How I Spend My Summers

As a grad student, I have to find a summer job to make ends meet and keep my tutoring program going. It must be a position that is at odd hours and not full time. I know of others who are grocery clerks, busboys, call center reps, freelance writers and web designers, babysitters, and more. It isn’t always easy to find the perfect circumstances so I have resorted to working as a maid in a local hotel to save for school and provide my immediate necessities. It suits me perfectly.

I am not much of a rabble-rouser but somehow, I got entangled in hotel politics recently, which brought out my aggressive side. The other maids were complaining about the old vacuums and their lack of power. I knew for a fact that they were right. The old-fashioned bagged appliance was a mess to empty and it also lacked oomph like my bagless one at home. I decided to lead a strike. The hotel manager was aghast, afraid of the retaliation of the patrons. He didn’t give in right away and we stood in our little maid outfits in the lobby with a huge sign. We had an artist friend paint a large vacuum so people would know what it was all about.

We then did our research at and found a web site that sold discount bagless vacuums. We printed a list of sizes and prices and how long it would take to be delivered. We did all the homework for the hapless manager. If you thought he was aghast before, it was twice as bad. It took him some time to absorb the information. A strike in his venue had never happened before. He said he would get back to us and disappeared into his office to peruse the document. We tried to read his face to anticipate his reaction, but he was a stone wall.

The next day he summoned the striking crew and pronounced it successful. He would order ten bagless appliances to be shipped immediately. He begged us to resume our work, and as the leader of the gang, I agreed. We would use the old vacuums for as long as it would take for the shipment to arrive. We would no longer complain privately or in public. He wasn’t really angry at me as he realized the value of my leadership and that the new devices would improve cleaning time and save him money.

Thus, I left my mark on this job and hoped I would be able to continue part time. The other maids were highly appreciative and threw me a little party in the hotel basement employee lounge. We had champagne and cake but this is not the end of the story. They had a custom cake made for the occasion in the shape of a bagless vacuum. It was hysterical and we ate it all.