Holidays and the human importance of customer service

The man dozed.

For the first time in over a year, he could lie in late in bed. Time to rest from the hassles of home. Phew. Two weeks alone on the Greek Island he loved and

Bang! Bang! ‘Cleaning!’

Bang! Bang! ‘Cleaning!’

The man hauled himself out the bed and his day dreams. He grabbed his favourite kikoy from the bottom of the bed, wrapped it around the middle of his body and opened the door of his perfectly comfortable hotel room.

‘Cleaning!’

‘Now? Really? I’m tired’.

‘Cleaning!’

‘I only got here last night. The room’s fine.’

‘No speak English! Cleaning!’

One was dark haired, the other an unlikely blonde. There were no uniforms. Not here. Not in this small, lovely, informal family hotel with stunning sea views. Just two poor ladies in cheap jeans and t-shirts. Getting by. Doing a job. Unsmiling. Unmoving.

‘Ok,ok. Two minutes.’

‘Cleaning!’

Unsmiling. Unmoving.

The man raised his hand in a sign to wait and shut the door. Hurriedly, he daubed a toothbrush round his mouth and pulled on his swimming trunks. He threw sun cream, baseball cap, shades and a beach towel into a kit bag and, from the unpacked suitcase, grabbed the vital, still boxed lilo.

‘Yassu.’

The man forced a smile as he moved out of the room.

‘Yassu.’

Unsmiling, the ladies moved in.

Walking out of the building and into the sun, the man captured the perfect view of the bay as he crossed the patio to the spacious pool. He chose a sun bed and reached for the lilo. Blow, blow, blow. The familiar holiday ritual. One blow. And another. And another.

He put on the cap and the shades and grabbed the book. He dropped the towel by the pool and the lilo into it. Halfway down the steps into the cool, clean water, he turned, reached down under his legs and found the lilo with his left hand. He lowered himself onto it and launched himself backwards into the pool. The book in his right hand stayed dry. He still had it.

For over an hour he read, dozed and read on the lilo. He dreamt of what the future might hold and

‘Yak, yak! Jabber, jabber!’

‘Yak, yak! Jabber, jabber!’

The cleaning ladies were seated at a table in the restaurant by the pool. Presumably, their morning break. They smoked roll-up cigarettes and spoke loudly. Very loudly. Not Greek, but an unknown Eastern European language. They were not smiling. They were arguing. Loudly.

Around the pool, the hotel guests raised their eyebrows at each other, shook their heads and put down their books. Some questioned whether they would return to this hotel.

Fifteen minutes later, the hotel workers left their table and normal service was resumed.

And then it was time for lunch. The man found a table shaded by a large umbrella in the corner of the patio, by a wall. He ordered a Mythos beer and a Greek salad. Just what he wanted.

Looking out towards the azure sea and the clear blue sky, he swigged his beer, leant back and

He smelt a cigarette. Behind him, the blonde cleaner, also taking advantage of the shade, was sitting on the wall, not six feet away. She looked up as her friend joined her with two glasses of cola. Unsmiling, she took the cigarette from her mouth, handed it over and started rolling another. They resumed the argument. Loudly.

The man wanted to help these poor ladies.

But how could he?

  • You have left me in a state of suspense Hugh. Did he help? Was there a sequel?