Let me tell you about the tipping policy at the Manor. It's verboten. Period. No exceptions. If a staff member is discovered accepting any sort of tip it results in termination. That includes the dining room waitresses, the kitchen staff, the housekeepers, the maintenance crew, the office staff, the nurses and all the workers behind the scenes. And there are times when service is offered beyond any expectations and one yearns to give some sort of recompense, but no, no, no. Stifle that urge.
As on a cruise ship, there comes a time at the end of the voyage, or in the case of the Manor, at the end of the year when residents are urged to show their gratitude by writing a check to the Employees' Appreciation Fund. Someone has the job of figuring out how much each employee receives by seniority, service rendered and who knows what else and at a Christmas party, Santa hands out envelopes containing checks.
didn't know what the extra something was until I asked Sal, one of the maintenance men, after the proceedings and he told me and pressed me to take his coin for good luck.
Most of the employees have been here for years and years. When I first visited the Manor years ago, what impressed me most of all was the obvious sincerity exhibited by staff members. I could detect no falseness in their actions. There seems to be a wonderful feeling of pride in carrying out not only their prescribed tasks but to a person they go beyond the call of duty. "Here, let me help you with that" and "I'll be right back with what you need" are not unusual sentences to hear.
Virgie is one of the dining room servers. She has a wonderfully giggly sense of humor.
I should know her name, but I don't. She's part of the staff in the Health Center; one of these days we undoubtedly will get to know her better, but, knock on wood, we aren't on a first name basis yet.
John is the newest member of the Maintenance crew, having been here over a year. They all know us by name and are infinitely cheerful when we cross paths.
Juan is one of the chefs. When Owen visited a year ago, and wore his Halloween chef's costume, Juan came out to meet him and then took 2 year old Owen on a tour of the kitchen.... a privilege we residents have yet to enjoy.
Sicorro, one of the housekeepers, greets us with this same amount of enthusiasm every time she sees us. I've never known anyone to be more positive in approach. As we part, she always wishes us blessings and a good day.
Kerima wears many hats as she arranges for the entertainment scheduled for residents and leads meetings full of information about matters of interest to us aging folks. Her show business background stands her well when singing is called for.
Gayane is a nurse who never is still a minute. She can be seen striding along on her way to take someone's blood pressure or to deliver medicine. I've threatened to loan her my pedometer to see just how many miles she covers in a day.
Tamara is a superb dining room server. It takes her no time to learn one's preferences and the iced tea is often waiting before I get settled at the table.