What’s your 20? - Ian Amundrud
Legacy is exactly that, something lasting, something beyond ourselves…
“What’s your 20?” I quickly said into the radio, before rushing down the stairwell and into the empty corridor. Meeting up with my colleague, we continued down the long empty hallway before reaching a locked door. Wiping the sweat off his forehead, my colleague unlocked the door and swung it open. “Here, grab the other end” he said as we wheeled out the cot. Working in a hotel was a demanding job, especially during the middle of summer. We delivered the cot and once again I reached for my radio, this time saying “Room 219 is complete”. “10-4” returned the Housekeeping Office. In case you’re wondering “10-4” means “affirmative’ and ‘What’s your 20” translates to “What’s your position?”
Being the lowest on the seniority list, I didn’t always have the luxury of delivering cots to rooms. That was only during the day. During the night shift, we scrubbed down toilets, wiped off urinals, followed by endless sweeping, vacuuming and other delightful tasks. One night after the guests had finished high tea, I began to vacuum up the scone and biscuit crumbs scattered throughout the tea lounge. Lifting a couch cushion, there lay a flattened mouse. Snacking on crumbs that escaped the mouths of hungry tourists, but not escaping the weight of them; it was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your position matters.
Being over 100 years old and having 464 guest rooms, the hotel had plenty of mice. It also had plenty of hallways, lifts and stairwells and if you weren’t careful, you’d lose your way. When I first started, I had to carry a map with me so I knew where to go. When the Housekeeping Office called me over the radio with a guest request, I had to plan my route so I could quickly get from where I was to where I needed to be. Your position reveals your pathway.
The stone and brick clad hotel was architecturally stunning. Popular for lavish weddings or cocktail parties, the Crystal Ball Room was incredibly grand with marble floors and a stained-glass dome in the ceiling. Standing in the centre of the room, even the smallest noise would reflect off the stained glass, amplifying the sound. Your position determines your amplification.
One of the most iconic sites in the city, the hotel, is a legacy that will continue to be enjoyed for years to come. Legacy is exactly that, something lasting, something beyond ourselves, something that is amplified into the generations to come. From the exterior it’s seen as glamorous, yet beyond the surface, the hands of many are working together, each playing their part. Are you positioned to leave a legacy? Your position will determine whether or not you create a generational echo. What’s your 20?
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