#2 It Happened in New Zealand…Or Was It Australia…

Dueling Egos

I’ve been reading and rereading my journal.  Boy, do I get riled up and angry at this thing called “male ego.”!    I use this expression a lot.  For example:

Journal entry 12/7/14:  I’m so fed up with the male ego!

Journal entry 12/13/14:  Len’s ego is OUT OF CONTROL!

It’s as if it’s a being with physical form, a towering monster threatening to destroy me!  Ridiculous!  Time to explore a little…

Well, I can find a definition for “male fern” in my unabridged dictionary, but  “male ego” just ain’t there.  I’m a little suspicious now.  Aha!  Here it is in the on-line Urban Dictionary:  The number one definition of “male ego” is “the belief that you are much better or more important than other people or behavior that shows this.”

So that’s it.  The term “male ego” expresses a belief or interpretation about a guy’s behavior.  Somebody made it up and, by god, I bought it!

OK, I can move on now…no, no, wait a minute!  I’ve got a question.  Does this Urban definition of “male ego” apply equally to females and their egos?  Hang on…I’ll check it out.

Here’s an eye popper!  According to the Urban Dictionary, “‘female ego’ isn’t defined” and then it asks the reader, “Can you define it?”  Any takers?

Enough of that.  Back to the story, “Dueling Egos”

Len and I arrive at the Clansman Motel on November 25, 2014.  The atmosphere is really laid back…what a relief!  We never know what’s in store for us until we get there, but we’re always optimistic. Our host, Belinda, only two weeks on the job as manager of the motel, darts around in her bare feet supervising the kitchen staff (us), answering the phone, taking takeaway orders, booking guests and…and whatever else needs her attention.  She does all these things with a soft voice and always with a smile.  She’s calm as a beach shell.  We’re going to get on well; I can feel it.

Her assistant is Gwen, a five-year veteran here at the Clansman.  Gwen oversees the motel operations, which means she cleans/services 9 units, washes/irons the linens, stocks laundry shelves and pinch-hits in the kitchen when needed.  Her energy has no end!  I’m usually 10 steps  (maybe more!) behind her trying to see through the swirling dust storm she leaves in her wake.  And, boy, is she organized!  Always, always, Gwen has a grin on her face and is ready to lend a hand.

Time goes by…

We’ve been at the motel for two weeks now.  I’ve been an apt pupil (except  for the “being organized” part) and can pinch-hit in about any capacity.  I’m really impressed with me!

I know all about keys! I know where the unit keys are kept and which ones open which doors.  I especially like the silly little t-shaped key which opens the toilet paper dispenser; it’s so cute!  I know what key opens the outside and inside doors to the laundry room.  I know what key opens the coin box on the washers/driers.  And further more, in one single-smooth action, I know how to lift, move slightly to the right while pushing in the coin lever to start that cantankerous washer #1.  I’m a whiz!  Damn I’m good…

Until that day when my single-smooth action fails to start the washer, that is.  And wouldn’t you know, Len just happens to be within earshot.  And, just like white on rice, he’s right there with the answer key.  This KEY (probably opens the pearly gates too!) opens the lid of washer #1 to expose the make-it-go mechanism and…with the lilt of his little pinky…Len adjusts the make-it-go mechanism and…the washer goes.  No more lifting…moving…pushing…oh, silly, silly me!  Well, never mind, I tell myself.  Just say, “Thank you,  Mr. Whiz-ard” and move on.

In the morning I can check the motel register and assess which rooms need service and which rooms need cleaning.  I’ve even been given permission to book rooms!  I remember booking this guy for Room #9.  I could’ve booked him for Room #11, which has one bed, but since we’re way not busy, I thought I’d give him a choice of beds by booking him for Room #9 which has two beds.  So I did.  Nice of me, huh!  Well, I sure heard about that decision the next day…from the Whiz-ard, of course.  Len was actually pissed because I booked a double for a single when, according to him, I should’ve booked a single for a single!  There he goes shoulding again!  So I should right back at him.  “Should is a value judgment,” I retort, “and it’s not mine!”  That was the end of that little showdown.

I can prepare sea food baskets, deep fry fish’n’chips and sausage’n’chips, crank out wedge works, concoct salads and flip a toastie.  But pizza is my favorite short-order food.  I love to make pizza, and especially Meat Lovers Pizza.  Yummy!  We Americans don’t get it, but what the Kiwis call sausage looks and tastes a lot like their ham.  In fact, the only difference we (Len and I do agree on a few things!) can see is in the size of the pieces.  Their ham is cubed and their sausage minced…and there you go!

Anyway, I’m having fun and really getting into my work, dotting my pizza with ham and sausage and chicken when Brandon (a woofer/workawayer like us except he’s a native New Zealander) walks by and comments, “Is that a double order?”  Then the Whiz-ard walks by and comments, “That’s way too much ham and sausage!”  Sometimes it’s better to ignore these passing comments, smile sweetly and keep on doin’ what I’m doin’.  And that’s just what I did.  I’m learning!

Oh, by the way, I think Brandon’s comment takes the prize,  don’t you?  Subtlety does have class!  And, to top it off, the guy who ordered the pizza called back later that evening to say I made his pizza “to per-fec-tion”! Damn,  I’m good!



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