“As the Antlers Turn”………18

Twenty Minutes on Thursday Morning.

It’s October and it has gotten quiet in Vail happy valley.

The staff uses this time to prepare for the upcoming ski season.  Housekeeping is fall cleaning the condominiums to a ridiculous level, the maintenance staff is tightening knobs after they clean and the front desk is sending out confirmations for the anticipated winter guests.

It’s 10:40 in the morning and suddenly Darci, working the front desk, completely alone, chatting on the phone with a travel agent, can only watch as things UN-ravel in front of her.  She dropped the phone.

One of the three guests staying with us fills her cup at our world class coffee station and gives a polite smile and good-bye to Darci as she pushes the lobby door open.  She just wants to enjoy the sunshine on the other side.  Darci smiles and waves to her while still talking to the travel agent.  Our guest walks through the opening with an Antlers cup and the door falls off.  The top hinge has let go.

The UPS guy is coming across the courtyard with a stack of packages on a dolly and he thinks the guest is holding the door open for him.  Actually she is balancing the 100 lb door with one hand and holding her ceramic Antlers coffee cup in the other.  He peaks around the packages he is wheeling and says “Thank you.  Great day isn’t it?”

Darci is now on the radio saying “Someone from maintenance please come to the front desk!”

“Give us a minute.”  was the reply.

NOW”, was her response.

Meanwhile……Magda walked into the Lobby and wanted to help after she saw the situation but she didn’t know Miley, (Rob and Evelyn’s dog, who he was tending for the day because Evelyn was out of town) was behind the closed door of the office.  She opened it and Miley immediately ran past the UPS guy and toward the opened door that was still being held up by the guest who now has dropped her Antlers mug that has shattered on the cobblestone.  The UPS guy helped her after realizing what was going on.  He propped the door up against the wall.

Darci yelled to Magda “Get the dog!”  She got back on the radio with her next announcement.  “Does anyone know where Rob is?  His dog is out and he’s fighting with Maggie in the courtyard”.  (Maggie is Chris’s dog and apparently they didn’t hit it off.)  Miley ran to the wild, not interested in a dog fight.  Tom, Ryan, Cayatano and Magda split up on the back side of the property. I was on the fourth floor and heard this exchange.

“Anybody see her?”

Tom:  “I’m on the bike bath.  She’s going west.”

Ryan:  “Did you say east?”

Cayatano:  “I see her.”

Tom:  “See her too.  She’s on her way up Forest Road.”

Magda:  “Please, please, please get her.  I’m the one that let the boss’s dog out.”

Tom:  “This dog is friendly until you get close.  Then she bolts.”

Ryan:  “It’s a Border Collie.  They’re friendly and smart.  She’s playing games with you.”

Tom:  “I don’t have time for games.”

Darci is now on the phone calling Rob’s cell.  “Miley got out.”

Rob calmly assures Darci that it will be fine.  “I’m in 506 and I’ll be right down.  I’m sure she is already having separation anxiety and is looking for me.”  He hangs up the phone and runs toward the creek thinking “Evelyn is going to kill me.”

I come down to the lobby and see the door leaning against the wall.

“What in the world is going on?”

Darci looks at me and says “All I know is I’m the only one here, the phones are ringing like we’re giving away free units for Christmas, dogs are running through the lobby and fighting in the courtyard, the front doors are falling off, everyone is out looking for Rob’s dog who is probably in Eagle by now and (she takes a deep breath) it’s only eleven o’clock.”

I turn and look toward the courtyard and Rob is riding one of the cruiser bikes and right behind him is Miley.  Her tongue waging in the breeze and a smile on her face.

Ryan comes back to hang the door and Tom meets with a contractor who has just pulled in.  Normal again.  Except for Darci who decides to take an early lunch.  She walks away and I hear her mumbling “You can’t make this [expletive] up.  I’m going to happy hour.”




“As the ANTLERS TURN….” scene 1 by Gz

We live in a resort town and it just happens to be Vail, Colorado.  We are the employees of the Antlers at Vail.

My name is Greg, The Director of  Nothing,  and in my years here I have been witness to a wonderful business practice at our little condominium resort.  I also have been surrounded by borderline insanity with regards to day to day operation of this place.  The purpose of this ongoing series is to share some of the things that go on around here that you probably wouldn’t know or hear about without me making it public.

I’ll promise this one thing; what you read in the coming months is true and almost factual.  I will reserve the right to embellish on any one situation I deem obligated to report.  The characters are real, although I’ve changed the names of a few to protect their innocence.

Let’s get started….

It’s October in Vail and our little town sleeps this time of year.  We are in transition so to speak.  A lot, but not all restaurants and shops close down for vacation purposes, hotel staffs are working shorter hours and the weather usually starts its change from glorious fall days to cold rain and spitting snow.

Not this year however.  I don’t remember such beautiful days through September and this far into October.  People must have heard of the pleasant season we are having because there are more guests staying with us this time of year than I can remember.  Good for them I say.  Take advantage of the reasonable room rates and delight in the surroundings.

It’s 6:45 am and Darci, our Front Office Manager (she should have 2 titles;  the other one being What Goes On In the Back Office Manager), is unlocking the doors to the Lobby.  She is constantly amazed how early people get up as 4 guests are waiting with coffee cups outside in their pajamas.  One is reading the paper and leaning against the sign that says “Lobby Opens at 7:00 am”.  He asks Darci, as she fumbles with her keys, “What time does the Lobby open?”

She turns on the lights and is escorted to the coffee station to begin the first brew of the day.  She checks messages after settling in behind the front desk.  ” You have…19…new …messages….to listen to your …messages.

Meanwhile Rob (El Jefe), as a testimony to how nice the weather has been, is still riding his bike to work.  He peddles away at 7:30 in the morning and the only thought that runs through his mind is “I’ve got to win the Sole Power Challenge.  I’ve got to win the Sole Power Challenge” (more on that later).

This particular day was going along at a routine pace.  Chris (Assistant Mgr or Director off All Things Big & Small) is on vacation.  We just call him Ratz.  There is no real relevance to this except that the front desk gang have a tendency to relax a bit more when they are at work and he is in Italy (more on that later). 

I love my coffee and will make several stops a day to the Lobby to enjoy a cup and today was no exception. I say hello to everyone before going to the back offices to check the mail.  “Darci, I heard everyone went out last night to celebrate a perfect strangers birthday. Did you get enough sleep last night?”

She looks up and says “Greg you know me better than that.  I never get enough sleep.  I could sleep 14 hours a day and still take a nap.  And we did go out and she wasn’t a stranger.  Amy knows her because of Yvonne when she lived here.  Yvonne knows her because a good friend of hers knows her Uncle in Des Moines.”

“Certainly sounds like someone you would lay down and die for.  I hope you weren’t required to bring a gift” was the only thing I could think of saying.  “Is El Jefe in yet?

“I didn’t see him but I know he came in through the back door and went right to his office.”  She went back to starring blankly at her computer screen.  No chit chat with me today.  I can see that.  Poor girl didn’t get enough sleep.

I poked my head into Rob’s office to say hello and I saw him sitting at his desk with his head in his hands.  Very uncharacteristic.

“Good Day Rob.  Is everything all right?”  I really thought he was going to lift his head up and I would see the swollen eyes and tears running down his face…………tbc