Saturday, September 05, 2009
Full Moon Day
Five o’clock rolled around early this morning. I had to be in work by 7 am to open up the hotel on this Labor Day weekend. Looking out my Wall of Windows in my great room I saw a full moon hanging in the sky. That portended the day to follow.
First thing I do on the way to work on the morning shift is to stop at the Food Lion in Five Points to pick up the morning papers to place in the hotel’s breakfast room. At this early in the morning, everyone is moving slow, including yours truly. At quarter to seven I burst through the doors to Food Lion looking for the papers. No papers. Right behind me is a rough looking gal delivering the papers. I quickly grab the papers I need and I’m off to work. I arrive shortly before 7 am, clock in and immediately encounter a Needy Guest.
Now my job at the hotel is the front desk clerk. I check guests in the hotel, I take reservations, I answer questions like which restaurant serves the best crab cakes, where can they rent bicycles and other many and varied questions. That’s my job. That’s what they pay me to do. But, as all hotel front desk clerks know, there are those guests who find it impossible to pass the front desk without asking a multitude of questions and requesting special treatment. These guests are called Needy Guests. Well, we had one this morning. Oh Mother of God did we have one this morning, afternoon, and all day long. “How do you get to the beach?” “Can I walk to the beach?” “Do you have towels?” “Do you have a bag for the towels?” “Where is the library?” “How do I get to the library?” “Can I feed my child in the breakfast room?” The questions continued on and on ad infinitum. If it sounds like I’m complaining, well I am. This woman wore me out. Oh yes, the biggie was could I wash her baby bottles and have them ready at 12 pm in time before her little darling’s nap. Oh yes, that’s what we specialize in at the hotel, using our dishwasher to wash baby bottles.
Well, enough about her. Another guest comes to the front desk and tells me he’s not happy with his room. He says he doesn’t have a balcony. I check his reservation and find that his wife made the reservation over the Internet. He tells me he feels claustrophobic and “can’t breath” because he doesn’t have a balcony and asks me if I could move him to another room. I tell him I cannot because we are sold out. He asked me again if I could “do something.” He tells me that he wasn’t told that his room (actually a very nice suite with a sun room) didn’t have a balcony. Mind you, his wife made the reservation herself over the Internet. On our website if the room doesn’t have a balcony we don’t say “Room doesn’t have a balcony.” He isn’t happy with this explanation and says to me “Would you rent a room without a balcony?” Uh, actually I have. In fact I think every room I have ever rented in my life did not have a balcony. But I could tell what he was trying to do my challenging me with his confrontational questions. He was trying to make me defensive. He wanted to make HIS mistake MY mistake. I wasn’t going to permit that to happen. Even though my main adult business career was trust operations, since 1994 I’ve worked part time as a hotel front desk clerk. I’ve seen this movie before. I know how this game works and I wasn’t going to be drawn into it. I told him he could sit on the Waterview Room deck which faces the canal. He still wasn’t smiling but he realized that I wasn’t going to pull a private room for him out of you know where that had a balcony.
The rest of the morning continued in a similar vein. My manager said “There must be a full moon with all the weirdness.” I confirmed to him that yes, indeed there was a full moon. I was so glad when 3 o’clock rolled around and my shift came to an end and I turned over the reins of The Full Moon Inn to my relief, Monica. I just got off the phone with Monica. As the readers of this blog probably surmised by now, the weirdness continues. She related to me some truly strange tales that happened since I left this afternoon including that same guest who felt “claustrophobic” in his room. He spilled a can of soda on his bed, expensive comforter and all. Nice. Thank goodness Monica was able to get the comforter in the washer before the soda dried and she was able to remove the stain. She has about four hours to go before her shift ends. I don’t go in again until Monday afternoon at 3 PM. By then all the guests will be gone.
Oh, one big fact I left out. There were at least 14 kids under 5 years of age that went into our breakfast room this morning. And these little darlings didn’t walk quietly either. They ran screaming, both ways. Later on one of the guests brought down a bag of “trash” for me to dispose of. Yes, you guess it. The bag of “trash” was a bag of dirty diapers. Ah yes, all those years of night school to get my college degree and all those years of Mr. Big Shot Operations Manager in the Trust Department and here I am today disposing of a bag of s..t. I’m good.