Walking Contradiction

front desk employees

Here are my thoughts on what I would say to an employee of mine who works at our hotel’s front desk alone and needs me to cover the desk while she uses the restroom:

“Even if I am right around the corner, you need to find the least busy time to use the restroom and not rely on me (if there were no slow periods during your shift, then we would never ask this of you, but there are plenty). There are two reasons why I need not be your crutch. The first is that I have to run the hotel during the hours that I am here and I have hired you to run the front desk to take care of the guests. I can help on occasions where the guest would suffer if I didn’t step up, otherwise the guests need you, solely, to take care of their needs. The second reason is that I will not be here every minute of your shift and dependence will hurt your freedom and versatility during those times especially.”

After telling her, the next day comes and I am helping the breakfast team in the lobby. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her walking to the bathroom…and I think:

“I saw you leave the desk for the restroom when I was not around. You should have waited till I returned to go to the bathroom. You picked a bad time.”

This is what my mind immediately went to…this contradictory statement is what my mind was telling me to say based on my frustrated feelings. These thoughts had my integrity slip and my respect wash away. “Hey, please go to the restroom without relying on me. Oh hey…please wait till I am around so that you can go to the restroom….” Sure, Kevin. Let me go ahead and do that  :/


I don’t want to be empty with contradictions.

As a human being, I have a strong need to respect the person I am and hold integrity through my consistent, undeterred actions.

As I connected my desire to my needs as a human being, I began to think the contradiction all the way through with a purpose to act with respect and integrity and extinguish the thoughts that I could have impulsively acted on if I do not think it all the way through.
Bam! I realized what happened. My words I spoke to myself were contradictory. However, there was something buried deep down that was telling myself that she needs to continue growing with her time-management skills. Here is what I consciously dug out and what I would concisely say:

“I just heard you leave the desk for the restroom when I was not around. I am happy that you are comfortable leaving without me as a crutch. However, you left during a very busy period…breakfast. That is when there is a constant stream of guests coming to the desk. Please plan your day according to the normal peaks and valleys of the hotel’s activity. If you make a mistake (as all humans do) in your scheduling or have an emergency pop up during these busy times, please describe that to me and I will be there to help without hesitation (in hopes I am there or nearby at that time).”

These frustrating feelings come up many times throughout my day. They cloud my desire for clear, conscious thinking and choices. Unfortunately for my self-worth, I act on these impulses too frequently.

I need to slowly and more frequently build my self-awareness to consciously act towards my meaningful direction. It is all I have when left alone in the dark. I can make myself believe that power, money, and image will make me happy…all the while my character inside is left distracted, overwhelmed and untouched resulting in emptiness and a cold, inauthentic and meaningless personality.


Glen Hansard – Lowly Deserter

“Lowly, lowly, it must be lonesome,
Take a hard look at yourself,
And your brother still in battle;
Sing his praises, or don’t sing again

When that question comes to find you,
Don’t deny you never ran,
And when that feeling comes to take you,
Take you walking the streets of hell”

About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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