“What’s going on,” I said when I noticed a housekeeper lingering just outside of the manager’s office. She stopped moving just out of view but didn’t respond. Maybe she thought I was on the phone and talking to someone else. I went to the door. “Hi.”
She smiled nervously. “Hi.” We stood like that for a moment, making eye contact but neither of us speaking.
“Can I help,” I said. She told me that she had just finished what she was working on upstairs and came down to ask the manager what she wanted her to do next. “You don’t have a set job routine,” I said. She didn’t. She went on to explain that only a couple of the housekeepers had set job routines and the rest of them never really knew what they’re going to be doing from one day to a next or even from one minute to the next.
I asked her she liked that kind of a schedule. She didn’t. “None of us do,” she said looking around to see if the manager was coming. I leaned against door jam. “This job would be a whole lot better, and easier if we had a job routine that we could follow,” she said. She spoke with a lot a hand gestures but I wasn’t sure if that was just the way she talked or because she was just nervous.
A couple of months ago my brother and I were cleaning out my mom’s basement. After more than 30 years of living in a house that we all grew up in, she decided to move.
“Whoa!!! A Simon Says Game,” I said pulling it down from a top shelf in the basement.
“That’s mine!” my brother Scott said reaching to take it from me. I hugged the box against my chest and spun around so he couldn’t.
“Finders Keepers,” I said and dash up stairs to find batteries. My brother followed.
“I bet it is worth a fortune,” I said as I dug through the crisper in the refrigerator to find batteries.
“If it still works,” Scott said opening the small compartment on the back and taking the batteries from me. It did. For the next 10 minutes Scott and I passed the Simon Says game back and forth, trying our best to follow the color patterns; red, yellow, red, green, blue, blue, yellow, red, blue… “Damn it!” Scott yelled when his streak ended abruptly.
I went to my iPad and looked up the Simon Says game on eBay, thinking we stumbled onto a gold mind.
“Twelve bucks!” I said not believing my eyes. Scott laughed, and then screamed a line of expletives when the buzzer sounded. There were pages and pages of Simon Says games on eBay. Everyone, it seems, is selling a vintage 1978, still in the original box, Simon Says game.
“I know why they are so cheap,” Scott said looking over my shoulder at the iPad. “They’re not any fun. I mean…” Scott went back to the counter and picked up the Simon Says game. “There’s no pattern to it. It’s all just random.” Scott turned the game on again and in the span of about five seconds the dreaded buzzer went off three times. “Ugh!!!” He said putting the game back on the counter a little harder than he needed to. “When there is no pattern and no way to beat the game… I mean… Why would anyone want to play this stupid game,” he said and headed back down to the basement.
“Why indeed,” I thought when I saw the manager come around the corner. I waited for her to give the housekeeper further instructions.
“We need to talk,” I said when the housekeeper left, “about job descriptions.”