Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sixth Floor Studio

Late last year I was unemployed, and had been for a while. I live in fairly small town full of young people, a lot of which are unemployed or underemployed. Though I really wanted something in retail (preferably with clothes so I could look at the pretty patterned fabrics that I so enjoy), my job search caseworker put me forward for a course in Housekeeping. Basically, it was a qualification to get me ready for work cleaning hotel rooms.

After two weeks of extremely basic theory, they sent me to a local hotel for work experience. I spent the week discovering that most of the stuff we had learned was pretty inaccurate in practice, scrubbing toilets, wiping down surfaces and changing bed sheets. Before I had even started the course, I knew that all this wasn't really for me. Even the lovely lady who supervised and trained me for that week was pretty insistent that I should go to uni and find a better career, do anything else but stay there. I didn't get offered a job at the end of the work experience, and I didn't really care to follow up.

However, I did learn one interesting thing during my short stay at the hotel. Each room had a little tea and coffee caddy in the kitchen, with teabags, sugar packets, hot chocolates and coffee sachets. These are pretty common in hotel rooms, as far as I've seen. The interesting thing was, the rooms on the top floor got a different brand of tea and coffee than the rest of the hotel. When I asked about this, my supervisor told me that the rooms at the top were more expensive, and those people liked to feel like they were getting something a little extra. The pedantry amazed me. Slightly more expensive tea and coffee sachets for the people in the bigger rooms and the nicer views up on the fifth floor. Such a tiny, unnoticeable detail in the scheme of things.

If I learned anything during my short stint as a housekeeper, it's this. I don't want to be a housekeeper. I don't know what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it isn't that. So I decided then and there that I'd finally get my online business started. At least it's something. If I can sell my artwork, even a few pieces here and there, it means I'm making some sort of a living from something that I love. And maybe, if I try hard and practice, it could even become a career.

That was when I was inspired to name my art studio. One day I won't be the person cleaning the fancy hotel rooms, I'll be staying in them, drinking the slightly more expensive tea and coffee. And although that particular hotel only had five floors, I went with Sixth Floor Studio, because I want to aspire to slightly more than staying in a hotel in my own home town.

As a sidenote, I now have a job in retail that I'm really happy with. I get to sell bedding and ornaments, so I get to enjoy looking at the patterns and touching the fabrics like I had wanted all along. So even though it's a small step in the right direction, there is definitely something to be said for holding out for the things that you really want.

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