By All Means, Please Take Two

Ah, so as stated from my last post, the pool has been opened for the season at my hotel.  We had an exceptionally busy night at the hotel and in the pool the other night.  To me, it was too cold outside yet to be swapping my sweater for a two-piece, but what do I know?  I’m a Southern Girl in the Midwest Snow.  At one point I counted 15 people in both the pool and hot tub together.

Needless to say, the area was teeming with people.  We keep a healthy supply of towels in the pool room, so, with only 15 people at the max having been in there at once, I should have had plenty of towels.

Not so.  By the end of the night I had five towels left because people insisted on having pillows for their leisurely soak in the hot tub.  Ugh, of course.

You know, it wouldn’t be an annoyance to me if it had been busier in the pool.  But when we’ve got about 50 pool towels and suddely I only have 5?  That’s an issue to me.

So, here I am doing all this laundry because people are helping themselves to two pool towels.

Pool towels.  I’m complaining about pool towels.

It’s still rather slow at the hotel.  Stay tuned for more.

Seriously, though… just use one towel!  Or bring your own pool towel next time.  We don’t just pull clean towels out of our asses, you know!

Don’t Save The Kitty

Now, if some of you know me personally, you know that I am an animal person.  I was the little kid that would bring home lizards, snails, frogs, snakes, kittens, puppies, whatever from my romps in the neighborhood.  It go to the point that when I started hanging out with friends with driver’s licenses and cars that my mom would always tell me “Don’t you come home with another pet!” when I would leave the house.

Because, well, I would.

Even now, as an adult, I have tried to bring home numerous animals.  Lately, my obsession is cats.  I grew up with dogs, so I am discovering how much I like cats since I was out on my own for a long while.  It started with taking in a beautiful blue girl that was hanging out on my front porch at my apartment. She ended up having babies.  I loved the three of them so much.  I named her Eva.  She was amazing.  She was loving and always so happy to see you.  Sometimes TOO happy.

Then, when I moved to Houston, Frederick came into my life.  I fell in love with him instantly.  Now he is the brother to my dog, Pork Chop.  Such a great story the both of them have, really.  But it is not the point of this entry this week.

You see, my most recent adventure to try to save a kitten from the blustering snow and outdoors landed me in the hospital.

It was a cold Saturday night and I was in the laundry room digging around for the right light bulb with which to change out one in the lobby with.  As I’m climbing down the ladder, I see a plump black kitten romping across the snowy lot.  I immediately jump into action!  I put the light bulb down (honestly surprised I didn’t break it…) and run around the office and outside. I go quietly and try to make myself look smaller by crouching down and talking lightly to the kitten.  It stops and it meows at me quite a bit.  In that cute way that kittens have of meowing with their entire mouth.  I try to coax it in with just my voice.  And then it runs up under a guests’ vehicle.  I think that it is just going to keep running.  No, this baby is smart and immediately climbs up into the truck.  It’s a big truck.  A big Ford truck with an engine a mile deep.

I go back in and grab my coat, then knock on the guests’ door.  I apologize for bothering them but explain that I saw a kitten climb up into their vehicle and that I don’t want it to be trapped there, nor do I want them to find a dead kitten in their engine days later.  We search for 15 minutes.  I was saddened, but I figured it would come out if I had food.  I call my mom and they are luckily just across the street at the store.  They grab me a small can of cat food and bring it on over.

So, the waiting begins.  I have the can stuck outside the truck and the guys have their curtains open so they can watch for it and call me if they see it.

Five hours pass.  In that time, it had come out to eat at some point, the temperature dropped and the food froze and it started to snow again.  Finally, after a group of people I’d been waiting on showed up, the other guest calls me.  The kitten jumped out and is headed for the newly warmed engines.  I grab my coat and head out there with the can of food.

