Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta problems. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta problems. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 20 de diciembre de 2016

Christmas dinner

   As always for that time of the year, Adele had to out on her best clothes when working. It wasn’t really well seen if the hostess of a very prestigious restaurant dressed in any kind of clothing. She had to have some nice dresses for every single type of occasion, as she was the face of the hotel on the evening people had chosen to come. She represented everything for them and was the go to person if anything were to happen during one of the many dinners the hotel hosted all along the year. It was always vey busy, a successful business.

 Christmas time was especially hard on the hotel workers. For example, Adele had to wake up very early in the morning every single day leading to Christmas. For a week or so, she would have to put on her best coat to resist the fierceness of the weather and also because she really needed to get warm as soon as she arrived at the hotel as many things had to be checked. And in Christmas this was done in the most exact way, as everything had to be in line with perfection that night, as they always promised their guests the most lavish dinner ever.

 The kitchen staff consisted of several men and only a few women. There weren’t many women trying to breakout in the business and she was only closely related to everything they did on the actual restaurant. Adele was only a hostess and she would never be able to grow much more than that in her line of work. It all depended on very well paid jobs in certain events and parties, which he had hosted occasionally but not as prolifically as the events held on the hotel. There, she knew she was prepared to resist anything and everything.

 In the days leading to the Christmas dinner, the menu was checked several times and many testing lines were done. It was Adele’s job to taste everything and determine if she needed to change something in order to have some more time or make it a more successful menu. Two days before, she even thought it was going to be necessary to change the dessert because it wasn’t very well achieved but the person in charge of confectionery convinced her that he could make it more attractive with some superficial design.

 The day before Christmas he presented his corrections and he was lucky enough to be congratulated by Adele. The rest of the dishes were done and they only needed to cook them early on Christmas Eve in order for everything to be on point for the dinner. Many cases of wine were ordered from around the world, as well as many other alcoholic beverages. They also bought lots of cheese for after dinner and had to go to the market to buy the best and most fresh products in order to cook everything they needed for the menu.

 The night before the party, Adele was not able to sleep properly. She had gone to bed intentionally early but it didn’t work out at all. Not only was she worried about the dinner and the results the hotel was going to get with it but she also doubted her personal capacity to resist everything she was going to be held against. After all, the dinner was practically her show and if anything went wrong, it was her skill which had to come to work in order to fix whatever that needed to be fixed. All those thoughts did not let her sleep for a minute.

 When she arrived in the hotel, she checked every produce than had arrived and gathered the staff around her in order to tell them a few things before beginning. Not only the kitchen staff was present during the speech but also the rest of the hotel employees, as most guest were going to stay the night after dinner. Adele asked for everyone to do their best, to make it an experience that none of them could be able to replicate anywhere else. They needed to make that night one of the most special nights ever for every single guest.

 Rooms began to be cleaned and final details were being put on all over the hotel as flowers in every floor to make it smell divine. The kitchen went into full gear from very early in the morning, as they also had to cook for the rest of the guests in the hotel that were not going to participate in the dinner. It seemed to be chaos in the kitchens but the chef, and to a lesser extent Adele, knew how to make it all seem so peaceful, to always have a certain order that may not be obvious but with which every single person can work with to achieve the goals.

 Adele also had to check every single bedroom in order to personally see that the other workers had done a good job. She had to check first the ones where people had the intention to arrive earlier and then she moved on to the rest, checking for the bed to be perfectly done and for the furniture not to have a spec of dust. She also checked the bathroom, as that had always been very popular after dinner. People loved to have a bubble bath at some point so it was better to be prepared. Anything people wanted while staying had to become a reality.

 As she was checking the top floor, Adele received word that something had gone wrong with the dessert. Apparently the ingredients had been on a refrigerator that wasn’t working very well and they had become useless. Many melted and others were simply not the quality needed for the dessert. Adele ordered for all of that to be stored away and demanded the pastry chef and the confectionery guy to come up with something very fast as her customers couldn’t go without desert.

 Dinner was scheduled for nine o’clock at night. At seven, some of the guests begun to arrive and the desserts were not really done yet. Adele was very pleased to escort the first couple upstairs and tell them everything about the dinner, the usage of the bathroom and of the rest of the hotels features such as the swimming pool, the steam room and the spa, among others. She was lucky enough to check that room beforehand because she had discover dirty towels in the bathroom, so she changed that before anyone noticed.

