Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some Good, Some Not so Much

We had a charming couple from Canada with us for almost 2 weeks.  They are the kind of people one hopes for in a people-oriented business.  The guy even repaired my car.  I lost my tail light on my last road trip.  I bought the new part in Dec and had been waiting for the DH to install it. I probably wouldn't have lived long enough waiting for him.  Here it is March & my nice quest fixed it for me.  Can't wait til they come back next year.  I'll make a list of needed repairs.

On the other hand...I had just finished rehabbing unit #3 & made it non-smoking.  The DH checked in two off the street people who paid cash, but he didn't get a cc# because he tells me he trusted them.  What does he care?  He doesn't have to do any of the work.  They smoked up a storm.  Left cigarette butts strewn all over the floor.  I have to close the room for 3 days to repaint, strip and shampoo. 

This morning when I went out to clean, I found more than a dozen dead fish thrown in the parking lot in front of unit #5.  Now I know it wasn't the guy in 5.  He's here working for the gas company and is a totally anal non-fisherman.  Anyway,  I picked up all the dead fish and dumped a bucket of Lysol in front of the room to dispel the stink.

Just 20 minutes ago, 3 workers checked into my bunk room. One of them came to the office a couple of minutes ago to request another pillow.  He was annoyed that I had to go out to the laundry to get his pillow and before he stalked back to his room asked me to give him a lime.  "I'm sorry, I don't have any limes," I said.  "What kind of hotel ees theese!" he shouted at me.

I think I'm going to take a blog break. I'm getting negative and my muse seems to have abandoned me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Short & Sweet

This report I mean, certainly not the project.

I laid this floor.

I also built the dining table and chairs.  I  know I could be breaking my arm patting myself on the back, but hey, it was a lot of hard work.  The middle photo shows the old decor.  Actually, the Nascar theme turned off a few women.  And forget the yankees (they're people who live above the Mason-Dixon line in case you're not sure), they don't even know what Nascar is.  So we stuck with the beachy theme.  It's what folks want when they come to Port St Joe.

We bagged the futon to make room for a more comfortable dining area.  In lieu of the futon, I put a rollaway in the closet so the room still sleeps 4.  Nooooo...the 4th person does not have to sleep in the closet.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Look What The Tide Washed In

I got a call this morning from the DH while he was out roaming around town.  He said:  "There's a huge three masted tall ship docking at the marina downtown."  "Git out!" says I, "Come right back so I can go see it."  Yeah right.  I waited 15 minutes then locked up the lobby, forwarded the business phone to my cell and grabbed my lovely assistant, Shegundala.  We sped to the marina, staying within the speed limit the entire time of course.  (I got stopped for speeding a couple of weeks ago by some local yokel cop with a bug up his ass, but that's another story.)

We're only two miles from the marina, so as soon as we turned right out of our drive we spotted the masts.  That's a sight I never would have expected in little ole Port St Joe.

Isn't she impressive?  I can't wait to go on a free tour.  She's going to be in port here until March 20 and tours are free although donations are welcome.

I can't figure out why.  Why is she here?  I guess I won't know until I take the tour.  Her name is the Peacemaker.  Didn't John Wayne have a gun by that name?  I didn't see any cannon though so I guess the marina isn't in imminent danger.

She's a barquentine rigged as a 3 master.  Overall length is 150' and her height above the waterline 126'.  Tours are from 10 AM til 7.  Tea and cookies with the captain will be served from 7:30 til 10PM. Tea & cookies????  What?  no rum?  no grog?  I think the captain is going to be a little lonely with his tea & cookies.  But that's just me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Idle Hands

In the past 3 days I.......

Built this chair

 built this desk

built this bookcase

built this tv stand

Tomorrow, I tackle a dining table and four chairs and put the last tile in the vinyl floor I laid.

I've got two projects going at once.  My lovely assistant Shegundala and I are renovating kitchen unit # 3 and I'm redoing my personal office space.

Which project do you think was the easiest?  the hardest? the most frustrating?  Well,
the chair went together pretty quickly.  The little computer desk was a total bitch and I did the TV stand outside on a windy day with the screws and instructions blowing all over the parking lot.

