The Edge of Christmas – And The Hook’s Limits!

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.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Hotel Employees, Hotel Life, Humor, Life, Postaweek2011, Social Commentary, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to The Edge of Christmas – And The Hook’s Limits!

  1. Oh, Hook… I cannot even find words to explain how angry this story makes me. It is terrible that hard-working people like yourself are treated like such garbage. Seriously, have these people NEVER had a REAL job in their lives?! Do they not understand what it is like to work like you do? I am proud to hear that you stood up for yourself!

    I am thankful that I work for a man during the summers who is adamant that the customer is NOT always right. He is not nasty and rude, but when the occasion calls for it (such as in your situation) he is right there next to me telling the customer himself that he does not need their business that badly and they can go elsewhere an treat other people’s employees like dirt, but not his. :) He is great!

    I wish you were more able to tell your customers how it is, but sometimes it is better to bite the bullet. I hope your day was much better after you left work and went home to your family! Enjoy the holidays, Hook!

    • The Hook says:

      Your summer boss sounds fantastic! I appreciate your support, my friend.
      And my day was great once I arrived home, popped some aspirin and headed out to a family party! Nothing like finger foods and happy, smiling faces to nurse a wounded spirit!

  2. susielindau says:

    I hope you are enjoying your Christmas with your family today away from all the riff-raff!!!

  3. El Guapo says:

    Here’s hoping today was better than yesterday.
    On the bright side, (hopefully) couldn’t have been any worse!

  4. Sorry… “they” live (sadly) in the world. In college, I was a server at a nice steak/seafood restaurant. So happens, had a table of 4 (two couples out on a double date) in rather late. I was a closing server so no biggie. The men, all puffing their chests out, made sure the women were well taken care of… couple bottles of wine, steak, lobsters, the whole works. Well over a $200 tab (this was mid-later 1980’s). Time to go. Ladies went to “powder their noses”, one guy paid the tab. I came back to find a $5 cash tip on the table. So insulting! And I really gave them the royal treatment. So, I go up to the foyer and their they are, the men helping the ladies on with their coats. I stopped the man who paid, held out the $5 bill, and told him – with all others present and listening – that he apparently needed that $5 more than I needed a tip from him. Handed him the bill and walked away from a very red-faced and embarrassed guy.

    • The Hook says:

      Well done! Unfortunately fighting back is absolutely necessary sometimes.

      • The way I looked at it is $5 really was not going to help. That was my last table of the night, so nothing to come in after to accrue on top of it. And the satisfaction I got from embarrassing that guy, showing that he was a cheap-skate in front of his date, definitely went a lot further than the five bucks would have gone.

      • The Hook says:

        I whole-heartedly agree with that sentiment!

  5. littlesundog says:

    I’m flabbergasted… again. On the flip side though, you certainly weave some great stories! Thank you for brightening my day!

  6. Woman says:

    You know… I know I should feel sympathy for you… but you tell them where I can actually see them going on in my head and I fall over laughing. Thanks!!!

  7. granny1947 says:

    Oh dear Hook…and they have a vote!

  8. Gillian Colbert says:

    I’m glad you have a good place to go when you go home. Fuck the assholes, but Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  9. Cindy says:

    Scum of the earth, Hookie, nobody should treat you like that :( Merry Christmas.

  10. eyeLaugh says:

    Your job is freakin crazy. Why did you return the tip?

    • The Hook says:

      I had to fight back! Returning the tip is the ultimate insult – you’re telling someone their money isn’t good enough. They may not get it, but it’s still worth it!

  11. Here, here. Customers need to understand that service people are people too. It’s amazing how they sometimes think we are below their station.

  12. countoncross says:

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas….hope your next day was better, but after reading for so long I am sure it wasn’t. lol

  13. mairedubhtx says:

    Sounds like a bitch of a day.

  14. Fiona says:

    That’s horrible behaviour. I really admire that you not only kept your cool, but you were so respectful up to the end, even in your comment returning the tip. I hope that it sunk in – made them think – but sadly those kinds of people are so wrapped up in self absorbtion it’s not likely :(

  15. Raven says:

    $5…are you serious!!! People rarely surprise me but You do…LOL I love that your returned the tip…I admire your boldness. Always defend your right to be respected as a human being…always.

    Hope you have enjoyed a splendid Christmas with the one’s you love.
    And may the New Year be filled with Peace, Love and Happiness. Perhaps many much bigger tips, too! ;)

    Smiles,
    Raven xox

  16. jlheuer says:

    And that was on Christmas? How crappy. Well I hope your day picked up once you got home. It’s been hectic here I have to catch up, you have a new header!

  17. Wow, I am surprised it took you that long. That was one of those situations that demanded quick action. You were tooo patient!

  18. I don’t have the patience to work with the general public. I am always impressed by those who do.

  19. Theasaurus says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was a national (or international) service industry blacklist – where you can add the names of douchbag idiot guests so that they’re never able to get another booking again in their lives? Kind of like having a bad credit history. And they can’t get themselves off the list until they’ve worked a year in a low-paid service industry job. Just so they know how it feels.

  20. nicole says:

    i don’t think that people even treat their canines like that! . . . i certainly do not. PS: gwendolyn is offended that you’ve ranked her as a second class being. ;) x

  21. Jo Bryant says:

    What a pity it’s not acceptable to knock down and trample on old people…well some old people that is…hehe

  22. Androgoth says:

    I hope that you enjoyed a ‘freak-free-crimbo-time’, the freaks being those unwelcoming get… I mean guests that you constantly have to deal with, well I would imagine that Vampir Lover has been extra wicked with you so no complaints on that score i shouldn’t wonder :) Right Hook or is that a left Hook? lol Have a really nice build up to the New Year and I hope that 2012 is a most excellent one for you and all of your family :)

    Androgoth

  23. Hey Hook, Have just nominated you for the ‘Tell me about yourself Award’
    Feel free to not respond and just leave it at that etc…
    SophiaX

  24. Is it the passive aggressive bully syndrome becoming so common in society? People need to be called on it. Hope the new year brings more pleasant experiences!

  25. Blink says:

    i always get amazed after reading your blogs.
    and I super like the way you treat such situations with ‘such’ weird people!
    i hope nothing such as that have had happened on the Christmas day! :)

  26. The Hobbler says:

    I guess that family got the ultimate punishment in the end…they have to live with eachother.

  27. Jenna says:

    You are such a patient person! People can be jack asses and don’t appreciate the service they have been given. Sorry for the day. Hopefully New Year’s will be better.

  28. People who treat others lowly because they think they are richer materially or just think they are should fall from their pedestal with a bang. Broken something? That they can have too. I see this scenario everyday too. people acting like the world owes them. that everyone is a servant. that everyone outside their fake and superficial word is less worthy of their crap. They are indeed crap. I understand you frustration and disappointment. don’t let them get to you. You are far better than them. A true rich man is someone who has integrity, honor, honesty , compassion, respect for self and others. Not even a millionaire can have that. It comes with breeding and a kind heart. Stay cool my friend….the world needs to be inspired by you.
    Happy New Year my friend. Wishing you love, joy , tons of laughter, great health and yes, lots of serene peace for 2012….

  29. Caroline says:

    Good thing you threw that ‘smoking kills’ comment in quickly…I’m afraid that woman might have come downstairs and found you. But, I guess she wasn’t able to find the woman with the country accent on her own, so maybe not haha. Hope you have a fantastic new year!!

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