 She didn’t join everyone to their room as, at eight o’clock, many more people started to arrive and she certainly didn’t have any time to waste. She used that moment to go back to the kitchen and see what they had come up with for dessert. As expected, they weren’t having many ideas. The people in charge were not as imaginative as they needed to be and they were really relaying on clichés to make a proper dessert. But the same old pastries and ice cream were not nearly goo enough for Christmas dinner. It would be an insult to the guests!

 Adele decided to come up herself with a new dessert. She knew they didn’t have much time, so she decided to reuse some of the ingredients they had from past parties. She decided to reuse the chocolate balls that melted when hot chocolate was poured on top of them. She decided to change the liquid chocolate for caramel and told the staff to come up with some sort of truffle at the center of the ball, in order for people to have a nice surprise when having their last dish. She put everyone to work and told them they had minutes to come up with a tasting plate.

 She decided to visit the lobby as they prepared, in order to let in the first guests. It was decided they should wait at the lounge bar, as she preferred to know first if the dessert was a go or no. She returned to the kitchen briefly to taste her idea and approved it when she realized it was good enough. Half of the kitchen staff had to help do all the desert plates needed for the evening. Adele left them again in order to open the restaurant and let everyone inside. The music had been carefully chosen as well as the design of the menus.


 The dinner started with applause when the guests saw their first plate, which was absolutely gorgeous. Then came the other dishes and finally the dessert. People didn’t say much about it but, when coming out of the restaurant, they praised the idea for being “simple but effective”. As some guests headed towards their beds and other towards the bar, Adele went to the kitchens and declared the night a complete success. She wasn’t going to sleep much that night either but at least she wasn’t going to be worried.

martes, 1 de noviembre de 2016

A family

   His wife had fainted and the kids were now trying to help her feel better in the car. Meanwhile, he was still staring at the house, as if it was going to magically change it’s looks from the old and almost destroyed state it was in to the almost mansion he had thought he purchased some weeks ago. He didn’t feel good at all but his body was suddenly not able to respond to anything. He only reacted when his boy, who was around ten years old, came from the car and told him his wife wanted to talk to him with urgency. He turned around slowly, still in disbelief.

 The only thing his wife wanted to tell him was that they should be going to the police and tell them what had happened. They had to do it as soon as possible because maybe, just maybe, the person that had done that to them may be closer than they thought. He drove back to the nearby small town and explained the situation to the police officers. The one that took care of them put a hand to his forehead to clean the sweat off his face and told them they weren’t the first to come saying they had been robbed in such a way. At least four families had gone through the same thing that year.

 He explained that they had always used that house because the owner had died many years ago and no one could claim ownership of it. Actually, the state still had to wait ten years in order to be able to take possession of the house and then sell it or do whatever they wanted with it. And, of course, everything they showed was false and people never cared to check before they spent all that money in a new house. The family man, called George, explained to the officer that they were precisely there to check out the house because it was supposed to be finished in six months.

 Again, his wife had sit down. She asked for a glass of water and tried to relax but her heart was beating too fast. Norma, that was her name, had already begun planning so many trips and so many other fun stuff around that house. The amount of money they had spent was nothing next to the emotional investment they had obviously already done in that place. It was just a very cruel joke to play in them and she just could not believe someone would do such a thing. She still wanted to think it was some kind of mistake.

 But it wasn’t. They had been robbed of millions and they did all the paperwork to sue the people and the alleged company that had processed the whole thing. Of course, the company was a fake and the possibility of being reimbursed was almost impossible but they needed to do everything according to the law. Because, when the time came, they would need to prove they did not have a country house or anything like that. It was a very long process and a very slow one too. But after several months, it finally ended.

 The relationship between George and his wife was not the best. The situation with the new house had deteriorated everything they had before they realized they had been cheated on. They stopped being close to each other and after what happened, they rarely even spoke when they were alone. They tied to maintain normalcy for the children but it was obvious they were not idiots and could realize very easily that their parents didn’t really like each other anymore. However, they did not have a big response to it.

 In time, about a year after the robbery, Norma decided to file for divorce. She realized she simply didn’t trust her husband anymore and she actively blamed him for having been robbed off all the money they had paid for the country house. She realized she could never forget that, so the intelligent thing to do was to just get a divorce. Of course, she wanted to keep the kids and George wasn’t going to just give them to her. It was a very ugly situation in which every person they know had an opinion and that helped their marriage to die quickly.

 They finally agreed that they would share custody of the children with them living most of the week with their mother and the weekends with their father. They were still young and they both knew it was going to be a very hard thing to live with but they agreed they could do it for their children. The kids felt everything was their fault somehow, and began to behave in different ways, from hitting classmates back in school to just stop talking and turning into a repressed little kid which obviously wasn’t great for such a young age.

