Confessions of a Hotel Maid
Plagues Do Not Come Without a Reason
by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte
Thomasville Inn & Suites
Twenty-one-year-old Amy Carpenter snatched handfuls of dirty white towels out of the cloth hamper and threw them into one of the industrial sized washing machines. She dumped the liquid detergent in, poured in the whitening agent, slammed the door shut, then hit the ‘ON’ button with her fist.
“Whoa! I’ve never seen anyone take out their anger so vehemently on an innocent washing machine,” twenty-seven-year-old Ann Luxley, her co-worker said.
“And I have never been so humiliated in my life,” Amy snapped in response with her hands akimbo.
“Whatever it is, please don’t bite my head off,” Ann said, dropping the handful of dry towels she had just taken out of the dryer on to the folding table.
“Who’s biting whose head off?” thirty-nine-year-old Carlita Lopez asked as she pushed her supply cart into the laundry area lining it up beside the other carts. She brushed the tendrils of her hair that were hanging loose over her forehead back into her ponytail tightening the clip that held her hair together.
“Somebody’s got Amy all riled up,” Ann replied. “I’m eagerly waiting for her to tell me who or what has gotten her so angry.”
Amy Carpenter, Ann Luxley, and Carlita Lopez worked at the Thomasville Inn and Suites in Thomasville, Georgia. They were part of the housekeeping team which had gained a reputation for keeping each room “sparkling clean,” treating each customer with “utmost respect,” making check-in/check-out time a breeze, and providing hot breakfast in an “eye-appealing, sanitary manner.” Sans Souii had consistently received five-star reviews from its customers as noted on its web page.
“Don’t worry. I’m not going to bite your head off. I wish I could bite his head off. I mean, who does he think I am? A woman without morals?” Amy said.
“Are you going to tell us what happened and who this ‘he’ is?” Ann asked. “Or are you going to kick the dryer next?”
All three ladies laughed.
“I went to clean one of the rooms and the man said he just needed the trash taken out and the bathroom cleaned. While I was in the bathroom, he acted as though he was going out of the room. He planted himself right in the doorway; I could not get out even if I attempted to. He kept saying things like how beautiful I was and could he have my phone number, and how I was welcome to hang around the room and that he was in no hurry to get it cleaned. I have never been so humiliated in my life,” Amy said. “And, no, I do not want to kick the dryer. I want to kick him where it hurts.”
Ann and Carlita burst out laughing.
“Is this the first time that has happened to you? Because if it is, welcome to the real world. It’s going to happen again,” Ann said.
“And again and again,” Carlita said.
“Really?” Amy said in disbelief.
“Si,” Carlita said wide-eyed.
Amy looked askance from one face to the other. She had been employed at the hotel for only five months.
“I could tell you some stories,” Ann said glancing at her watch, “but I do not have time right now. I have to go pick Camine up from school.”
“I noticed the school bus has not been dropping her off here lately,” Amy said.
“There was an awful fight on the school bus. One girl called another girl a name and a fight broke out,” Ann said. “Since then, I decided I had best go pick her up myself and drop her off as well.”
“It’s sad how rowdy these school children get over the smallest thing,” Carlita said. “Anyway, I have to hurry home to my husband. He takes a late siesta and likes for me to be home to take one with him before the children come in from school.”
“Isn’t your daughter graduating this year?”
“Next year. And my son two years after that. They grow up so fast,” Carlita said. “Seems like yesterday I was changing their diapers.”
“I wish I had a husband and children to go home to,” Amy said. “I wish I didn’t have to work then I wouldn’t have to go through such humiliation. I’d just get my husband to take care of him with one knock-out punch.” Amy punched her right fist into her left palm.
“Don’t worry,” Ann said with a chuckle. “It doesn’t matter where you are working, men are going to proposition you. Like I said, we can talk about this tomorrow. Why don’t we meet up here at about 2:15 tomorrow. We can exchange stories while we wash and dry and fold.”
“Sounds good to me. But I have to say this,” Amy said, “What got to me was he had a big Bible laying open on the bed.”
“You remember that when we exchange stories on tomorrow,” Ann said as she walked out the door. “These church-going, Bible-carrying men are something else.”
“Vamos, amigas. Let’s go, friends. I’ll give you a ride home, Amy ,” Carlita said.
“Thanks. My car won’t be ready for another two days.”
The Office of Dr. Franklin Patel, Ph.D
and Dr. Bianca Patel, Ph.D
Dr. Franklin Patel, Ph.D and Dr. Bianca Patel, Ph.D, were reviewing the records of their clientele and discussing the best way to continue the counseling sessions for some of their clients. They were in their thirty-seventh year of marriage, had raised four children, and were the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren. Both were now in their golden years having accomplished their life dreams and goals and were now helping others to live their life to its fullest and enjoying every minute of it. Dr. Franklin Patel’s clientele were primarily men. Dr. Bianca Patel’s clientele were primarily women. However, they did counsel couples and families together.
