The laundry room is beginning to be the least pleasant place on the ship. It’s so extremely hot and humid when all of the machines are running! Don’t get me wrong, we’re incredibly blessed to have one. It’s a necessary evil but how did people do it before the Zombie Apocalypse? There is a new-found respect among everyone working in the laundry for those people who worked at this type of job for days, weeks and years.
And there were a few reluctant new additions to the laundry work crew this morning. The captain had been promptly informed of the 18 individuals who felt that the shared work duties were beneath them. The captain is obviously not a stupid man, nor was he going to allow anyone that can work to be treated any differently than anyone else.
In the interest of fairness, he had asked the 18 members of the dissenting survivor population to meet with him along with a few of the other survivors that had been delegated into more authoritative roles. That happened to include Ben and myself. The captain asked them the reasoning behind why they felt that they should not have to participate in the work schedule. Were there any health issues that made the proposed work hard for them? Something that they had not yet disclosed?
The man with the ivory cane spoke first. His response shocked (and disgusted) the room; with the exception of his wealthy and privileged friends of course.
His name, we learned was Thomas Rosenberg and according to himself, he was worth billions. And he didn’t make billions of dollars over the course of his life to have to turn around and wash someone else’s clothes, make someone else’s dinner, or clean up after anybody else.. His face got very red as he told us these little nuggets of knowledge, each fact punctuated by the staccato tap of ivory on oak.
The rest of the non-compliant group all nodded their heads in agreement, allowing Rosenberg to speak for them. It was obvious that they had no intention of taking themselves down off of their high horses.
Captain Kanelstrand sat back a moment just staring at them. From the look on his face, it was clear that he didn’t quite know what to make of the ultimatum that had been presented to him.
When the captain finally spoke he started off with such a defeated attitude that even I had first assumed he was going to cave to wealthy. In the very recent past he had worked for a company that had catered to bridging the gap between the wealthy and a luxurious sailing experience. Would he kowtow to these people now like he would have kowtowed to his patrons in the past?
The next words out of his mouth were remarkable. Remarkable and unforgettable.
“If you choose to abstain from work duty, I’ll consider that your decision to leave the ship the next time that we stop. Anyone that wishes to lodge a complaint with Regal Caribbean is certainly welcome to do so. In fact I’m sure they’ll be all to happy to arrange to have you for lunch to discuss the issue. I expect your answers by morning. Either be at your posts ready to work or expect to be dropped off as soon as possible.”
The faces of the 18 paled and there was some outrage expressed as one would expect. They had a choice to make: swallow their prides or face the Undead on land again. The decision seemed so simple but at the time no one knew what they would choose.
In the end, 17 showed up for work duty the next morning. The only hold out was Thomas Rosenberg. His cane, billions, and pride must be very important to him.