THE SCENE: Early Saturday morning - Christmas Eve to be exact – at the Bell Desk. The phone rings.
INQUISITIVE FEMALE GUEST: Yes, I am in room…
It should be noted the not technically young lady had a heavy Old Country accent, which I recognized. We had met a day earlier when she was puffing up a storm outside the hotel’s front doors.
THE HOOK: I can see the room number on the phone, miss.
IFG: You can see in the room?
THE HOOK: No, miss… Never mind. Do you need your luggage picked up or stored?
IFG: No, is the tap water drinkable? Can I use it in tea?
THE HOOK: You certainly can.
IFG: And is the tea complimentary?
Before I could answer, she began to cough into the phone – LOUDLY!
She kept it going for a while too. Finally, she calmed down enough to continue; either that, or she popped a lung!
THE HOOK: The tea is complimentary, miss. And by the way, smoking still kills. Is there anything else?
I uttered my last two sentences really fast and close together to avoid an incident. Fortunately, she just kept going. Two more questions – inconsequential and boring – were fired my way and quickly answered. And so we severed our phone connection and I took pen and paper in hand.
And it wasn’t even 10 am! I wish I could say the day improved, but as you’re about to read, it degenerated into a smoking crater of human suffering.
HERE’S THE PUNCHLINE TO MY FIRST CALL:
THE HOOK: You can take this back, sir. With all due respect, I’m not a dog to be left out in the cold and forgotten about!
I apologize for your confusion. Here’s the deal..
I arrived at two rooms with one cart – as requested by the guests – and I was told by the first room to help the second one before returning. The first room had more than enough luggage to fill the cart and so a problem arose when I returned to the other room. I managed to load the cart to capacity – and beyond. All that remained was one large suitcase which I rolled down behind me. Eventually.
All my stories have that one moment when everything goes off the rails. This was it. In the interest of time and space – I wish to limit the amount of time it takes to recount this tale in the shortest amount of space – I’ll try to keep this brief.
- Grandpa from room #2 gave me $5 and insisted I wait at the back doors for him. He was very insistent.
- Room #1 Dad made several trips back and forth, unloading and reloading the cart with each trip. When I thought he was done, his young daughter picked up where he left off!
- I spent the next ten minutes waiting for someone to tell me I could go downstairs.
- Finally, Dad emerged and asked me why I was waiting!
- I head downstairs and waited in the back entrance..
- And waited…
- And waited…
- Over thirty minutes passed before the family from Hell pulled up in their cursed mini-van .
- Room #1 Grandpa opened the back of the van and just stood there, obviously expecting me to read his damaged mind and determine the exact location the luggage should be placed in the back.
- My limit had been reached – and exceeded.
And we’ve come full circle! I returned the tip – seriously – and made my way back inside while I still had some feeling in my legs.
The rest of my day was equally disappointing, though nowhere as frustrating. As for my behavior: sometimes it is necessary to breach protocol and defend your right to be treated as a human being and not a canine.
And that’s all I have to say about that.