Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 5,112
    #1

    A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Would you please correct the third part of my short story?

    We went downstairs for a swim in the hotel pool. As we stood under the shower, we noticed that the drain was clogged with hairs and dirt. My my wife looked up above the shower and saw two large, black spiders. She screamed and slipped on the wet tiles, and if I had not been beside her to hold her up, she would have probably broken her leg. We both were upset, and I immediately went to the reception desk and made a complaint to Mr John, who promptly went searching for his boss. Presently, Mr Schulz came to the pool, prodding with a finger in front of him a young woman. He shoved her down to the drain and holding her by her neck shouted at her, “Why didn’t you do your job properly?” He then pulled her upwards and pointing at the spiders shouted again, “Do you want to eat them up?”

    The poor girl was visibly in distress. There were tears and fear in her dark eyes. I wished I had not complained, and felt sorry for the cleaner. We were astounded when we saw Mr Schulz taking a toothbrush out of the inner pocket of his double-breasted jacket. He gave it to the girl and ordered her to clean all the tiles with it. The poor girl got on with her task at once without ever looking up. Mr Schulz then turned to us, apologized profusely and strode out. My wife and I were deeply affected by what we had seen and were shaken to the point of tears. What had happened was a kind of torture, which was unbelievable to be happening in a civilised country. I asked the girl about her name, and she answered without looking up that her name was Rafaela. She had come from a little Portuguese village where she grew up in a family with six brothers and sisters. The family depended on her job and her money, which she sent home every month. She told us all this while crying and scrubbing the tiles with the toothbrush. I took a pity on her and gave her some money. She looked up at me for a second, thanked me and shoved the money under her apron. Do I need to tell you that we had thought about her the rest of the evening? Before I went to sleep, I slunk downstairs to the pool and saw her toiling on her hands and knees, her hair dishevelled, her clothes drenched in sweat.

    Next morning at breakfast, as we tasted our tea, both my wife and I were disagreeably surprised that it was cold. You can certainly agree with us that cold tea is almost undrinkable. It leaves a bitter aftertaste in your mouth, which can persist for hours. I saw my wife squirm and wince, and we silently understood each other. If I had not seen what had happened to the poor cleaner, I would have immediately called Zack and complained, but as I was aware of the consequences and the punishment that could befall the waiter if Mr Schulz discovered the mistake, I was unwilling to bring this minor mistake to his attention. I had chatted with the man the day before, and he told me that he had left his hamlet somewhere in the Balkans looking for a better future. There in the godforsaken village he had his parents, who saw him as the only light in their precarious existence. Zack used to work at two and sometimes even three different places and save every coin to build a new house and start a family with a young woman from his village, who was patently waiting for him and his money. I did not have the heart to cause him more trouble.

    Unfortunately, before I was able to prevent her, my wife had lifted her hand and started calling Zack, who was on the other side of the dining room, busy with another table. She probably would have not been so insistent if she had known that Zack’s boss was around, but when we saw him, it was too late. Mr Schulz strode towards us, his well-polished shoes squeaking and shining under the chandeliers lighting. My wife almost froze. She still held her hand in the air when Mr Schulz came up to our table, bowed lightly and kicked his shoes together. “Madam, something is wrong?”
    I felt fear tightening inside my body, crawling upwards towards the throat where it would eventually strangle me. I could not bear to look at his piercing eyes. I tried to laugh off our complaint. I gave him a smile although my teeth began to chatter. “It’s nothing; honestly... Just our tea is not warm...”
    Mr Schulz scowled at the pot, grabbed a cup from the nearby table, poured some tea into it and, when he tasted it, his face darkened. “Anne, are you all right?” I was worried watching my wife’s expressionless eyes. I laid my hand on hers, which limply fell on the table. Physically, she was beside me, but her mind had wandered far away. Her eyes turned glassy, her mouth half-open like fish gasping for air. I panicked, afraid of losing her forever.

    “Zack!” Mr Schulz’s voice was booming through the dining room. Instantly, the little man stood beside him, looking up at him like a beaten man praying inside himself that some invisible power would save him from humiliation. If he were to be sacked, he would never have courage to meet his family again.
    Mr Schulz thrust him a cup from which he had been drinking a few moments before and ordered him to drink. Zack winced and lifted the cup to his lips as if it were deadly poison. He took a sip or two, clucked and bowed his head.
    “How does it taste,” Mr Schulz’s voice was booming again
    “I don’t know, I never drink tea,” Zack answered without looking up.
    “Is it warm or cold?”
    “Tepid, I would say, sir.”
    “Tepid? Put the cup back on the table, please.”
    No sooner had he done what was ordered than Mr Schulz’s claw-like gripped his neck firmly and pushed him forward towards an aquarium, which stood on a sideboard. With his one hand Mr Schulz lifted the cover and dunked the wretched man’s head into the water with such power that a few goldfish landed on the sideboard and floor and went on gasping and flapping. Some women screamed hysterically, some old men clutched their hearts and gasped for air. I am ashamed to admit that I had completely forgotten my wife and was overwhelmed with the scene. The only person who seemed not to be impressed at all was Mr Schulz, who pulled Zack out of the water asking him what the water was like. “Tepid,” Zack answered, and in the next moment, his head was again under the water, where Mr Schulz held him until Zack almost collapsed. Finally he pulled him up by his collar and Zack retched and panted for breath.
    “I apologize for interrupting your breakfast,” Mr Schulz said, “Sometimes you have to use drastic methods to teach the staff a lesson. Some of them are lazy, some dumb and some careless. I am here to remind them who the boss is.”