“We may have to go to court again,” Bianca said to her husband.
“Yes. Someone from the sheriff’s office came by with a subpoena requesting that I turn over my case notes and all other documents related to Don and Alice Walker, the couple who’s on the verge of getting a divorce. Apparently while I have been counseling them thinking all was confidential, Don has been discussing all of our counseling session interchange with his mother without Alice’s knowledge. One of the complaints that Alice has is that he’s a mama’s boy and mama refuses to cut the apron string and he’s her little baby. She has never allowed him to grow up. Anyway, both her and Don have been talking to a divorce lawyer about the whole thing and well, things are not looking good,” Bianca said.
“Oh, boy,” Franklin said. “So I guess we have to meet with the lawyer to straighten things out.”
“Yes. The Rawlings couple who we both have been counseling, sometimes together, sometimes separately, well, Randy shared with me today that he was involved in a relationship with another woman and that his wife does not know about it. He does not plan on telling Rhoda, and he insists that I do not tell her. Can you believe that after almost three months of counseling he is now telling me this?”
“Well, you have to tell Rhoda. You can’t have a marriage based on lies, secrets, and deceit,” Franklin said.
“I know. But remember Standard B.2.b of the ACA Code of Ethics states that ‘information about one family member cannot be disclosed to another family member without permission’ in family counseling. So I’m ethically bound to keep Randy’s secret,” Bianca said. “They both swore to tell me the truth up-front. And I specifically asked them were they involved with anyone. They both said no. I may have to refer them to another counselor as my conscience won’t allow me to continue the sessions with this new knowledge. I thought counseling couples sometimes separately was a good thing as they would not feel like the other person is breathing down their necks. You know, that they would feel freer to really share what is in their hearts. I felt led to do this for Rhoda’s sake as she seemed feeble and afraid of him.”
“I thought we had something addressing our policy on family secrets in our written disclosure statement,” Franklin said.
“I’ll have to pull that up and read it again,” Bianca said. “Since both of us are counseling them, maybe you could tell him we have to tell Rhoda. As I think about it, I don’t think he even wanted me to share that information with you. He didn’t say not to. I wonder why he hasn’t said anything to you about his affair as many times you’ve spoken to him privately.”
Bianca tapped a few keys on her computer. “Here it is. The disclosure statement. ‘Everything confidential. What one party shares in confidence behind closed doors will not be disclosed.’ Maybe I’m home free. It does not specify who it will not be disclosed to. I can’t believe I was not more specific than this.”
“Time to revise it and make it clearer lest we run into something like this again,” Franklin said. “Let’s fix it right now. How about: We will not keep any secrets that will interfere with the counseling process moving forward. If either of the counselees objects to us (the counselor) disclosing a secret that one or the other counselee shared privately that will affect the counseling process moving forward, we cannot continue with the counseling process.”
“Perfect,” Bianca said as she revised that portion of their policy. “I’ll read over the entire policy and make sure everything is clear. In the meantime, how should we move forward on this?”
“First, I think we should both talk to Randy alone and let him know that we cannot keep that secret from his wife as it will prevent us going forward and that it will not help their marriage any. If he insists on us not telling his wife, we have to let them go because we cannot continue in good conscience as he’s, in effect, asking us to lie to his wife,” Franklin said.
“You’re right,” Bianca said. “I don’t know why people just won’t do right. If we all just did what the Bible says to do in our marriages then how heavenly our marriages and family would be.”
“That’s why it’s important for us to share the Gospel with them first. If we’re trying to do marriage in our human strength and it’s not working, then it just makes sense to me to try doing it God’s way,” Franklin said, glancing at his watch. “Let’s pray for our clients and call it a night. We’re going to miss the symphony orchestra if we don’t get out of here. This is the last night.”
Franklin and Bianca prayed for their clients: a young couple in serious debt that was causing much stress on their marriage; a middle-aged couple facing divorce stemming from the husband’s infidelity; a family having problems with their nineteen-year-old son; a teenage daughter sexually active and her parents having no knowledge of it; a divorced and remarried couple wanting to keep their marriage and family together after the stepfather admitted to sexually molesting the daughter who is now in the care of an aunt with restraining orders on the father; and another couple, who even though remaining true to their marriage vows, lost interest in each other and were drifting apart. Bianca’s heart pained each time she heard of or had to deal with infidelity in a marriage, or when family members did not get along.
A Romantic Evening
On their way home from the symphony, Franklin and Bianca stopped by their favorite delicatessen for a light snack before heading home. Franklin ordered a slice of apple pie with juice. Bianca ordered a strawberry danish with sweet tea.
“Wasn’t this a wonderful night? I believe the orchestra gave it all they had tonight,” Bianca said.
“They sure did,” Franklin said. “What are we doing for our next date night, honey?”
