Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Party 2008

Tonight was our annual Christmas party for all of us Inn employees. I’ve worked at several hotels over the years (Pittsburgh Hilton, Hampton Inn, Marriott Inn) but I have never worked for a hotel that treated its employees as well as the small boutique hotel that I now work for in Lewes, Delaware. The reason is because the owner of the hotel takes a personal interest in his property and employees.

This year the Christmas party was held at the Second Street Grille, an upscale eatery on Second Street in Lewes. While I frequently recommend the Second Street Grill to my guests in the hotel, I’ve never eaten there myself because of the price range. My budget is more Bob Evans than Second Street Grille.

Everyone was there tonight. Many brought guests. I took my neighbor Barbara. She is always delightful company. The restaurant set up two tables for our private party. I’m not sure, but I think we were seated at Table B. The owner and the manager, assistant manager and sales director were seated at the owners table. That had to be Table A. How did I miss that? Oh well, I had great company at my table.

I was working on my second Apple Martini when our entrees arrived. Most of the folk at our table ordered the prime rib which looked wonderful. The Second Street Grille’s reputation is well deserved. I had Chicken Palliard (or something spelled like that – it was grilled breast of chicken with some kind of fancy mushrooms and a delectable sauce over mashed potatoes and broccoli.) DEELICIOUS! Maybe a $21.95 entrée is worth it.

Yes, I did eat the whole entrée as did both of my fellow diners on either side of me finished their prime rib steak. Dessert was a warm apple crisp served with ice cream. This was a palate pleasing ending to a perfect meal. Coffee was also served and was excellent. Smooth and soothing; something to take the edge off of the two apple martinis (I was driving.)

The owner addressed us briefly. He thanked us for our work this year and told us of the challenges we all would face the next year. Yes, the recession is also affecting our business at the hotel. Not as many travelers are making the trip to Lewes, Delaware to spend a relaxing time in our historic town shopping in its quaint shops and dining at our many fine restaurants. There are less than 20 of us employed by the hotel but we are a diverse group. From the housekeepers, to the maintenance man, to the sales director, to the plant lady (Kerry would love me calling her “the plant lady”), to the lady who gets out supplies, and finally to the four of us who work the front desk. Oh yes, I can’t forget the manager and assistant manager. We all keep the place going by teamwork and genuinely liking one another. I’ve worked at many places during my long career. I never thought I would consider working for a small hotel one of my better work places but I do. I genuinely look forward to going to work.

Many years ago when I first began working at Girard Bank in Philadelphia, I assumed this would be my job until I retired. Well, life didn’t work out that way. I’ve worked at many banks and now I have returned to the hospitality industry, where I first began working when I was discharged from the Army in January of 1963. At that time I worked as a night auditor for the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel. After three months I found out I would have to work holidays. That’s when I decided to quit working for a hotel. I chose a new career, working for a bank. No working holidays at the bank, that was for sure. However, after a 37 year career in banking, I decided to go back to hotel work. Now, for a reason I can’t explain, I don’t mind working holidays. Interesting how time and age changes one’s priorities.

So here I am in my 67th year, officially “retired” but really working part time at a local hotel and loving it. As the current slang says “I’m good.”


nitewrit said...


(Sigh!) There you are surrended by all those nice looking women. What a waste. ;)


Ron said...

Hey, it was their idea! I think they feel safe with me.

"It's Hot!"

Bill eating his hot oatmeal   "It's hot!" That's what I say twice a day when I serve Bill his twice daily meal of oatmeal...