 They each had less and less money to spend, because they had many more things to pay for: gasoline for all the car rides during the week, the shrinks for both of the kids, the allowance George had to pay his wife in order to support the kids, the amount of groceries they had to buy each in order to supply everything necessary for the children… It was just too much and every month things seemed to get pricier and more complicated. One kid began fighting in school too much and the other was accused by a teacher of being autistic.

 It was just a very ridiculous situation that had came from one bad investment, one bad moment in which they hadn’t had the brain to check on the product they were buying first. They both knew it was both of their faults that they had been robbed but it was easier to blame the other because confronting the truth was always very hard and embarrassing. But both George and Norma were to blame. They wanted to seem rich in a moment and never cared to think of their children or about anything else.

 Their marriage was destroyed and when the kids became older they stopped seeing each other and just moved on to have their own lived. Norma remarried first and George killed himself two months after that. He had been tired of calling his children and never getting an answer. That fatal day, he wrote a letter to them, including Norma, telling them how sorry he was for what he did. However, he also reminded them they used to have been a family and they all just bailed on him the first moment they could, not thinking about anything they had gone through.


 In the last few lines, he blamed himself and all of them for the implosion of their perfect family. He said it was their entire fault that just because of something other families could have rallied around, they all just began to fall apart and try to run away from each other as far as they could. Now one of his kids was on drugs, the other had social problems and he made them see what they had become, hoping they could change their ways once he wasn’t there anymore. Of course, he never knew that letter was too little, too late.

jueves, 13 de octubre de 2016

Movie legend

   The cameras were rolling and everyone was silent on the set. No one dared to speak or even breathe loudly. They all knew how difficult and expensive that scene was, so they wanted to make sure that everything went perfect on the first and, hopefully, only take. Heavy rain was falling, as predicted, and everyone seemed ready to go. The scream of “Action” had to be repeated into walkie-talkie because no one could really hear anything. The first ones to move were the cars, then the extras running from one place to the other. And then, the leading man appeared.

 He walked into the center of the square and waited there, in silence, with a red rose in his hand. Everyone was counting, without making any noise, until ten. Ten seconds was the magic number fro the leading actress to appear on the far end of the square. She would then run into the arms of her lover and they would kiss. That was how the scene should have gone but not how it actually went. They waited ten, fifteen seconds and then a whole minute but no one appeared on the far side of the square. Soddenly someone did appear but it wasn’t her.

 The person was her assistant. She was escorted by the nurse they had on set, as she was bleeding a little from the head. She had a very nasty purple circle and a cut. Production was halted. The woman got nearer and they heard her scream “She’s out, she’s out!”. What she actually meant was that the star of the movie had run away from her trailer by knocking her assistant unconscious. Apparently she had caught her off guard and struck her with some sort of glass bottle she had around. The director couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

 Of course, production was halted for the day. The “money shot” would have to wait as the actress was essential to the success of that scene and of the whole movie. Every single person that worked in the movie had to look for her: around the set and in every single cornet of the city they could think of. What made things harder was the fact that they didn’t really talk the local language so it was very difficult to speak to anyone or make themselves be understood. So they had to cut her face from magazine or other places to make sure they knew who they were looking for.

 But no matter how many people got involved, finding the woman they were looking for proved exceedingly difficult. They had to halt the production for another day and the company that was financing the film was not happy at all. Each day they did not work was a day thrown to the garbage, along with thousands or even millions of dollars. The permit to film on that square had been very hard to get and now they would have to get another one, if they found the actress and if that government allowed to close the square off a second time.

 For the producers the money aspect was a disaster. But it got worse when the magazines and the entertainment industry learned of the disappearance of their leading actress, Valerie Ríos. She had been the face of so many amazing movies, she had even been nominated for several awards as, one of her first ever performances, had captured the hearts and minds of every single person in he world. She was one of those girls whom everyone knew was going somewhere. She had a lot of potential and a charisma that few other girls had.

 In every single magazine article, they wondered about why and how exactly she had escaped. That was a major thing because the production insisted that she hadn’t fled or anything but rather “stepped out” of the set. The media however preferred to say she had run way and they had a very nice way of explaining that by running interviews with her assistant once and again and again. Of course, the woman was fired because she wasn’t supposed to be telling gossip about people on the film, but once she had talked it was much too late.