    He marched off, and I turned to my wife, who appeared to be showing signs of improvement. She started to mumble although incoherently, and the colour returned to her face. Zack brought us fresh tea, his hair and clothes dripping with water. “Why is he so wet,” my wife asked, and I explained to her it was just some water, it would dry out soon. Some guests were still upset and discussed the incident, but hot strong tea calmed them down. Later I caught up with Zack and asked him about his boss and he told me Mr Schulz worked in a prison a few years ago but was dismissed because of improper conduct.
    “Sir, don’t be misled by his behaviour. He can also be kind and gentle. When my mother was ill, he let me travel home and even gave me some money.”
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 12,044
    #2

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Paragraph one. Say:

    ...the drain was clogged with hair and dirt.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 12,044
    #3

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Perhaps:

    My wife looked up and saw two large black spiders.

  4. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 7,578
    #4

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    We went downstairs for a swim in the hotel pool. As we stood under the shower, we noticed that the drain was clogged with hair and dirt. My my wife looked up above the shower and saw two large, black spiders. She screamed and slipped on the wet tiles, and if I had not been beside her to hold catch her, up, she would have probably broken her leg. We both were upset, and I immediately went to the reception desk and made a complaint to Mr John [use a surname], who promptly went searching for his boss. Presently, Mr Schulz came to the pool, prodding with a finger in front of him a young woman in front of him. He shoved her down to the drain and holding her by her neck shouted at her, “Why didn’t you do your job properly?” He then pulled her upwards and pointing at the spiders shouted again, “Do you want to eat them up?”

    The poor girl was visibly in distress. There were tears and fear in her dark eyes. I wished I had not complained, and felt sorry for the cleaner. We were astounded when we saw Mr Schulz taking a toothbrush out of the inner pocket of his double-breasted jacket. He gave it to the girl and ordered her to clean all the tiles with it. The poor girl got on with her task at once without ever looking up. Mr Schulz then turned to us, apologized profusely and strode out. My wife and I were deeply affected by what we had seen and were shaken moved to the point of tears. What had happened was a kind of torture, which was unbelievable to be happening in a civilised country. I asked the girl about her name, and she answered without looking up that her name was Rafaela. She had come from a little Portuguese village where she grew up in a family with six brothers and sisters. The family depended on her job and her money, which she sent home every month. She told us all this while crying and scrubbing the tiles with the toothbrush. I took pity on her and gave her some money. She looked up at me for a second, thanked me and shoved the money under her apron. Do I need to tell you that we had thought about her the rest of the evening? Before I went to sleep, I slunk downstairs to the pool and saw her toiling on her hands and knees, her hair dishevelled, her clothes drenched in sweat.

    Next morning at breakfast, as we tasted sipped our tea, both my wife and I were disagreeably surprised and disappointed that it was cold. You can certainly agree with us that cold tea is almost undrinkable. It leaves a bitter aftertaste in your mouth, which can persist for hours. I saw my wife squirm and wince, and we silently understood each other. If I had not seen what had happened to the poor cleaner, I would have immediately called Zack and complained, but as I was aware of the consequences and the punishment that could befall the waiter if Mr Schulz found out, discovered the mistake, I was unwilling to bring this minor mistake issue to his attention. I had chatted with the man the day before, and he told me that he had left his hamlet somewhere in the Balkans looking for a better future. There in the godforsaken village he had his parents, who saw him as the only light in their precarious existence. Zack used to work at two and sometimes even three different places and save every coin penny to build a new house and start a family with a young woman from his village, who was patiently waiting for him and his money. I did not have the heart to cause him more trouble.

