Someone Else

Someone Else


Temporary Shift is a series of brief dispatches from the front lines of the service industry—in which I attempt to wring some sort of meaning out of the inevitable dirty dish rag.


Once upon a recent week, I pulled an afternoon shift as a bellman at the downtown Marriott in Richmond, Virginia. What follows is a reflection by the bellman-in-mein three Haiku stanzas.

Someone Else

I.

Slowed by the night's bags,

with yours arriving today

I can sense relief.

II.

Lobby chit-chat turns

existential questions like

me into envy.

III.

Without warning, its

gears stop: the elevator

opens and closes.


A lobby boy is completely invisible, yet always in sight.
— M. Gustave

An image from Wes Anderson's 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Photo: RogerEbert.com.


Without Pretense or Napkins

Without Pretense or Napkins

The Cat Ring-Tone

The Cat Ring-Tone