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Fire! (Part 1)

How many of you jumped a little and thought, “Fire what?” Anyone who has worked in a kitchen knows that “fire” is normally followed by an item that needs to go out to a table. However, this is not what I mean by “fire”, and in my case it was an actual fire. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, no we did not have a fire in one of the kitchens.

The fire I’m talking about was the wild fire that was going on in Hobe Sound a few days ago. Hobe Sound is a 5 minute drive north of Jupiter Island, and one night the wind shifted and Jupiter got blanketed in smoke. It was like a fog rolled in it was so thick. I didn’t notice it at first, but then as people started coming in and out of the beach club the kitchen started to get hazy and a little smoky. This made the golf cart ride back to the dorms fun. The smoke after I got off work was so thick that you could only see about 5-10 feet in front of you. All the next day everyone was complaining that it smelled like smoke everywhere. I thought it smelled nice, like when you throw a pine or oak log on a camp fire. But then again I didn’t have my windows open.

Speaking of the beach club and dorms I had it pointed out that I have not as of yet really described the club or what it looks like for you, and per request I shall do so. I’m also going to include a little bit of what I have been doing for the last few weeks because I have not been making many posts.  This is going to be a longer post, ok, you’re right a very long post; but I will try and make it fun. Now that things are starting to settle back down after the holidays I’ll be able to post more often. So for now, here is what my world looks like in words. I would say close your eyes and use your imagination, but then how could you read the text….?

No matter if you drive, walk, bike or golf cart to the club you have one of two ways of getting to the part of the island where the club is. Gomez Road or South Beach Road (also called County Road 707). The club stretches from the inland waterway to the ocean side of the island, so both roads will get you to the club. And both are lined with 8foot high privacy hedges that really make you wonder what is over the hedge. I took Gomez road in, so I didn’t actually see the Beach Club part of the club part for a day or so. This description will come later on.  When you first see the club on Gomez Road you will first see a set of 5 grey-ish blue and green two-story buildings on your right. However this is a do not enter one way street so you have to pass by a blue cottage to turn into the club employee living area. As you circle around back to the dorm area you drive past the back and employee entrance to the Main Kitchen, Chef’s Cupboard, Bake Shop, Staff Kitchen building. All of the dorms on the right (except the blue cottage) and the left are connected with walkways and stairs up both sides of the middle building on the left and the two on the right. (In order from top left most building on left side North Dorm, Brig, HR & Laundry services. In order from bottom right South Dorm, Murphy. Little blue cottage is called Bamboo.) I live in the bottom floor front right most room of Brig. That is right, I have a corner room! Sadly, unlike at NECI, this does not mean it’s any bigger than the other rooms. As I said we have a little walkway between the North and Brig that has stairs leading up to the second floor of both buildings with a little patio area. North also has stairs on the back and front side of the building which are hidden by, once again, privacy hedges and palm trees. The buildings themselves are “hurricane proof”, aka made of concrete and reinforced with steel. The first floor is a stucco pattern and is grey-ish blue, while the second floor has a green horizontal shingle one; the colors are broken by a strip of white stucco concrete. All of the windows for each dorm room and bathrooms are white with steel hurricane shutters that are also painted white

Alright, I know that building descriptions are boring, but cut me some slack it’s a two story concert building, how am I going to make that exciting!? You want me to try to make the rest of the descriptions exciting… Sigh, alright, I’ll do my best. Walk with me in to the bottom floor of brig dorm then and I’ll tell you about the….

Hallway, yep that’s right didn’t see that one coming did you? Enough kidding aside the hallway is lined on both sides with 7 dorm room doors and a bathroom in the middle of each side. You get three guesses as to what color the walls are… Give up? Taupe! Why are walls always painted taupe? “Well it’s supposed to be very soothing.” Wrong! It’s a maddening color that can’t decide if it’s white or yellow and only serves to drive people who work in offices insane. Oh, look, there is a stainless steel water fountain and some red emergency fire extinguishers, and a grey trash can at the ends of the halls by the doors to break up the color; but it’s still taupe! Ah hem, where was I again? Oh, yes, the hallway has a speckled blue carpeting with a blue floor runner, and little green number plates on the dorm room doors with other signs for things like “janitors” “date and storage” and the uni-sex bathroom sign. The ceiling you ask? The cork looking drop down tiles, but at least they are not taupe. I mean for god sake even the doors are painted taupe…

Moving on I’m going to be borrowing a line from every MTV cribs episode as I open the door to my room, “Welcome to where the magic happens!” Ok, by magic I mean where I sleep, get dressed, type things on my computer, and get woken up at all hours of the day and night by blaring music! You would think with everything being concrete reinforced with steel that it would keep the rooms pretty quiet, but nooooo. I have heard everything from Jamaican rap, pop culture, and even gospel. I get it you want to be able to hear the Lord’s word but does he have to scream it at you?

