November 26th, 2011

Here’s something I never thought about before: The graveyard bell shift is one of the most delicate positions at this hotel. When Buddy, who’s worked that shift for the last three years, explained it to me recently, I was reminded of what a sensitive business we’re in. You come to us to take off your clothes, bathe and sleep; I don’t think that we, as people, are ever more vulnerable than when do those things. So, when we, as a hotel, agree to ensure that you feel completely comfortable and safe with us, it’s a pretty big responsibility we’re taking on. And one that I, the newsletter writer, can almost entirely forget about. As can, I would imagine, a lot of the daytime staff.

Not the graveyard bellman, though. It’s Buddy that’s here when things go wrong in the middle of the night. When you’ve got an important meeting in the morning and you should be sleeping, but something’s gone wrong in your room, as, we admit, does happen from time to time, it’s Buddy who knocks on your door to fix it. Even the managers are sleeping when Buddy’s on duty. He’s a problem solver, a forgiver of crankiness, a forgetter of bad hair. He’s a nice guy who moved to the Bay Area from California’s Central Valley because only McDonald’s was hiring. He’s happy to work through the night, happy with the comfort and security of his work here. He only just wishes that people would remember having signed a paper that said they would not throw parties when he has to come a break those parties up.

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