Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly....Chapter ll

Q, the ‘White Knight Guru aka Mr. Squeaky-Clean’ and his little band of awed disciples left the island on the afternoon boat. Within a week, the family returned, taking up residence in a cabin about 200 metres from my house. From now on, I’ll refer to ‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean aka White Knight Guru’ as G for the sake of simplicity.

On his first day of duty, G arrived, as he did every day thereafter, dressed in his uniform of white shorts and shirt. Earlier, he and his family breakfasted in the staff room where I hosted the necessary introductions to his new-found workmates. I knew my staff pretty well. I understood their individual, sometimes quirky, ways. Noticing a few blank faces; some with sardonic or quizzical glances, and not wanting to influence their opinions in any way, I ignored their looks of askance or whatever affectation they portrayed. I had informed my staff earlier of the pending addition to our community and the reasons for that addition.

While G went about his daily duties, and to this day, I’m still not sure what those duties were, Libby, G’s devoted wife, spent her time with their two small children, either at the cabin or in and around the swimming pool, which was fine as only he was on the payroll. Libby was a wife, a mother of two small children with another soon to make its presence known. Her role was to take care of those children, maintain the cabin and the family’s personal laundry. All meals were prepared by the chefs and were eaten in the staff room.

At the end of each day, G was as squeaky-clean and fresh as he was when he appeared each morning. I think he was sweat-proof. When he walked he probably glided an inch above the ground, too, but I can’t truthfully attest to that.

G, pure of body, mind and spirit didn’t drink alcohol. In his ignorance of the hospitality industry, particularly island hospitality, together with his misguided sense of power, he decided the restaurant bar would close at 10.30-11.00pm, to not re-open until noon the following day. Taking him aside, I decided he needed to be enlightened on the facts of life. Firmly, I reminded him that it was I who held the liquor license, not him. I also informed him the resort had a twenty-four hour liquor license and if I felt there was need at times for the bar to remain open twenty-four hours a day, it would remain open twenty-four hours a day. If there were times it remained open until midnight, one o’clock in the morning or whenever, so be it. I said there would be no discord or dissent over the rules for the bar, telling him I believed that things would run more smoothly if he stuck to his day job (whatever that was), and for him to stay out of my way, allowing me to continue managing the resort as I had done before his arrival

G didn’t possess any ‘people skills’. I’m not sure if he possessed any skills, to be honest, other than remaining squeaky-clean. He was a ‘square peg in a round hold’. He just didn’t fit in on the island; neither did Libby, although she kept to herself and the children pretty much. She was seen mostly at meal times. My kitchen staff was not only preparing food for the staff and guests, but since the new arrivals, they also had to cater for G and his family’s special needs.

Ted, my head maintenance man who I mentioned previously in my post about the 18ft python and my brother, who was working on the island at the time, took care of all the happenings ‘on the ground’. Matters such as the generators, macerator, boat motors, maintaining the old tractor and the equally ancient Toyota ‘Ute’ (the’ Ute’ was utilized to carry the island provisions and guest’s luggage up to the main building and the guest accommodation), plumbing, carpentry and any of the other many maintenance jobs that required attention. Both men were similar in character, loners and perfectionists in their work, men who could turn their hands to almost anything. They didn’t suffer fools, not even easily.

Ted and my brother Graham worked together extremely well. With them around, I had no concerns about what was going on ‘out in the field’. I had complete faith in both of their abilities. I left them to do what they had to do. Each would report to me when necessary because I had to be kept aware of what was going on. It was still up to me to make the final decisions. Most days, I wouldn’t set eyes upon either one of them from one meal time to the next or until they came to the bar for a couple of cold beers after their day was complete. Neither of them wanted an inexperienced, white-clad guru getting in their way and neither would they pull any punches in telling him so. Both were men of few words, but when they spoke, one usually listened! I really don’t know what G did. He didn’t serve behind the bar. As far as he was concerned, alcohol was evil. He didn’t cook as meat was equally evil. The office work, which included staff-rosters, payroll, taking bookings, ordering food provisions, liquor, fuel, building materials etc., remained part of my domain as did the general hosting at night of the restaurant together with the ‘greets and meets’ each day, blended with the general care of the guests’ welfare and that of my staff. Each morning, G could be spotted meditating down at the water’s edge, while the rest of us were already in preparation for the work day ahead of us. Perhaps that was his role, to spread peace, harmony and unblemished auras over the island and its wicked inhabitants.