I’m making a bigger deal of this than it really is, because most of the time the music isn’t that bad and sometimes it’s even songs I like. I’m just making it out that way because I was woken up the other day at 7:34am by the guy across the hall from me blaring his Jamaican rap while cleaning his room, and I didn’t have to be at work until 2pm.

Back to the room, we have the same speckled blue carpeting and blue floor runner and the walls are… more taupe! Sigh, even the 10ft tall ceiling is painted taupe. Maybe taupe is the only color that will stick to concrete? Yep that’s what I’m going to go with, oh and one guess what my walls are… If you guessed concrete you would be wrong, it’s actually etercnoc… get it? Because it’s the inside of the concrete wall so my side is the eterc… oh never mind. I have been in rooms in almost every dorm except Bamboo (manager’s cottage so I have been told they are a little nicer and bigger, but hey they get paid the big money) and so far they have all been the same. Ok yes the layout is different as to right or left but you get what I mean. You walk in my room and you are presented with a closet on your left, and that’s it. Oh wait what are these little green and red buttons for? Pushing the green button causes a futuristic space bed to slide out of the walls along with a desk… Ok fine you caught me I don’t have a futuristic space bed that can slide out of the wall but a guy can dream right? The closet is still on the left and it has a wire shelf/ hanger bar inside, with a double mirror sliding glass door. The closet is only about 8ft tall so we have a storage shelf on top of it where we can put bags or boxes. Next to the door, but before you hit the closet, is a small one drawer end table. Looking at the wall that has my window on it, to the window’s right is an “oak” looking dresser. I say “oak” here because it is that pressed particle board Ikea stuff that has the “oak” covering finish, oh and all the furniture is done in the same way. Under the window is a hotel style AC/ Heater unit that I use as a place to hold my chef shoes and knife kit. Moving to the window’s left we have the desk, with no drawer, a cork board (our designated place to hang things as they don’t want us to damage the taupe…) and a lamp. “I love lamp”, no really it is just the right size lamp to provide reading or typing light at night. I move now to my bed which is positioned next to my desk stretching in to the middle of the room. Ok, yes, I could probably put it where my desk is but I don’t want to sleep with my head next to the AC/heater unit. And it helps to kind of break up the room into changing and work areas. The bed frame itself has two drawers in it that I use to keep my books in because it opens up right past the end of my desk. They give us a dark blue comforter and, are you ready for this? Taupe colored sheets…!… I even had to open a new pack of sheets when I got here and the brand new ones matched the walls. This color is everywhere! Moving on to my favorite item in the room that they gave me, the chair. Yes it’s just an armless chair with a maroon and dark, dark green swirl pattern on it, but they nifty part is in the legs. The legs have a built in lean, so for people like myself who like to lean back in the chair I can do so without having to balance on the back two legs. Alright, so I’m amused by the little things, but I don’t have a futuristic space bed to be amazed at so let me have my leaning chair…

Alright anyone who has to use the restroom on this word intensive tour of Jupiter Island Club now is your chance because the next stop is just that, the restrooms. Since the floors have two per side of the hallway I will describe the bigger of the two. The bathroom floor is white square tile that, with being cleaned every day, I would eat off of. Not saying that I’m going to, just saying that I could. This isn’t like the NECI dorm bathrooms where the VCFA staff just sprinkles some comet around and calls it good. (Are you really trying VCFA?) I have walked in and been able to see myself in the floor before, it’s that clean. The sinks are on your left as you walk in and a foe granite top with soap, paper towel dispensers and trash cans on both ends. The Other side has a set of lockers for keeping small items in, you know like bird seed. Why there was bird seed in the locker one day? I really couldn’t tell you. Maybe that’s what inanimate lockers eat? Now we realize that there are a few strange things about the bathroom itself, besides the birdseed eating lockers. First, the white tile comes over half way up the walls, and there is a drain in the middle of the floor. I guess this is for if we want to shake ourselves dry? Anyway, the toilets are on the left and the doors are full length with a metal brown grating in the center of the otherwise taupe colored door. Inside is “gasp” air freshener cans! Oh, and, your standard uni-sex toilet and toilet paper dispenser.  Across from this is the same door again but this time when you open them up you get to enter in to a little changing room before you are presented with a standing shower that is closed off by a curtain. I like that we have this extra little bit of safety from the birdseed eating lockers. The smaller bathroom has one toilet room and one shower room with a third handicapped room that includes both a shower and a toilet so it is always the sought after place to get cleaned up.