 After the third day, the production company decided that it was for the best to shut down production and put the movie away for an indeterminate amount of time. As the movie was almost finished, they couldn’t just replace her. And the scenes had to be shot in such a way that people would noticed right away if they used some kind of visual effects aid. They had to shut it down, which was a very hard decision because of all the problems that brought, especially relating to payments and so on.

 Valerie went from being one the promises of the industry to be universally hated all over the globe. Every single person thought it was at least disrespectful to have done what she did, leaving her job out of the blue and hurting someone in the process. There were even some that advocated for her to be sent to jail once she was captured. Yes, they were already considering her a felon, a criminal and there were many voices putting pressure on the police for them to actually look for her as someone who had done something wrong.

 But the thing was that, once the assistant was checked by professional in the police department, they determined that the way she had been struck in the face didn’t really coincide with someone with the strength of Valerie striking her with a glass bottle. Many experts considered all the options but it was the assistant that, after considerable pressure from all sides, decided to confess Valerie hadn’t done any of that. It was her who had done that to herself to make the scene more violent and to ride onto Valerie’s fame and mistakes.

 People’s love for Valerie returned briefly after the assistant’s confession but it didn’t lasted long because there was no one to actually receive all that love. Many people wanted her back. Not only the companies she had something to do with but also many of her peers in the industry. None of them could understand why she had disappeared like that and it was even more of a mystery to imagine where she could be hiding. No one seemed to know anything at all.

 Her family was also harassed for many weeks. Many were sure they knew everything about their daughter’s plan and thought they knew where she had gone. But the truth was her family was devastated. Every time cameras arrived to their home, the mother would start crying because of how hard it was for her to confront her daughter’s disappearance. As far as she knew, her daughter could be dead. They really had no idea and it was a great thing for them when the media stopped dropping by and the hype around the news went down.

 A year passed and the executives in the studio decided they sue Valerie, even if she wasn’t there to pay. It was the only real way they had to try to make up for the huge losses they had because of her disappearance. It wasn’t and exaggeration to say that because of her, the company was having some serious financial problems. Many saw them as too permissive and as the real reason why she had left filming. Some even thought they had mistreated her somehow and that’s why she had decided to leave in such a strange way.

 Suing her, of course, didn’t amount to nothing. The production company decided to actively pursue other projects and the year following Valerie’s mysterious disappearance, they released a movie that was universally loved by the audience and the critics. The movie was so good that it won every major award that season and the studio soon forgot everything that had to do with their past production. They were able to make huge amounts of money, enough to pay the many debts they had acquired with insurance companies and so on.


 Valerie never resurfaced. From time to time, people would say she was alive. Some said they had seen her in a remote beach in Thailand and others claimed she was working as a waitress in a café in Florence. Some men even confessed to have been her lovers but they were soon uncovered as liars. Nobody was ever found and no real account of where or how she managed to escape without being noticed was ever found to be 100% accurate and possible. She became one of those movie legends but for all the wrong reasons.

martes, 11 de octubre de 2016

Moving on

   As soon a he entered the premises, every single employee was requested to stand still in front of their assigned spaced and smile at him as he moved through the maze of corridors that made up the wellness center. Every single worker knew who Vladimir Natarenko was: the biggest name in boxing in the last decade. He had just defeated his closest rival. In doing so he had become the world’s champion and more than one woman was craving to get close to him. Not only he was very attractive, despite all the cuts, lacerations and so on, he was obviously getting wealthier by the second.

 Carmen stood still in front of her assigned room and waited for the big guy to pass. She wasn’t specially thrilled by the prospect of seeing him or anything. Of course she thought he was really attractive but that day she had receive news from the mortgage on her house and she was in desperate need of money. The one thought on her head was all about asking her boss for help, for a certain amount that she could pay with work or something like that. The center did very well and Mr. Crane was a very nice man that did the best for his workers. She trusted help would come from him.

 Vladimir finally passed in front of her door but, she was too distracted when he greeted her, smiling with his beautiful cherry lips and his big blue eyes. She just gave him her hand and shook it. Vladimir looked at Carmen as he walked away, being moved by his manager. She didn’t even notice him at all. She just went into her room and decided the best moment to ask for money was during lunch, when most people were outside of the building. She didn’t want anyone to know. It was partly because she felt embarrassed but also because it wasn’t their business.

 Trying to focus on her job, she organized her station and received her first costumer of the day. It was a very thin girl who started talking as soon as she walked in. As always, Carmen turned on some music, lit up an incense stick and asked the costumer for her favorite body oil from those she had available. Then she put on the oil on the person and the massage session would begin. They lasted for around forty minutes but people could ask for longer or shorter ones, depending on what they needed, if they felt pain somewhere in particular or anything like that.

