.
So that's what happens when you work in a hotel. When you're a governor, the punishment for a No-Call, No-Show seems to be uncomfortable media scrutiny.
So the difference between a hotel operator and a governor is, perhaps, that one is held to a higher standard of professionalism than the other. Maybe more hotel employees should be considering careers in politics.
Causes Charles Purdy Supports
San Francisco Food Bank, Gay Men's Health Crisis, Project Open Hand, San Francisco SPCA, Smile Train, National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association...