Now I know everyone is hungry but first we are going to make a quick stop off at HR and then go down the stairs to laundry services before we enter into the staff dining area. Please follow me out into the walkway between the buildings. If you look to your right as we exit the south end of Birg you will see the employee personal laundry room. It has 4 washers and 4 dryers that all cost $1, but never fear! Unlike NECI we have a change machine in there so you can get quarters without having to drive in to town for them. If you will please follow me up the stairs here to the upper patio we will take short break in the fitness room which has free weights, a treadmill, Stairmaster, and even a small TV. If you take a moment and look out over to the Murphy dorm you will see that the bottom is actually a building called 150, where we keep  most of the extra tools and paper products we may need. Things like paper towels, heat lamp bulbs, sterno, and so on. You may also notice that South dorm is also the only dorm with exterior doors, they try and keep these rooms for couples as they are a bit bigger and have their own bathrooms, or so I’m told. Should you wish you may enter into the top floor of Birg on your right, but we are going into the HR building now and you will be left behind if you choose to do so.

Upon entering the HR department you will be scanned by the cameras that watch over all that we do or say. Ignore them as this will only anger them and make them pay more attention to you. On your right as we enter we have the training room, but you can’t guess what goes on in that room… If you would like to enter to receive your “training” you would see a 20 set table with an empty space in the middle. There is also an overhead projector and cabinet that contains all the blank paperwork for trainees to fill out. On our left is a small hallway that passes the IT manager, who likes to block any and every site he doesn’t agree with. After him we have the HR cage. I call it the cage because it has its own doors and stairwell up to them and the doors can be locked only from the outside… Moving right along we come to an elevator, really, an elevator? Why there is an elevator in a two story building that has a stair case right next to it, and two more outside of it? Oh well, mysteries of the universe. But, yes, there is another set of stairs right next to the mysterious elevator. We will be going down these steps later when we go visit Laundry Services, but for now we are going to visit the mail boxes. Alright, you know what, on second thought they are just mail boxes that have our last names on them so if you have never seen a mail box before, first I’m sorry for your sheltered life and second they are to the left after the stairs. For everyone else who has had a normal life and knows what a mail box looks like follow me through the double steel taupe colored doors.

We have now entered into the recreational room and the first thing you see is a massive 62” TV and a small seating area. In other words “Oh look, free cable!” To the right of the TV is a checkers/chess/ card table. The poker set is over on the counter next to a small microwave, stove and a full sized empty refrigerator. I have no idea what is in the cabinets because I don’t care that much. The carpet and walls are the same as in my room so once again this taupe “color” is following me. On the other side of the room we have a pool table, foosball, and air hockey tables all of which are in pretty good condition. Shut off into a little corner is a small room with 2 desktop computers, which also have cameras pointing at them; do we really need cameras watching what we do as well as being tracked by the IT overlord?  Seeing as how we have seen all there is to see in here we could escape out the back stairs down into the staff dining patio, but we still have the Laundry Services to see first. Please follow me down the stairs next to the mysterious elevator. Everyone here? Good. On the left we have the linen room and the uniform rooms. The linen room is where we go to get new bed sheets and towels, and is also full of the little things that hotels and resorts put in the rooms of the guest. As we enter the uniform room you will see that it also has table clothes and napkins of all different colors. In the back is also an actual cage that all the clean uniforms are locked up in, and then there is also the line of clothespins that have our names on them so that the nice ladies who manage our uniforms can group all of them together.

To the right at the bottom of the stairs you will see the laundry manager’s office, and the door to the outside. Please use the left door as the right is blocked by empty rolling hampers. There are 4 of them out here under a little concrete walkway. In the order from the door leading out is one for hangers, dirty employee uniforms, dirty linens, and a hamper full of clean aprons and towels. You are also presented with several golf carts used by the housekeeping staff to get around to the member’s condos and rooms to clean them. We can also see across into the covered deck of the staff dining room and a bike rack for, what else, bicycles.

This is where part one of the epic word tour of Jupiter Island Club will end, please join me next time for the final chapter when we will explore the Kitchen, and the Mysteries of the Universe (Part 2)…

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One Comment on “Fire! (Part 1)”

  1. Tori January 7, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    Aww, you’ve been lying to me about the futuristic space bed? lol. I don’t think I have to tell you again how much I love your sense of humor, but I guess I just did. 😀 It’s a very funny and informative post. Hopefully you won’t need to deal with taupe anymore when you come back to VT. Or birdseed eating lockers… Looking forward to your next post!

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