The Pool is Optional

When I was small, my father worked in the hotel business.  I was too young to understand anything other than what was placed right in front of me at that point in time.  Now I understand how frustrating of a business it is no matter what your job title is with the hotel.

The hotel I work at is one of the few with a pool, let alone an indoor pool, so that’s always a big ticket item and it’s why a lot of people choose to stay at our hotel in the summer.  I mean, even as a kid travelling with my parents, I remember hoping beyond hope that each place we stopped at would have a pool, because there’s nothing cooler than getting to swim at a pool that isn’t where you normally go swim at!

It’s one thing when it’s a disappointment to the kids that the pool is closed for maintenance or bad weather.  They will pout and get over it within a few minutes.  It’s another when it’s an adult upset about it.  They assume that just because they’re adults and they’re paying for a room that that gives them the right to use the pool.

First of all, a hotel having a pool is an added, optional amenity.  Second of all, it doesn’t matter if it’s a pool set outdoors or indoors, if there is lightning in the area, the pool will be closed because I’m not risking my job or the hotel’s reputation because I let you guys swim and the building to hit with lightning.  NEWS FLASH! The building gets struck by lightning?  Guess where all of those toasty electrical currents are headed?  That’s right, straight for your fat ass floating around the pool.  Nuh, uh.  You can go sit in your bathtub if you want to be in the water during bad weather.  At least then it’s not my or the hotel’s responsibility when you turn out to be a bit fried.

Yeah, swim at your own risk, but I’m still responsible for the guests in my hotel during my shift and I really don’t feel like calling 911 or filling out incident reports and getting all these people involved.  Not worth it, thanks.  I get paid to get you a room, answer your questions, and give you some extra towels or a toothbrush.  I don’t get paid to clean up your dumbass mess.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a person demand a discount because the pool was closed or the hot tub was out of order.  No, I’m not discounting your room because we have a severe thunderstorm, and no I’m not discounting your room because the hot tub randomly decided to shut off.  Those are things we can’t predict.  It’s not like a car lot having a hail sale after a storm.  Let me just send out flier for our “Lightning Storm Room Discount.”  I can get those to press before the storm passes, right?

I even had one lady ask me if I “planned” on having severe weather when they got there.  It took a lot of will power to bite my tongue and not respond with “Oh, yes, ma’am, we should see a pretty nasty system rolling in around 7:13pm, around the time you estimate you will be arriving at my lovely establishment.”

Instead, I sarcastically said “Well, no one really plans on bad weather, but there are predictions for it in our area, and if it happens to come through around that time, the pool will be close and no one can use it.”

One night while storms were rolling in and out of the area I had one kid pester the ever-living hell out of me about the pool.  I was about to phone up his parents in the room, where they were, not watching their kid, and tell them to pick up their kid.  The mother finally came down and used the lobby computer for a while and then herded him back up the room when she was finished.  I was thankful for that.

Then a group of teenagers the same night kept pestering me, too.  Out of sheer annoyance, even after the threat of severe weather passed, I kept the pool closed because I was so damn pissed off about being bugged so much.  Plus, I didn’t feel like tracking these people down to tell them it was open.  There was no point in opening the pool for that last half hour anyway.  All they would have done is bitched and moaned that I had to close the pool while they were still having fun.

Other people like to moan about it being “too cold” and “why isn’t it heated?” Uhm, first of all it’s 102 outside and you want a heated pool? Are you fucking nuts?  Second of all, the water is room temperature at all times, grow a pair and jump in.  It’s not like you’re jumping into the Colorado River of Icy Doom.  Shit, that water is even still cold as it cycles down into New Braunfels.  Bone-chillingly so.

I cannot wait until it’s closed for the season.  Then again, I’ll have to listen to the “isn’t it heated?” complaint all over again.


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