She doesn’t have much pick-up but she gets everyone where they need to go. Round and round she goes, from the portico out front of the hotel down to the strip and back. Between the two vans, there’s a shuttle coming through every eight minutes.
You would think that would be enough to satisfy most guests. You never have to wait more than eight minutes to get underway. But people on vacation don’t seem to know how to relax. They board the shuttle van and make nervous chitchat for a few minutes and then get borderline belligerent if we don’t get moving right away. In a hurry to get down to the casino and lose their money, their sense of time, and in some cases, their minds.
“Just waiting for a few more guests before we head out. Want to give everyone a chance to get down to the strip.” What I really wanted to say is “Pipe down, asshole. We’ll get there when we get there.”
But semi-retired geezers can’t afford to be rude to the tourists. In our laughable three hours of training, they stressed to us how the shuttle drivers are just as representative of the hotel as the desk clerk or the concierge. “You’re the face of the hotel as much as any other employee,” were the exact words. If that’s true, the hotel is looking mighty tired.
We don’t earn tips like the airport shuttle drivers often do when they assist passengers with luggage. Just our ten bucks an hour and no real bennies to speak of. The choice of hefting heavy luggage or just doing the driving was easy for me. Why throw your back out for a few dollars in tips. I’ll just be polite and helpful to the guests and take my check.
I do have a reoccurring fantasy while I’m driving. I just keep driving past the strip and none of the passengers say anything. Mile after mile out into the desert I drive until you can no longer see the tall buildings or the bright lights at night. Finally I stop along a stretch of highway that is completely desolate. I open the door. “Okay folks, this is your stop. Remember, the shuttle runs every thirty days, so be sure you come back to this stop when you’re ready to return. Good luck and I hope everyone’s a winner.”
It’s not much, but this fantasy can keep a man happy for hour after hour of going round and round, and that means a lot when you’re semi-retired.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon here. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon.