Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting the Balance Back

Yesterday I returned to work to my job as a front desk clerk at the hotel.

Driving down New Road into downtown Lewes I was reminded of the back to back blizzards of last week by the six foot high piles of snow along the road.

After parking in the hotel parking lot and walking around the side of the building I hear someone yell “Ron!” from behind me. I turned around and it was the hotel maintenance man. With a big smile he said “Hey! We missed you!” Well, THAT was good to hear. I was glad to be back to work.  I missed them too.

Walking through the front lobby I was again reminded of how much I like working at this hotel. It has a “homey” feel to it. But then I’ve almost always felt that way about any place where I have worked. I always try to make my workplace personal and not just someplace where I work. I believe this attitude is essential for a successful performance of a job, especially in the hospitality industry. Of course it also helps that I work in the top boutique hotel in Sussex County.

As I walked to the front desk my manager said “How you?” The daytime front desk clerk greeted me and the sales director came out and said “Ron, I really missed you!” and gave me a big hug. Hey, it’s nice to be missed. I smile as I write this.

I clocked in and went out to the front desk to get caught up on the latest developments.

The sales director told me that she gave her notice and will be leaving her employment at hotel on March 5th. I felt bad about that because I’ve always enjoyed working with her. We’re around the same age and from the same general area of Pennsylvania so we had a lot in common. She has a naturally happy, upbeat personality which made the workplace a fun place to be. I like working with people who make work an adventure rather than a tedious task to be performed just to collect a paycheck. They bring out the best in me.

Because she is leaving and finding her replacement and training them will take about a month, I was asked if I could work my regular schedule in March (two nights a week.) I answered in the affirmative. It will be good to get back on my “regular schedule” and get the balance back in my life.

I’ve enjoyed the past two months off but I find that I need to have a reason to get out and interact with the public on a professional basis. I still have a need to contribute my personal skills to validate my worth as a constructive member of society. I know it sounds corny but this is the way I was raised. Like my good friends Larry and Bill from my school days, we all work and will continue to work until we no longer have the physical or mental capacity to do so. We are true Children of the Fifties. Our Moms didn’t raise us to be couch potatoes. Whether it is volunteering our time to a worthy cause like the ASPCA or using our skills on a Home Owners Association board, most of the members of my generation (the one right before the Baby Boom Generation) are still working even in our late 60's.

Looking outside the sun seems to shine a little brighter today. As Mr. Rogers (one of our favorites) always used to say: “It’s a good day in the neighborhood.”

Which reminds me, here is one of the many reasons I liked Mr. Rogers:

Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first. Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, “God loves you just the way you are.” Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists.

Well said Mr. Rogers, well said.

I remember seven years ago (March 2003) when I was working in the bond unit at a bank in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I received a notice of a bond redemption request from the executors of the estate of a "Fred M. Rogers." The address on the bond was a Pittsburgh address. Could it be? I check and yes, it was the same "Mr. Rogers" of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." Sadness immediately washed over my heart like a cloud passing across the face of the sun. Yet another chapter of my life had come to an end. I felt a connection, however small, to this special man by putting through the computer entries that redeemed his municipal bond.

Although I am not religious in the man made definition of religion I do agree with Mr. Rogers in his statement: "God loves you just the way you are."


  1. Anonymous9:57 AM

    Hi Ron,

    Nice to see the mounds of snow melting isn't it? When I saw Mister Rogers on your blog I just had to smile. He was always one of our family's favorites. My sons watched him religiously, especially my younger son. When I'd sit down with him to watch I remember the most peaceful feeling come over me. It was one of the most simple(as in not complicated) childrens tv shows of its time but the one with the most important messages. I like the way it was geared to children's feelings & the way he explained everything. We need more of those shows although time has changed so much & so have kids so I'm not sure it would hold their interest.

    Isn't it so good to see grass again. I noticed as I was walking my dog yesterday that where the snow has melted the spring plants are up at least 2 inches due to all the moisture. Spring is looking good to me!

    Take care,

  2. Fran,

    I "discovered" Mr. Rogers quite by accident as I was flipping channels one day. Even though I wasn't a child, I felt a peaceful feeling watching his show. It was so simple and unaffected. Funny thing is that for years I would never admit to anyone that I watched "Mr. Rogers."
    Some years later when I discovered that there were many other adults like myself who were secret fans of Mr. Rogers, I didn't feel embarrassed anymore.
    You are right Fran. We need more shows like his today but I don't see them. It seems that so many of our "good people" are eventually exposed as total frauds (like Tiger Woods) that I don't believe anything anymore. One thing about Fred Rogers, you always knew he was the real deal.

    Yes, it is good to finally see the green grass. I will be glad when the mountains of frozen dirty snow that lines our roads are gone.

    Spring will be super special this year. Like Mr. Rogers often said, "It's a good day in the neighborhood."



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