It's a good thing that I'm a person who likes instant gratification because the finished products make me smile with a sense of accomplishment.  Not to mention that my tush is smiling in it's new comfy office chair.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tourism Expo

My lovely assistant Shegundala and I attended the first Gulf County Tourism Show today.  I'm pretty sure we were the only people in the room who didn't win a door prize, but hey, lunch was free and from one of the best restaurants in town, Provisions.  The selection of salads, sandwiches, cookies and assortment of fat free pound cakes was what I've come to expect from Provisions.  Exceptional.  The pound cake which was presented in a half dozen different flavors was incredibly moist and rich.  I spoke with the creator of these treats and she told me she makes them with fat free yogurt.  Forget about getting the recipe, it's probably locked in a vault.

But, I digress.  The real purpose of the event was to promote to the business owners and front line employees all of the diverse activities available in the immediate area and how to communicate our diversity to current and potential visitors.  Informational booths included fishing charters, beach weddings, kayaking, scuba diving tours and instruction, the Cape San Blas lighthouse, boutique shops, beach horseback riding, tackle shops, tupalo honey, art studios, boat rentals, eco tours and more. 

We were given a card and if we had our card initialed by every participating vendor we visited we'd be eligible for a grand prize.  We didn't win that either.  It was a great idea because obviously it motivated all attendees to visit with all vendors.

I was ho humming about a planned customer service workshop since in my lifetime I have been to about sixty million of them.  But...Gulf County Community College presented an informative and entertaining program reminding even the most seasoned of us of the 10 Commandments of customer service.  Shegundala laughed her ass off since I have violated all of them & will probably burn in hell for it or surely lose business because of it.   It was a bit of a wake up call for me. Since I'm pretty much a one woman show and put in 14 hours a day ( boo hoo) I tend to get testy and forget that people are spending their hard earned money to stay here at the Dixie Belle and providing clean rooms is not enough.  They want my best personal effort and they deserve it.  So I'm going on record as saying that I'm turning over a new leaf. 

The smart ass in me is going to sum that up by saying that instead of just handing my guests the plunger,  I'll offer to personally plunge.  You get the idea.  I want to thank the Gulf County Tourist Development Council for a terrific day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What IS that?

The Dixie Belle has been jammin' during the last few weeks.  There are a couple of major construction projects going on & we're the only local motel offering weekly rates so the word has gotten out to the construction workers & I've had the no vacancy sign out  pretty much Monday through Thursday.

With this unexpected boon comes unexpected problems.  Check out the photo.

These used to be two of my soft white fluffy bath towels.  I top locked these guys so they couldn't get in their room until they brought their supervisor to my office.  He paid for the replacements and took care of speaking to the inconsiderate, disrespectful, ignorant filthy pigs. Oh excuse me... guests.

Unfortunately, I still take it personally when people disrespect me and my property.  I used to get very angry, but that just raises my blood pressure, so I get even.  I hit them where it hurts.  Either in the pocket or with the boss. 

Not all of them fit the above description and I understand that some of the job sites are muddy and dirt's going to get tracked inside.  I can deal with that & some of the guys are going out of their way to keep their rooms as clean as they can.  I have one guy who's been here for over a month & has observed some of the bad behavior of others.  He has watched me outside at night with my whip and chair trying to tame the beasts.  "Michele," he said last night, "I have your back.  If you need any help with these guys I'll be there for you."  Isn't that sweet? 

I have my doubts though.  Greg's  a lover not a fighter.  Every week there's a different car parked at his room and he tells me he met a nice lady.  Today he said he's getting homesick for his dogs and cats. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Scary,But Lucky

The DH & I have been experiencing headaches, lethargy and occasional nausea lately.  He went back to bed at 11 AM yesterday complaining of a "hollow head" headache.  Later in the day, I went to the bedroom to read and also developed a headache I would describe as  "hollow head." 

It came to me in a flash, because my friend The Ho had dear friends who lived in a trailer and suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.  One of them died.  I ran to my computer and looked up symptoms.  Bingo.  I immediately suspected the gas heater, so turned it off & we called the gas company first thing this morning. 

They showed up promptly & declared the heater safe and efficient, but the ancient gas range in the kitchen was emitting dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide.  In a small space like this, the amount of deadly gas could have killed us.  Carbon monoxide is colorless & odorless. 

The gas company techs found that my range was set for way too high a flame and was consequently  blocking the air intake. Thus the danger.  They adjusted the settings, but recommended that if I was going to keep the old range that I should either open a window or turn on an exhaust fan every time I use it.

I'm encouraging those of you with gas appliances to get a carbon monoxide detector or to have your gas company check those appliances yearly.  What a needless death that would have been.  I'm not ready to go yet.