and this time it hurts.
I guess I was a seasonal employee at the Ritz Carlton, only nobody ever bothered to tell me. Thanks. I feel kind of like I was chewed-up and then spit-out. “Thanks, we’re done with you now.” I don’t understand why I wasn’t told that this was going to be a seasonal job. What would they have to lose by being honest about how long the job would last? I am a person after all, a mother with a small child. First they put me in the lobby, I sorted-out a babysitter for my baby boy, and then they changed me to a restaurant with a different schedule. I then sorted-out a babysitter again, and then last night I had to tell her (now that my son is used to her and the new routine and schedule) never mind, they fired me. This affects her financially, and obviously me as well. I also invested a lot of time and money in this job in order to perform as professionally and as well as I could. I bought dresses and shoes, I finally bought ink for our printer after spending tons of money on printing and copying lyrics at the Internet place on the corner, I enrolled in the tax authority here and had receipts (facturas) printed-up (I have 100 now and I have used exactly 3 of them), I bought special syrup that is supposed to be good for a singer’s throat, and I spent hours learning and rehearsing new songs so that I wouldn’t be singing the same crap every single night.
The way they told me was great too. The manager of the restaurant came up to me DURING A SONG and said, “Did they tell you for how long you would be working here?”
“Um, ah…no. What?”
“New Year’s Eve was supposed to be your last day. They didn’t tell you?” (Um, who is THEY?)
“Um, nooo. So today is my last day?”
And then he walked away and left me to finished the song and the set. And then he never came up to me again or found me after I had finished to say good-bye or sorry or thank you. Somehow it adds insult to injury that they actually forgot to fire me as well.
When they moved me from the lobby to the restaurant they hired another girl and put her in the lobby. She is still there (at least for now). I am also upset about the fact that I never had a chance in the lobby and if I had I may still be there (although the hours sucked but I would have gotten used to it). First of all, I hadn’t sung for 2 years so my voice was not ready to sing 6 days a week 3 hours a day. This is obviously not the hotel’s fault, however, since the musicians refused to rehearse even once, refused to give me the tracks they were working with so that I could rehearse at home, and generally were just mean at the beginning (pouting like children, making jokes, not singing chorus), I never got to show what I am capable of. Now that my voice is pretty much back in shape, I have adjusted to the schedule (and more importantly so had my son) they don’t need or want me there anymore. Which once again would be fine if I had just known the job was temporary when I started!
I also went to AZ to visit my mother, which could have waited until now. I could have made more money instead of taking a week off and I could have gone to visit her now for as long as I wanted instead of taking a rushed trip.
Maybe this musician thing is not for me. I mean, if I have a normal job I could sing once or twice a week, but I don’t know if I want to depend on it financially. Musicians are always the first to go when the occupation goes down in a hotel. I also have the mindset that in general, if I am doing a good job at work (which I finally was) I won’t have to worry about getting fired, which is not the case for musicians.
I would write a (professional, polite) letter to the hotel about their unprofessional behavior, but I know you aren’t supposed to burn bridges (although I’d love to pour gasoline all over this one and then toss a lit match over my shoulder) and besides, I doubt they would even consider what I had to say. They care about maintaining high standards with their guests, but they make their musicians sit in a cement staircase/storage area in between sets.
All this being said, I do believe that everything happens for a reason even if it’s not immediately clear what that reason is. I was prepared for getting fired last time (only two months ago, twice in two months, this in a new record for me) but this time it really stings. However, I will go on as we all have to, and I will figure it out. I always do. I will keep singing, to my son. He is the best audience anyway.