Diary of a frustrated student – 2. The reality check

diary-of-a-frustrated-student-the-reality-checkRajarshi continues to vent his everyday frustrations through his diary entries and sheds light on some of the behind-the-scenes activities of hotel management for a much-needed reality check.

8:00 p.m., 6th June 2016
The last five days had been so turbulent and tiresome that I had neither the time nor the energy to jot down the accounts at the end of the day. The days, in addition to being grueling, were also enlightening. My father left three days ago. I have been all by myself since then. However, in the two days he had spent here, he arranged for my accommodation in a neighborhood that was safe, somewhat affordable, and in close proximity to my workplace. He tried his best to make my life easy, but it wasn’t to happen. Studying in West Bengal’s capital city that was just three hours from home was one thing and surviving three thousand kilometers away from home in a small town that has little to do with Bengali culture is a different thing altogether. The differences can’t be stated, they are to be perceived. Starting from the language of Radio Mirchi’s morning show to the strange smells from the neighbour’s kitchen; from the gesture of a local passer-by to the unavailability of familiar brands in the departmental store nearby; from the weird taste of food in every restaurant to the drastically different style of dressing in public that is considered as standard by both men and women all around, the differences are in plenty. Getting accustomed to those differences form that part of the challenge which can’t be seen on a letter of recommendation or certificate just like the part of an iceberg that lies concealed under the surface.

9:30 p.m., 29th June 2016
It has been three weeks since I started my internship in Food and Beverage department. The first thought that the name of the department raises in one’s mind is that it gives an intern an ample number of opportunities to quench the varying desires of taste buds with succulent meat slices and delicious drinks. Well, the reality is very much true except that the taste buds whose desires are quenched belong to the guests. The tasks are taxing and the phrase ‘fixed duty hours’ doesn’t exist. More than once I have felt that joining some other course would have been a wiser decision.

6:30 p.m., 14th July 2016
While explaining relativity to a layman, Einstein had stated, “If you sit with your hands on the fire for a minute, it will seem like an hour.”
I think a more apt analogy would have been, “If you work in Housekeeping department for a day, it will seem like a thousand years.” The official job description of a housekeeping worker may contain chores as sweeping the aisle, cleaning the toilets, doing the laundry, mopping the same floor over and over again, and a few other names that tactfully manage to drape the huge loathsome chunk of the job with a thin fabric of less repugnant activities. That huge loathsome chunk conceals itself till one has started working. If consistent water dripping through the air vent in some remote corner of the building has nourished small mushroom-shaped fungus on the floor, the housekeeping department is called for. If an intoxicated man throws up on a table in the restaurant, housekeeping chaps are expected to make that table spotless again in not more than a couple of minutes. When an absent-minded mother accidentally chucks her baby’s used diaper out the window and it lands into the swimming pool, housekeeping department, or more specifically the interns of that department are admonished for their negligence which had resulted in contamination of the pool water. If a guest finds a single speck of dirt on his bed stand and wishes to vent his wrath upon the manager for that reason, then the housekeeping interns have to be the stand-in during the manager’s absence, which is always. It’s inflaming to see him enjoying the authority of being a manager and dumping his accountabilities on people under him simply because he can do so. Lucky man, indeed!
Just out of curiosity, I had tried to jot down the various aspects of a housekeeping job profile that remain unwritten. I have reached one hundred and thirty-seven till now and I am certain that the end of this list is nowhere near. Not to mention, each of the chores I have noted down is equally lowly as the other. At times, I have felt like running away or taking out the amassed anger on my manager or the guests who spend a time of comfort while we toil away for them all day and night long. I wish I was born as these guests who come here for vacations. Their lives are so full of joy. Why is God so unjust?

Editor’s note: Excited to know how this internship ended and what shocking truths he learned from this experience? Read the final part of this internship diaryHow Rajarshi realized the value of being his own self and understood the meaning of true success.

To go back to the first part of this internship diary, click here.

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