By All Means, Please Go Jump in the Empty Concrete Pit

Winter rolls in in the middle of the night while Autumn is still teasing us with her warm days and nights and cold breezes.  You think to yourself, I can go swimming one last time.

Then you realize it’s December and you’d rather cuddle under the blankets than step outside into the massive freezer that is Earth.

Thus is the reason why many hotels will shut down their pool areas during the winter.  Yes, even the indoor ones.  Why you ask?

Because hotels turn into The Shining in the winter and there are hardly any people there to justify keeping all of those pumps and water running for the occasional person who wants to freeze their nuts off in the pool, then kamikaze jump into the hot tub.  Plus, it’s nice to be able to clean up after a hard summer of unbathed children and adults getting into the pool and hot tub with their 12 hour drive funk.

“What do you mean your pool and hot tub are closed?”

“It’s winter.”

“But that’s when people want the hot tub the most!”

“I can rent you our three-room suite with a whirlpool tub if you need that.”

“No!  That’s too expensive.  God, is there ANYWHERE ELSE in this town that has a pool?”

“Only two other hotels have a pool, and they’re both outdoor and neither have a hot tub.  But they do have jacuzzi suites.  I’m sure they will be able to give you more information.”

“Well, we’ll just be moving along then.”

“Yes, have a good evening, good luck.”

I have this conversation with people almost nightly.  It’s ridiculous.  Yes, I realize that our pool is indoor, but the pool itself isn’t heated and even in September when it was still warm outside, barely anyone was in the pool.  It’s just not cost effective.  However, if you would like to see that our pool is “really closed,” by all means, I’ll let you go see the empty concrete pit that sits there.  I’m sure if you dump your water bottle over your head, it will stimulate the effects of me attempting to drown you in your precious chemical-filled water.

It’s hard to tell which is worse, people complaining that the pool is shut down due to bad weather, or people complaining that it is shut down in the winter.  This isn’t Texas where it’s warm most of the year.  This is Nebraska and sorry to say, it gets COLD here.

Have fun when you catch pneumonia, you prick.

 

A Little Story About a Hotel Called SHUT UP

As an employee of a hotel, I get a lot of people who want to talk to me.  Some people just want to tell me about their day, others want to tell me their life story.

And then there are those who want to use me as a therapist.

It’s nights like that when I wish the phone would ring off the hook or someone would come in to try to rob the place.  I mean, I don’t really want us to get robbed, but I would like to be saved from the chatters.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like to hear about people’s lives or the awesome things that they have gotten to do or see, I actually like that a lot.  For a moment, I can vicariously live through this person’s past or present experiences and it’s rather cool and exciting.  Sometimes other people have way cooler lives than I can ever dream of having.

Like for instance, several weeks ago, a guest came to stay in the hotel that legitimately wrote music for Nat King Cole back in the day.  His stories were amazing to listen to and I even managed to get his autograph for my mom who is a big fan of Nat King Cole’s music.

An example of something I don’t want to hear is when you are experiencing relationship issues that are no one’s fault but your own.  I don’t care, I don’t want to listen, and I most definitely don’t want to listen to it multiple times a week.  There’s a big difference between a one time thing and something drawn out.

Iv’e had guests want to sit in the lobby while they drank their beers and then proceeded to cry into the bottom of the can or bottle.  Before things got out of hand a few months back, it really wasn’t a big deal if a guest wanted to have a beer in the lobby, because it was normally later at night when no one was walking in very often.  Especially because they would normally finish a beer and leave.

Now it’s a big deal and because of issues I’ve had in the past, they have to keep that crap in their room.  I don’t want to deal with it.

I will make polite conversation because it’s my job, or I will let you continue your story because I am too polite and nice for my own good sometimes and have even let people talk my ear off for two hours because I couldn’t find a polite way of saying, “Please shut up, I really, honestly do not care, and I’m trying to watch Netflix in between guests. Oh, and I suppose I could dust something. But just, please, go away.”

Oh, it gets bad, and it seems the slower the hotel is, the more people want to talk to me.

I get it a lot on the phone, too.  Someone will call to ask about availability and rates and five minutes later, I am finally giving them the cost.  Because, oh my, they just had to tell me why they are calling me, where they are from, where they are going, and WHY before they can actually get around to letting me do my job, which is to try to rent out a room to them.

I don’t want to know how many grandchildren you have, I don’t want to hear about how you are being stepped all over by your partner, and I most certainly don’t want you to hang around in here and try to hit on me when you see a ring on my finger.

Go home, go to your room, go to sleep.  Hotel Shut Up is closed.

Open-Ended!

