Writing Switch: When SAT-UR-DAY! becomes “Double-Day!” | AspenTimes.com

Writing Switch: When SAT-UR-DAY! becomes “Double-Day!”

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
A male hotel manager is under stress in front of a computer that answers the hotel customer calls. A lot of phone calls. Funny facial expression, emotions, feelings, problems reaction, stress.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

As the Christmas-to-New Year period is one of Aspen’s busiest, it stands to reason that our readership for this edition has doubled — by our calculations that means there’s like, five of you now. Welcome aboard!

But instead of really sticking the landing during this peak opportunity for exposure, we mailed it in and instead describe in detail the monotony of our lives, specifically, last Saturday. Ben likes to fill his weekends with putting off all the chores that he was already putting off all week. Sean likes to fill his weekends with complaining about “working a double” that he was already complaining about all week. But hey, that lobby coffee machine doesn’t refill itself, and those dishes hiding in the shower don’t magically get washed by a leprechaun (’cause he’s not allowed to use magic in People-World). As you can probably tell, to us time passes like kidney stones.

EIGHT a.m.

SB: The nice thing about being a morning front desk agent in a resort town is most people are so obsessed with getting their money’s worth out of a $184 lift ticket that they’re on the slopes at the crack of lifts spinning. The downside of that is after I go through the opening procedures ­— water jug, coffee station, incoming folios, etc. — I have two hours to figure out 17 across, which I could not do.

Battling back sleep in slacks and a button-up is something usually reserved for overly hot summer weddings, not peak season hospitality. The key is to eat enough Christmas sweets to get you through the first job, but the catch is moderation so you’re not crashing/nodding off on the drive back to Aspen.

BW: I’m asleep. In fact, probably just went to bed.

ELEVEN a.m.

SB: I would say this is about the time I start watching the clock but I’ve been watching the seconds tick off since I clocked in. At least now there are tasks to be done. The only upside of training a new coworker during Christmas week is showing them how to do the things you don’t like.

For example, I hate Amazon. The only people who know the loathing of Amazon’s Christmas purge of packages more than the company’s employees and UPS, Fed-Ex and USPS workers are hotel receiving departments. It’s enough to log in the parcels but figuring out which anonymous packages go where is impossible. And that’s why I don’t mind letting the new girl do it because her guess is as good as mine.

BW: I roll over and check my phone for the first time. Two options present themselves: Snowboarding at Highlands or napping until noonish. I roll back over and try to reinsert myself in the dream I was having about zero-gravity jumping on the moon.

THREE p.m.

SB: Time for job No. 2. Saturdays at The Aspen Times are usually pretty relaxed. Save for a photographer or an editor trying to get ahead (or catch up), the office is empty and stories are filed. Coworkers will pop in to use the office a ski locker, which is fine until they ask me “Did you get out there?”

“Nah, I was too busy driving people to the airport and listening to the sound of children laughing to strap in and ski some laps with the bro brahs. But ask me again next week and maybe I’ll hit you in the head with a tack hammer.”

Also of note, the office is very quiet on Saturdays, so anything you do, people hear, especially someone who sits right next to the bathrooms.

BW: I am choking on a gummy worm. Technically it is a gummy twin snake, but whatever. The twins were conjoined, and half went down my throat and the other half stayed in my mouth. I envision one of the twins just dangling down my gullet. I wonder if this is how I will die: in my boxers, slumped over the couch, face turning purple, “Are you still watching ‘Rugrats’?” frozen forever on my TV screen. Oh well, I’ve had a g… well, I’ve had a life. Wheezing, I stumble over to my computer and slam it against the floor, then crawl back into bed for the third time that day so it isn’t too gruesome in a couple of weeks when they notice I’m missing and come looking for me. Eventually, whatever primal regurgitation instincts I possess kick in and the twins become freed. Mildly amused to still be among the living, I was, however, at peace with the idea of not putting on pants later and fulfilling social obligations.

SEVEN p.m.

BW: I’m standing in an art gallery, the only person younger than, eh, 50. I can’t help but compare everybody’s eyebrows. How do they become so Brillo Pad-y? Why does one scraggly, rogue hair grow halfway across your face? Should I be using conditioner on my eyebrows? Can you get crabs in your eyebrows? Does Selsun Blue kill crabs? Is this what everyone else is thinking about while they’re staring at splotchy acrylic paintings and nudes made out of motorcycle chains? The artist becomes visibly distressed when I tell her I’m not here on assignment. When people learn you work for a newspaper, they immediately assume you’re always just walkin’ around, lookin’ for that scoop, ready to tell their story! Sorry, the only stories I tell are the ones I invent while giggling at my desk surrounded by soiled tissues, broken Xbox controllers and crushed beer cans.

SB: This is about the time I try to find food that’s not Christmas cookies or office candy and then try to find the energy to cook it. Even chopping romaine is a chore. Maybe if a put my head in this Insta-pot it will give me sweet release in the same time it takes to cook an entire chicken.

However, before I aircrisp my dome, I have to finish up the last of the paper.

Midnight

SB: Ideally, sleeping. Probably work tweeting.

BW: For the first time in my life, my date storms out of the bar and leaves me sitting there. I’m not too upset; I’m more astonished that it took some 15 years to happen. Apparently, saying you don’t feel bad for a chick’s friend who is chasing some asshole dude all over the country is a damning opinion. Around this time I realize the “friend” is probably actually her. What a plot twist.

Can you imagine as a man being so attractive that you’re able to manipulate and emotionally distress women for years and get away with it? I run (my) flawless (brand of) game and will still instantaneously and without hesitation get ghosted anywhere between Date 1 and Date 28 for an innocuous comment or getting caught with my shirt off and the light on (ever seen a fat guy with two belly buttons?). Then again, I look like one of those unkempt, disheveled guys walking down Colfax yelling about being blonde Jesus, so maybe the problem does in fact lie within. Nawww. Oh well, #SheGone, sending my prospects squarely back to a comfortable zero.

As an aside, as we close out 2019, I’d like to dedicate my half of this column to all the friends I’ve lost this year. No, they’re not dead, they just all hate me. I optimistically look forward to 2020 embracing the role of persona non grata.

@seanbeckwith @bwelch1990


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