I’m too late.  It has already crawled up into one of the vans.  I only notice which one because of it’s fat little footprints in the snow.  I head back inside because this group of people are having a bit of a game-time and snack time in our breakfast bar.  One of the teenagers comes out with me with a key, its not for the right van.  She goes back in and comes back out a few minutes later with the right key and another guy.  We pop the hood and there’s the little baby looked dazed and confused right on top of the engine block.

Cutest, fluffiest little panther I’ve ever seen.

I was a dumbass and didn’t bring a towel with me and I wasn’t even wearing my gloves.  My hands are frozen and I’m shivering.  I dive and grab it behind the neck, but not well enough.  It bites into my first two fingers on my left hand.  I take the pain and try to sooth it.  I wrap it up in my coat and head inside, fingers oozing blood and covered in engine dirt.  It’s hissing a little bit, but not struggling.  It’s obviously a feral baby.

I get it inside, it runs to hide, I go to rinse off my bloody hands, throw some band aids on, and decide to tend to those later.  No big deal.  I get the sheriff’s department called because the local cat shelter is full and cannot take them, so unfortunately, I had to send this baby to the pound.  I hate that option, but with it being a small town, I’m sure someone will take the little one in.

The officer arrives, I relay the story to him, find a little box for the kitten, and set about trying to get it out of hiding.  I have to move a lot of things around in the office.  I get it grabbed, and I have a good grip on it this time.  It can’t move.  Then I make the grave mistake of trying to turn it around to place it in the box.  Terrified, it grabs a hold of my right index finger and clamps down.  I’m trying to relax my right hand so it will let go, trying to soothe it, trying not to move my finger because I know the more I struggle, the more it will bite.

It wouldn’t let go.  It just kept biting and clamping.  The officer runs back behind the desk and had to pry it’s mouth off of my hand.  All the while I am yelling curses because the pain is just too much at that point.  Because it’s teeth are still sunk into me, it’s not bleeding yet.  Once the officer took off and told me to get it checked out, I  go to the back and just start crying like a little pansy.

I’m not one for pain, blood, or needles.  I’m having a mini panic attack, feeling stupid for trying to rescue this kitten, and feeling like I’m going to pass out at any moment.  I text my fiance who is an amazing jack of all trades, really.  He is a volunteer firefighter and paramedic.  He tells me how to self treat it.  I find a big bottle of peroxide in our storage cabinet and luckily it has a squeeze top.  I drown my fingers in peroxide.  The bites are so painful I don’t even feel the burn of the chemical.  I just keep dousing and dousing.  My right index finger is swollen and red and purple.  I can’t move it and my whole right hand, for that matter, hurts.

Once I get home, my parents are awake because I told them about the whole fiasco.  Mom helps me bathe my finger in peroxide some more and then starts to squeeze the wound like I was instructed.  God, the squeezing was the worst.  Even my dog was so worried that I was being hurt he came to sit at my feet while I’m standing there getting my fingers squeezed.

I take some tylenol and head to bed.  Yeah.  I woke up and I still couldn’t move my finger.  It wasn’t as swollen as before, but god, it hurt.

So, after 3.5 hours in the hospital, two xrays (what ever the hell for???) two blood samples, and a giant bottle of anti-biotics later, I was released.  The doctor said that I was lucky that I didn’t have to be on an IV.  So, all that peroxide saved me from having to sit in the hospital for a day or longer hooked up to an IV, which, honestly, would have probably sent me into panic mode. I was already panicked enough that the first blood draw came out of my hand.  I keep looking at the scab for that one and wondering if I accidentally hit it if blood will spurt everywhere.

Like I sad, I’m afraid of blood.

Moral of the story?  Don’t try to save a kitten while you’re at work unless you’re going to be smart about it.  Cat bites can turn ugly pretty fast.  While my finger is doing much better now (writing this three days later), it still hurts to type or hold a pen correctly.  And I definitely can’t use my index finger when picking items up.