So, before I began back with my regular weekly updates (promise I’ll actually be better this time because some are set up in the queue now!), I would like to open this up for people to ask questions.  Ask me anything you think is relevant to this blog 😀  I’ll do my best to answer them the way you want me to.

 

I want to get involved with my readers, and I want you guys to get involved with me!  Go!

Wrong Number

Everyone dials a wrong number here and there, it’s just how life goes.  Most people are humble enough to realize their mistake right away, but others will try to argue with your or become suspicious of your answers.

That was the case here tonight (as I sit at work and type this quick entry out for all to enjoy).

Woman:”hi, is your hotel right next to the airport?” 
Me: “Uhm… ma’am…”
Woman: “Yeah, the Philadelphia Airport…”
Me: “I think you called the wrong number because this is a hotel in Nebraska.”
Woman: “Nebraska? This is the hotel though, isn’t it?”
Me: “Yes, but for one in Nebraska.”
Woman: “So is this a main headquarters number?”
Me: “Nope, you probably just transposed a number.”
Woman: “Oh. Uh. Bye.”

It was hard to tell if she was embarrassed or still not satisfied with my responses to her.  Either way, the fact that she kept trying to get information out of me that I didn’t have was hilarious and made this incredibly slow night just a tad bit better.

When My Desk Gets Slammed

Now, I realize now that I am not nearly as much of a hardass as I used to be when it comes to guest service, and part of me is saddened by that because I have seen how I have let people walk over me a bit in the hotel industry.  However, I do still manage to keep the creeps and cheaters away.  For the most part.

One evening, I had a guest come in who I know has stayed with us at least twice before since I started working there back in July.  He comes in every few months for a room.  Well, he probably won’t be now and that is just fine and dandy with me.  He came in inquiring about a room and wanting to know if he could have the same special that he had the last time.  I asked for his last name so that I could look up his previous stay.  I discovered that the deal he got his last stay was a special for that weekend and no longer available.  He was a bit perturbed, but agreed to the current deal anyway.  I told him that his previous stay he was in a room with two bed, and he asked about a room with a king size bed and I explained to him the difference in cost.  He decided on the type he stayed in the last time, and it just so happened that the exact room that he stayed in previously was available, so I put him in that room.

He gave off an air of superiority, but I figured that was just the type of man he was, and during his previous stay, I hadn’t experienced problems with him.  Well, goodness me was I wrong!  Not even three minutes later, he comes back into the lobby and is absolutely irate.  I mean, I could almost literally see the steam coming out of his ears.  I calmly asked him what i could do to help.  

He was angry because there was no desk in his room.  Again, trying to stay calm at his now beligerent yelling, I told him that this was the room he had stayed in before according to the computer system and that he had not had this complaint before.  He demanded to be moved to a room with a desk.  Well, the only rooms with desks are the king rooms which were more money than he was paying.

He lost it.  He absolutely lost it and started bitching and moaning about how he is a member of our rewards program and it is ridiculous that he gets treated this way and blah blah BLAH.

Oh, I was pissed, and the woman who runs the gift shop in the evenings was there as well, and she SYMPATHIZED with him.  Which pissed me off even more.

With quite the edge in my voice, I told him to calm down and realize that it is not my fault, I am not the one treating him like this and if he is so angry, he needed to call the customer service line to complain that yelling at me wasn’t going to change anything.

Then he slammed his hand down on the counter.

That was it.  I yelled at him and said “You can either take your things and go find another hotel or you can suck it up and pay extra money to get your precious desk.  Which will it be because quite frankly, I am done dealing with your abuse!”

I should have kicked him out right then and there or even called the cops, but I was feeling so angry that I would have rather taken his money just for being such an asshole to me than let some other hotel get his money.  Then again, it would have been amazing to have the cops escort him off the property.

The gift shop woman stood and looked between the both of us as I told the man that he was going to be paying more money and that he would have no right to try to fight it later if he tried.  I make sure to cover my bases when someone will be paying more or less than I originally stated.

After he left and moved to his room, the woman from the gift shop went on to tell me how she felt sorry for him.  I shot her an icy glare and told her to never tell me she felt sorry for a guest who verbally abused me like that again.  She apparently didn’t see how he was in the wrong.  It was apparently all of our parent company’s fault that he was feeling that way.  I frankly told her that no “It’s his fault for being a greedy, entitled asshole.”

And then I wrote in his guest folio that he was rude, abusive and that I refuse to deal with him again.  And he has since been placed on the Do Not Rent list.  However, I know he will not be back, and if he comes back while I’m there, I will simply tell him that we have no room left, even if I don’t have a single guest in the hotel.