 The girl was an actress and she just went on and on about her career and how it was very hard to get the right role and how sometimes she had to do things she wouldn’t normally do. The woman could have told Carmen all the secrets of her craft but she wouldn’t have listened to any of them. She did her job well but her mind was absent. Her hands glided over the girl’s body and sometimes she needed but that was the only way to know she was still, kinda there. Losing her house was too big of a deal to care about anything else.

 The same happened with the other two clients she had that morning: she was so distracted that, when the second one (a tall guy, very handsome) asked her for her number, she told him that it was a pleasure to have had him and just pushed him out the door. She really didn’t have time for men at that point in her life. She needed a miracle to happen in order to help her survive all the difficult things she was going to face if her house was taken away from her.

 What hurt her the most was the fact that she had inherited that house only two years ago, when her parents had died in a tragic car accident. They were traveling by car in order to have a relaxing weekend and a truck just rammed them on a very tight curve. She would always remember the day a policeman called her and bluntly told her that they were dead. She had wanted to know who he was to punch him and teach him how to have a heart. But she never knew who he was and maybe it was for the best. She was in no state to do anything.

 Thankfully she had that job and they paid better than in other places but still not as much to pay all the bills. At first, she had thought the house had been a very nice present from her parents but soon realized she would have many more financial responsibilities and Carmen was not ready to assume all of those. She barely made enough money to support herself, so paying bills for a house too big her was not easy on her. Many told her to sell it as soon as she had received it but there were too many memories and she was still in deep mourning.

 Now, years later, she had moved on. However, she still thought the house should stay with her and maybe use it one day to raise her own family. She thought of that as a tribute to his parents and her family in general. So when lunchtime came, she almost ran to Mr. Crane’s office. Her secretary asked her to seat down and wait until he was available and she complied but it was very difficult to sit still, repeating in her head what she thought were the right words to phrase her request. Her hands were now moist with sweat and she had to clean them on her jeans.

 The secretary finally told her to go in and she did so by trembling all the way to the door. She greeted her boss and he asked her what it was that she needed. She realized he was in a mood and that made her doubt for a second. Bu then she started talking, very fast, telling the whole story of the house and her financial situation. When she finished, her boss told her he was glad she was so honest. However, he confessed the business was not doing so well so he was unable to provide her with the money. He told her he would try to help her out with something but further along in the year.

 As she stepped out of the office, Carmen felt her knees shaking like crazy. Her boss had been kind, as always, but the answer she had received was obviously was not the one she had desired. As she walked to her station, she realized how obvious it was that he wasn’t going to give her any money: he was right, no one was coming to their spa. Well, maybe that was an exaggeration but the number of clients was diminishing. She used to have up to eight clients in the morning, now that was down to three, sometimes even only two.

 Carmen realized two things as she walked slowly through the corridors: the first thing was that she wasn’t hungry at all. She had brought a big salad from home but she had no time for food right now. And the other thing was that her only solution now was to sell the house she had grew up in. As hard as that decision was, it was the only possible one, unless she wanted to be jailed for not paying all of her debt. It was a horrible choice to make but her time had run out.

She stepped into her station just in time: tears came running down her cheeks and she covered her face as she squat on a corner of the room. She felt miserable. Not only sad but also very disappointed on herself. She felt ashamed of losing her family heritage and also because her life hadn’t taken her anywhere. She lived from massages and on the weekends she did the same thing for anyone who would call and she was getting very tired of all of it. She was getting tired of her life and that she was always, apparently, on the brink of losing it.

 Suddenly, she felt a hand on her forearm. As Carmen looked up, Vladimir’s big blue eyes looked down on her. He asked her what was wrong. She stood up fast and cleaned her face, in a vague attempt to pretend nothing had been going on but he interrupted her by saying he had been there the whole time as his next stop in the spa was getting a massage. He had been lying in there for a while when she came in. Carmen was embarrassed and tried to apologize but instead, Vladimir asked her o tell him what was happening. Surprisingly to her, she started talking.

 As Carmen kept talking, she indicated him to lay down for his massage. It was the first time it was her talking during a session and not the other way around. The best thing was that he seemed to ask all the right questions and seemed genuinely interested in her problem. When she finished, and the session was done as well, Vladimir told her losing the house might be for the best, as her parents would always live in her heart and mind and not in the house. With those words, he left with a smile. Silly enough, that session and those words were exactly what she needed.


 And the big tip he left her, too. Help comes in the most unpredictable packages.