Be careful with kitties.  Their bites have ended in surgeries or worse.  So, if you get bit by a cat, don’t delay.  Clean that bitch up, go to the doctor.

Now, please enjoy a small slideshow of my injuries.

Bend Over, the Needy & Greedy Are Coming

There are many similarities between working in retail customer service and working in hotel customer service.  However, there are also many differences.  The main one being that people treat you more like a servant as a front desk clerk at a hotel.

I’m sure it’s an easy mistake for people to make, I mean, I’m working in the hospitality business, I should have assumed that a collar and leash came with the deal. But still, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be so willing to help you out when all you do is abuse me and talk down to me.

Recently, I was already in a grumpy mood when I came into work, so when the first guest I encountered whined about his room before even going in it, I was less than kind about allowing him to be moved.  This man was probably a good two feet taller than me and I still managed to get him to cow down to me by insisting, very firmly, that it made no difference if he was in the outter hallway or inner hallway of the hotel.  Not to mention, don’t you dare try to complain about your room assignment before you’ve even been in there to see if its actually going to be a problem or not.  This isn’t the Hilton or Marriott, asshole.

Then, after getting into his room, he called down to inquire about a straight-backed chair that could be used. I suggested him using the breakfast bar to conduct work, or even the desk in the lobby.  But, before I could suggest that maybe he just take one of the breakfast bar chairs back to his room, he hung up on me in a huff.

Nope, sorry.  I wasn’t even done speaking to you, sir, now you definitely will not get kindness or help from me.  I could have cared less if he wrote a bad review about me, because quite frankly, I am unwilling to show respect to a stranger who is unwilling to show respect for me.  Don’t blame me for our corporate offices wanting us to take desks and chairs out of rooms with two beds.  Blame corporate and let them know how much you dislike it, not us.  We’re just doing what we are told to keep our name.

Then that very same night I encountered a couple that were just outrageous.  First of all, the man did not tell me there would be two people in the room.  He kept referring to himself singularly, so I assumed it was just him.  Yes, I should have asked to make sure, but when someone is speaking in singular terms, it’s usually pretty safe to assume these things.

Well, I got him checked in only to realize about two minutes later that he has a wife who was demanding and rude to me.  They did legitimately have a problem with the first room they were checked into, so I moved them.  She called down at the front desk to alert me of the problem, and I issued keys and headed down the hall to get them moved as quickly as possible.  From the time we hung up on the phone, to the time I made it down the hall, maybe 45-60 seconds had passed.  And no, I am not over exaggerating.

She was huffing and puffing at me and said “well that took you long enough.”

Whoa, slow down woman.  Just because you’re on an oxygen tank doesn’t give you the right to abuse me.  I got there as fast as I could and I put you in a room with an un-broken security latch.  I could have told you tough cookies and left you in there, but I moved you, and even made sure you were able to get all of your luggage into your room easily before I left.

Then I hear on my days off that she rose hellfire to complain about all of the horrible things about the hotel.  My manager simply apologized to her and stated that if they were still having issues with the hotel, then they were free to take their things to another hotel in the area.

They decided to stay another night.

People expect a lot from you in the hotel business, even if you aren’t a high-class hotel.  They expect you, as a desk clerk, to be able to turn into an electrician, plumber, and tour guide at the flip of a hat.  It’s not good enough that you give them the weather forecast for the night or next day in the city they will be travelling to next, you must tell them if there is a chance of rain, what the humidity is, the wind chill, and the heat index.  And you must also tell them the best route to get there, no matter if you’ve never been there before.

It’s not enough that you give them free laundry detergent for the guest washer, they also expect you to listen for it and change it for them.  Nope, sorry dudes, it’s called a guest laundry for a reason.  Not your mom, not your maid.  Want me to do those things for you?  At least tip me or sound sincere when you say thank you.

Oh, look out, here comes an entitled old businessman who believes that because of all of his hard work over the last few decades that I need to get on my hands and knees to shine his shoes.

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.