I found it difficult to converse with G, so I didn’t unless I had to do so. I hate being a hypocrite, but, unfortunately, sometimes situations arise where it’s difficult not to be one, particularly when living and working within a small community like that of the island. It was better for both of us that I rationed my time spent in discussion with him. I had little time for idle chit-chat, anyway. He rubbed me up the wrong way and his company I preferred when it was far away and out of my sight! My young female staff members tried to help Libby feel at home as much as they could when they weren’t working, but she was unable to mix with them because of the children. I also doubt G would have liked her spending too much time with them. I felt a little sorry for her in her condition without any friends or family around her, other than the guru. I felt sorrier for the two children. The only playmates they had were each other. It wasn’t a normal lifestyle for the children to be set apart from their peers like that. Because of dangers on the island such as the surrounding ocean, the unfenced pool, the generator shed and the many other obstacles, they had to be under the continuous watch of their mother or father. Out front of the cabin in which they lived was a fairly high, rocky drop to the sea below. Children are curious. They wander. I had let my thoughts be known loudly and clearly that first day around the deck, but I may as well have been mute. What would I know? I’d never had children. Libby’s pregnancy seemed to be never-ending. Of course, her mobility around the island was limited. Fortunately, the track from the cabin to the restaurant and deck surrounding the pool was level, so other than the times when she accompanied the children down to the beach, she and the children were mostly confined to the area outside the restaurant and on the pool deck.

To be continued....

I know you're thinking I'm being mean...again...but I've got a few things that I have to do and they are screaming at me to go and attend to them. I hope to have this finished tomorrow...I will, in all probability, have this completed tomorrow. Hang in there, my friends...don't hate me too much!


11 comments:

  1. Loud wails of disappointment drifting up from far below...

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  2. lol Be quiet, Robyn! You'll start 'em all off! ;)

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  3. Lee,
    I'm starting to not like this guy G. On the island were there trees tall and strong enough for a hanging?
    You surely must have books published. You're good!!

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  4. Mean? Heck no, gives me something to look forward to. Great writing.

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  5. I'll be waiting...

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  6. Me again. Very interesting, Lee and I love your psychological insight into how people behave in certain surroundings. I identify with your comment about children. I never had any either and sometimes that can make you feel right out of it, and as if your opinion on what is appropriate for them does not count.. I still don't like Mr SC! I have no problem with people who don't drink alcohol or eat meat - but I do if they try to impose this on others. I don't hate you or think you're mean but I do want to read the rest - though I sense something dark is coming...

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  7. Hi Cliff...yes, there were lots and lots of trees on the island but they deserved better decorations! ;)

    Hey Steve and Gto...I'll try not to keep you waiting too long...but with the Superbowl you won't have time to read it anyway! ;)

    G'day Welsh...I, too don't have problems with people who don't drink or who are vegetarians but when they put on a 'holier than thou' attitude and when their young children's teeth are rotting in their gums because the children are not getting the correct nutrients etc., in their diet, I become a little testy! Years ago I worked with a guy who didn't drink but he was by no means a 'wowser'...he would have a drink with his male workmates at the pub sometimes and would always be in the 'shout' even though he didn't drink alcohol. He used to sip on his ginger ale, mineral water or whatever and never judged others. Our Mr. Squeaky-Clean's approach to others was much different. He was cold, emotionless and had a false impression of his own importance.

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  8. LEEEEEEEEEEE! whine. stomp my foot!

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  9. Now, now, Corn Dog...the last episode is the most difficult to write...so have patience, dear girl! ;)

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  10. Hi Lee, I am back as you can see, thank you for your kind words encouragement.
    I am really enjoying The Good the Bad and the Ugly. Can't wait for last episode.
    Cheers Margaret

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  11. How wonderful to see you Margaret...I'm glad that you're back. :) Please don't stay away for so long ever, ever again! :)

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