27 January 2018

Life stranger than books

A few days ago I was listening to one of the podcasts for writers, where a guest, published writer, advised new writers not to be nice to their characters.

And such tip clicked with me because first time in my life I’m working in the hospitality industry. I got a small seasonal job.
This job exposed me to a side of human nature I never assumed it existed. It was like stepping to the portal into another universe.
Suddenly, people, you consider nice and pleasant, end up being real jackasses, or doing something that makes your jaw hit the floor.
I learned about a customer who tried to bring a horse into a pet-friendly room. Not one of those little ponies, but real size beast that could hardly fit through the door. Of course, the customer got denied and left a bad review. Customer main complaint was, the room was advertised as pet-friendly. So if you wonder why hotels list which pets are allowed, eejit like this one are the reason.
Off topic, I wonder which eejit is responsible for the usage directions one can find on toothpicks in the USA and what did that eejit do?
Back to the hospitality pearls. I witnessed a guest leave doors wide open although their credit card info is held for security deposit. And I’m not talking here about the hotel with one entrance, but a place where each unit has its own entrance, invisible from the main office. Meaning if a thief got into a unit before the staff, that guest would be charged for missing furniture or appliances. As someone who makes sure that the door of the hotel room is securely locked when I check out, I still cannot wrap my head around the brazen daring of the life by this guy.
I also got a nice lesson from Modern Stoicism. Stoicism advice not to judge others. A bit of advice most of my coworkers do not follow. It amazes me how many problems and issues come from simple jumping to conclusions, judging and assuming other people have some ridiculous motives. I have to admit, I had this habit too, but being surrounded by people who seem to me as the world champions in jumping to conclusions motivated me to work to get rid of my habit. Now I'm doing my best not to judge anything or anyone unless I have solid facts that really confirm the conclusion. Seems like when one does not jumps to conclusions, way fewer problems materialize.
I have to say,  this job gave me unprecedented insight into human nature.
So yeah, if you are a writer, go ahead, be nasty to your character. And if you put a real jerk into your story, it will be really gripping. Seems like life does that anyway.

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