    Unfortunately, before I was able to prevent her, my wife had lifted her hand and started calling Zack, who was on the other side of the dining room, busy with another table. She probably would not have not been so insistent if she had known that Zack’s boss was around, but when we saw him, it was too late. Mr Schulz strode towards us, his well-polished shoes squeaking and shining under the chandeliers lighting. My wife almost froze. She still held her hand in the air when Mr Schulz came up to our table, bowed lightly and kicked his shoes together. “Madam, is something is wrong?”
    I felt fear tightening inside my body, crawling upwards towards the my throat where it would eventually strangle me. I could not bear to look at his piercing eyes. I tried to laugh off our complaint. I gave him a smile although my teeth began to chatter. “It’s nothing; honestly... Just our tea is not warm...”
    Mr Schulz scowled at the pot, grabbed a cup from the nearby table, poured some tea into it and, when he tasted it, his face darkened. “Anne, are you all right?” I was worried watching my wife’s expressionless eyes. I laid my hand on hers, which limply fell on the table. Physically, she was beside me, but her mind had wandered far away. Her eyes turned glassy, her mouth half-open like a fish gasping for air. I panicked, afraid of losing her forever.

    “Zack!” Mr Schulz’s voice was booming through the dining room. Instantly, the little man stood beside him, looking up at him like a beaten man praying inside himself that some invisible power would save him from humiliation. If he were to be sacked, he would never have the courage to meet face his family again.
    Mr Schulz thrust him a cup from which he had been drinking a few moments before and ordered him to drink. Zack winced and lifted the cup to his lips as if it were deadly poison. He took a sip or two, clucked and bowed his head.
    “How does it taste?” Mr Schulz’s voice was booming again.
    “I don’t know; I never drink tea,” Zack answered without looking up.
    “Is it warm or cold?”
    “Tepid, I would say, sir.”
    “Tepid? Put the cup back on the table, please.”
    No sooner had he done what was he was ordered to do than Mr Schulz’s claw-like hand gripped his neck firmly and pushed him forward towards an aquarium, which stood on a sideboard. With his one hand Mr Schulz lifted the cover and dunked the wretched man’s head into the water with such power that a few goldfish landed on the sideboard and floor and went on gasping for air and flapping. Some women screamed hysterically, and some old men clutched at their chests in sheer horror and disgust. hearts and gasped for air. I am ashamed to admit that I had completely forgotten my wife and was overwhelmed with the scene. The only person who seemed not to be impressed at all was Mr Schulz, who pulled Zack out of the water asking him what the water was like. “Tepid,” Zack answered, and in the next moment, his head was again under the water, where Mr Schulz held him until Zack almost collapsed. Finally he pulled him up by his collar and Zack retched and panted for breath.
    “I apologize for interrupting your breakfast,” Mr Schulz said, “Sometimes you have to use drastic methods to teach the staff a lesson. Some of them are lazy; some dumb and some careless. I am here to remind them who the is boss." is.”

    He marched off, and I turned to my wife, who appeared to be showing signs of improvement. She started to mumble although incoherently, and the colour returned to her face. Zack brought us fresh tea, his hair and clothes dripping with water. “Why is he so wet,” my wife asked, and I explained to her it was just some water, it would dry out soon. Some guests were still upset and discussed the incident, but hot strong tea calmed them down. Later, I caught up with Zack and asked him about his boss, and he told me Mr Schulz worked in a prison a few years ago but was dismissed because of improper conduct.
    “Sir, don’t be misled by his behaviour. He can also be kind and gentle. When my mother was ill, he let me travel home and even gave me some money.”
    TO BE CONTINUED
    Are you sure this man's name was Schultz and not Hitler?

  5. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 5,112
    #5

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    teechar,

    Thank you for your corrections. You already know how much I appreciate your and Tareel's help. Mr Schultz represents an authoritarian boss you can find in almost all companies. They strictly follow the rules and show almost no feelings. They are like a miniature Hitler because they never got the chance to develop fully. You can almost smell them. These are people who usually tell you, "I only do my duty." But I have used this person as an exercise to try to create a character who is at the same time a caricature and a believable character to create movement in my short story. Without him, the story would not be so interesting.

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 12,044
    #6

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Perhaps:

    My wife looked up and saw two large black spiders.
    And then she screamed and would have fallen had I not been there to catch her.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 12,044
    #7

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Perhaps:

    Presently, Mr. Schulz came to the pool. He had a young woman with him, and from the way she was dressed she was clearly a hotel employee.

  8. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 5,112
    #8

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    I think that it is unnecessary to write "from the way she was dressed she was clearly a hotel employee," because from the scene which follows it is understandable that she is a cleaner.

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 12,044
    #9

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Yes, but as a reader I want to know immediately why the young woman is with him. Also, the "poking" thing doesn't work. (It is more likely to confuse your readers rather than inform them.)

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 12,044
    #10

    Re: A Letter of Complaint, part three

    Paragraph two. Say:

    Do I need to tell you that we thought about her for the rest of the evening?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Similar Threads

  1. A Letter of Complaint, part two
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 18-Nov-2016, 19:29
  2. A Letter of Complaint, part three
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 24-Oct-2014, 15:03
  3. Short story, A Letter of Complaint, part two
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-Oct-2014, 23:00
  4. Short story, A Letter of Complaint, part one
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-Oct-2014, 21:21

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •