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The Hotel: A Week in the Life of the Plaza by Sonny Kleinfield

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IN the mild, calm morning, the building already hummed with energy, and there was a melodious chatter of guests moving through the echoing hallways toward breakfast. Outside, the sun was very strong. Thelma Jordan, carrying a bulky plastic tray and feeling slightly beat, got ready for a day of cleaning. All the maids on the various floors—bright-eyed women in starched uniforms—were gathering together their room-cleaning materials and getting started on their shift. Jordan glanced at her watch. Eight-thirty. She decided the best thing to do was not to think about how tired she was but just to move.

She was an alert, heavyset, melancholy woman in her forties, with thick dark hair and somewhat protuberant eyes. Like the other maids, she wore a ...

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