Working hard for my money

For the first time since June, I received a paycheck!

Certainly not going to get rich working here, but it’s something at least. My housing, internet and laundry costs are fully covered while I’m working, and I’m a pretty good budget eater. I figure since I can cook for myself here quite easily, my food costs are well under $50/week. So that means a profit of at least $110 last week – $108 of which was used for my day of snowboarding. In other words, great! If I can essentially live for free while still doing expensive activities for the rest of the month, that would be fantastic.

The work itself? Each morning my day starts at 9am. Early, I know! For me, I’m up at 7am regardless so it’s pretty relaxed getting going. Morning work is cleaning and preparing rooms – the motel has 18 units. During the weekend the place is usually near capacity, during the week it might be half full. There are 4 different types of housekeeping to be done, the first three are when someone checks out, the 4th is when they are staying for at least another night:

1. Change bedding/make bed. This is my least favourite activity. There is a specific pattern to follow for the bed making and it takes some time to get everything down tight and secure. Often the owners do this one.

2. Clean kitchen & bathroom. A thorough cleaning of the two main parts of the motel that gets dirty. Do any dishes, clean stains off walls, take out trash, scrub shower, toilet, sinks, counter tops, etc. Once completed, I replace the towels and cloths in the room. It takes about 30 minutes to complete a single unit, there is often quite a thorough cleaning required. This is one of my primary jobs.

3. Vacuum and Mop.  After the beds have been made, the kitchen and bathroom has been cleaned and the towels/cloths replaced, a vacuum of all flooring and a mopping of the kitchen and bathroom are the final steps. I also perform one final check – everything in its place, everything replaced as necessary, everything clean and tidy. I then lock up. This is my other primary job.

4. Make-up room. If the room isn’t being vacated today, it’s just a quick top up of coffee/tea/sugar/toilet paper, dishwashing as necessary, make the beds and replace towels if necessary. I haven’t handled this one too often, usually the owners do it.

Often there will be 4-6 rooms checking out any given day – that will take me working straight until noon to get everything cleaned, vacuumed and mopped up. Most days, that will be the end of my responsibilities and I have the rest of the day off. 3 hours of work per day is my base expectation. Those hours are unpaid, they cover me for lodging/internet/laundry. During the weekend I might have a few extra hours of work if the place is near capacity – I worked until 2pm both Saturday and Sunday.

The bulk of my paid hours are when both owners have tasks that take them away from the motel. During those times I cover reception and customer service duties. Very easy work, it’s mostly checking people in as necessary, answering the phone and looking after one or two minor jobs. All in all, very easy, especially because there is a TV for watching and I have my laptop with my anyways.

It’s been a good thing my accommodations are pretty enjoyable – the weather continues to be dour. More rain the last few days (Monday was the ONLY good day, I’m glad I took full advantage) means I’ve spent the vast majority of my time indoors. The other problem is that it keeps tourists/skiers/snowboarders away, meaning a quieter motel, meaning less work for me. So here’s to hoping for the sun to return soon!

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