YOU Can’t Fire Me…


Have you ever wanted to utter those words? Well, I actually have!

This is not really “About” Chapter 6, that’ll come tomorrow. It’s pretty much just about a single line in chapter 6 that talks about the motel Ruth and Hazel stayed in: the room was strictly decorated in turquoise and red. Quite a long time ago too, apparently.

Housekeeping Cart Outside Motel Rooms

I wheeled a cart not unlike this one up and down the sidewalk, day in, day out.

My very first “official” job was as a motel maid and I started in high school. I spent the second half of my childhood in the wonderful Cedar City, Utah, home of the marvelous Utah Shakespearean Festival which gave me my love of Shakespeare to this very day.

I’m sure this was me just being dramatic, but when I was a maid the owner’s daughters were maids too. There were two halves to this motel, the old and the new. The daughters got the new, of course. The rest of us got the old. I’m sure they’ve changed by now, but back then the old rooms were dingy things. Flocked red bed covers and turquoise shag carpeting that would never come clean.

Still. To this day I make my bed like a motel maid working alone: first one half all the way done, then the other.

I was standing right in this lobby when I got my first paycheck. 'Twas GLORIOUS.

I was standing right in this lobby when I got my first paycheck. ‘Twas GLORIOUS.

As for the quitting, I worked there faithfully all through high school. But then came college. What fun! What freedom! I was not as good an employee as I should have been. Ahem. One day I got the only migraine I have ever had in my life, thank goodness. I couldn’t even move my eyes without flinching in pain. So when the owner called me and demanded that I come in “or else,” I uttered the words that some only dream of.

“You can’t fire me, I QUIT!”

Shame on me. I deserved to be fired by that point but I confess, it felt a little bit good uttering those words.

Ch 6 shkes1Afterwards I got a job at the pre-show of the Shakespearean festival, walking around in Elizabethan costume, singing songs hawking lemon and raisin tarts (we got to take home the leftovers at the end of the night. They were WONDERFUL!) or horehound candy or oranges.

Ch 6 elemAll’s Well That Ends Well. I learned the value of hard work. And how to sing out in public walking amongst strangers.

Yep. All that, for one little line.

5 Commentsto YOU Can’t Fire Me…

  1. Jane Agle says:

    Oh the jobs we have in life that makes us who we are today!

    • Ruth says:

      MOM! Europe early! It’s like we’re RELATED. Although, once bat season’s over and there’s no more danger, I’ll get to sleep a lot sooner. Right now I’m not waking up as early as I usually do…

  2. Alissa Hartling says:

    I loved working the pre-show also, it was so much fun. Meeting the people and singing in public! Ah memories! Did you get the old ladies that made you sing again before they would buy? If they did not think you sang loud enough you’d have to sing again?
    Thanks for bringing that up , I have not thought about that on years. I’ll have to go back sometime and the an annoying old lady.

    • Ruth says:

      I remember I had a hard time singing “horehound” out loud – snort! But I still remember the tunes, do you? I wonder if they’re still “…at a quarter each, at a quarter each, a bargain at the price!”

      Probably not.

      • Alissa Hartling says:

        I don’t think I will ever forget the tune or how to sing the horehound candy song. It was very hard to sing it the first night! After that it got easier and fun!