We just got back from an away tournament and I noticed something a little different this time. A lot of people working in the service industry in Niagara Falls (Canada) are older than me, and working manual labour jobs: serving and cooking in restaurants, cleaning or maintaining hotel rooms, that kind of thing.
Thinking back to previous tournaments, I remember seeing young adults in these types of jobs. Maybe the 20-somethings still work in those fields (service, food and tourist industry), to make ends meet while going to college or university, and I just wasn’t there during their shifts. But for the most part, I would have guessed the average age of these workers I came across at 50+.
You know how sometimes maids leave little cards with their name on them in the hotel rooms? Our maid was named Terry and I didn’t know if it was a man or a woman. I saw both men and women working in the rooms on our floor in between coming and going to the rink.
They were definitely at least 50. The one woman looked closer to retirement age…
Our waiter at the hotel restaurant was also at least in his 50s. He was very friendly and accommodating and I noticed he did the evening dinner shift and then the early morning breakfast brunch shift, as well.
And the lady at the brunch place across one of the rinks had snow-white hair and was hunched over. She may have been the owner even…she gave that ‘air’ of someone who is in charge. But she was cleaning up dishes, helping out with the service, handing out bills…She was very grandmotherly in appearance and manner and her work ethic was excellent.
I left generous tips for all of them. I didn’t even hesitate despite the fact that we have a very tight budget. And despite the fact that these types of weekends away do add up some unexpected costs, I purposely brought loose change and small bills so I could leave some extra tips. I had no complaints, so I left the higher percentage just because.