“Lear Productions is putting on a play this Sunday from four until six at the Civic Center. They are a black acting group based in Atlanta, Georgia, but they travel around presenting their plays in various cities. I was thinking we could go there and support them. They are only charging four dollars. If I’m correct, they are also seeking individuals and businesses to support their company. Their reviews are very good: four-point-eight star rating out of five stars. They address various issues affecting the black community at large—not just white/black issues or racial issues; but black-on-black issues: positive and negative issues that are unique to their culture. Not only will we be supporting them by attending, but we could learn a few things about the black community so we can hopefully better counsel individuals within their ethnic group.”
“Sounds good to me,” Franklin said.
Franklin and Bianca believed in working hard Monday thru Friday and then having a relaxing, fun-filled weekend stemming from Friday evening until Sunday evening. They spent that time visiting various community events, not just as a means of relaxation, but while they relax in that stress-free atmosphere will interact with the folks as they enlighten and enhance their knowledge of the various people groups living within their community. They were always looking for opportunities to help them become better counselors. Of course, Sundays were dedicated to the Lord where they serve at Heritage Community Church.
Franklin looked across the table at his wife with a smile.
“I know that smile,” Bianca said softly and shyly and with a twinkle in her eyes. “Go ahead and say what’s on your mind.”
“Who says I have anything on my mind?” Franklin said, still holding that smile. He reached over with his fork and cut off a small piece of his wife’s danish, dipped it into the strawberry filling in the middle of the danish, and placed it in his mouth. “Mmm. This is good.”
Bianca reached over and picked off a forkful of the crust of her husband’s apple pie with her fork. “I know that smile,” she said as she placed the piece of crust into her mouth. “It’s the ‘working-your-way-up-to-it’ smile.”
Franklin chuckled. “Okay. Here it goes. Let me start working my way up to it. Do you know you still look beautiful even after thirty-seven years of marriage? Your eyes still sparkle when you look at me even after thirty-seven years.”
“Thirty-nine years to be exact,” Bianca said softly. “You said that to me almost everyday the two years I waited in limbo after you asked my parents for my hand in marriage as you transitioned from your master’s in pursuit of your doctorate degree. Those were the longest two years I have ever experienced. But it was worth the wait because I married the greatest man God placed on this earth.”
“Won’t you please say that one more time,” Franklin said, placing one hand on hers and tapping it with his index finger. “It sounds like music to my ears. Better than the symphony.”
Bianca giggled. “I said it was well worth the wait because I married the greatest man God has ever placed, and in my opinion, will ever place on this earth.”
Franklin swiped off a small portion of his pie crust with his fork and placed it into his wife’s mouth. “Let’s hurry home because I can’t wait to get it on tonight.”
Bianca giggled as she took a few sips of her tea. “Maybe I should have gotten caffeinated coffee instead as I think I’ll need the extra energy tonight.”
No sooner had they pulled out of the parking lot heading for home, Bianca’s phone rang.
“Now who could this be,” she said out loud. “I don’t recognize the number. Hello?”
“Hello, Dr. Patel. This is Brenda Mosey. Do you remember me? I was in the new group of eleventh graders that you have been holding counseling sessions with over the past three Thursdays at the Thomasville Christian High School. I spoke with you for a long time after this last session was over.”
“Oh, yes, Brenda. How have you been doing?”
“I’ve been doing great. I know you said to call you up until four o’clock if we had any questions, but something has been on my mind and I really need to talk with you,” Brenda said.
“That’s okay. Go ahead, Brenda.”
“Well, I have been doing something that deep down I know my parents will literally kill me if they knew about it, but you have to promise me that you will not say anything to them. I just have to get it off my chest and you’re the only one I feel I can trust to tell especially since you shared with us that whatever we tell you will be held in confidence.”
Bianca waited for Brenda to continue.
“Well, I have this boyfriend. He is in college and he and I have been having sex for some months now. He keeps telling me that if I really love him and want to keep the relationship going I would do it. No one knows about our friendship, not even my parents,” Brenda said. “You mentioned that everything we share with you as a counselor would be confidential and I believe you. So do you promise that you will not tell anyone, especially my parents?”
Bianca sighed as she looked across to her husband. She remembered the altercation with Randy and Rhoda Rawlings. “Yes, Brenda, I remember saying whatever was shared with me within the group setting would definitely be held in confidence on my part. But you are coming to me privately with this. We haven’t signed the confidentiality forms yet, and I cannot promise you that I’ll keep it confidential especially since you are a minor and still under your parents authority, and also because there are not only health risks involved, but social and mental risks as well. That’s just my policy. I cannot promise to keep in confidence what a family member may choose to share with me if it will affect others in the family. Tell you what: I won’t say anything about this to anyone for right now. Can you give me a call on Monday and we’ll set up an appointment to see how best to go about this? Okay? Let me pray with you.”
“Sorry,” Bianca said to her husband after she got off the phone. “I’ll tell you about it later. Right now, let’s go home.”