FACT: Millions of souls have passed through my lobby over the years, each of them distinct and separate from the whole of humanity in their own way.
MYTH: Beyond familial, social or employment bonds, each of these individuals has no real connection to the other.
FACT: We are all connected. We simply don’t see it – most of the time.
I’ve met sinners, saints, lovers, loners, thieves, cops, politicians, activists, killers, saviors, hookers, nuns, hookers dressed as nuns, Catholic school girls, hookers dressed as Catholic school girls, cougars, spinsters, loving husbands, cheating dogs, loyal wives, cheating bitches, teachers, students, captains of industry, corporate drones, celebrities, nobodys, and the French.
MYTH: The preceding list covers every classification of soul I’ve encountered in my travels.
FACT: The Hook is running on empty – as evidenced by this post.
MYTH: The Hook wrote a book that instructed readers to lie, cheat and steal their way across the North American hospitality landscape.
FACT: The Hook wrote a book chronicling his adventures in Hotel Land, but he was not the author of that other book written by a hotel employee, so please refrain from punching him in the face.
Intrigued? Allow me to explain by using both a myth and a fact.
FACT: Bellmen make small talk while serving guests. Such pleasantries are not only an integral part of the hospitality industry, they are vital when “greasing the wheels” of a guest’s wallet, as they say.
MYTH: Every guest reacts positively to chit-chat.
While escorting a white, golden-aged guest and his far-too young, ebony “companion” (Seriously, this chick just hatched. She probably left diapers behind as he was starting to wear them!), to his car, I was sucked into a vortex of stupidity.
“The housekeeper told us you were that guy who wrote a book on hotels. Is that true?” the gentleman inquired, a devilish look in his bloodshot eyes. The elevator suddenly felt very small…
I contemplated my response for a moment; my spidey sense was setting my nerves ablaze. (Incidentally, I would have loved to have seen just how that conversation began: “Here are some extra towels, sir, by the way did you know your bellman wrote a book?”)
But I digress. (I do that.)
I charged on, oblivious to the fate that awaited me.
“Well, I did write a book about my adventures, or rather, my misadventures as a bellman…”
He then reached out with one arm and attempted to punch me in the face with the other.
I kid you not. He actually tried to punch me in the face, but I moved far enough away to avoid his golden-aged fury.
My heart raced. My blood boiled. The air in the elevator thinned as all parties gasped and took stock of the situation. My brain was already assessing the situation and had devised a possible explanation for this seemingly-unprovoked attack, but the rest of my body was shaking like Charlie Sheen after being doused with holy water.
Once things calmed down, I managed to separate fact from fiction and things became clear.
Turns out my new “friend” owned a chain of inns. As an industrious CEO, he kept track of stories concerning our shared industry and one story in particular caught his interest, and made his blood boil. Namely, 20/20′s exposé of the hotel biz. That story featured an author who not only wrote of his experiences in the hotel business, he shared “all the dirty, little secrets and tips hotel owners don’t want you to know.”
Turns out this author was right, months after the story ran this gentleman was still hopping mad, to the point of violence.
“I thought you were that (fill in the blanks with the filthiest language you can muster and you’ll be halfway there!), who wrote that damn book, buddy! Ever since that damn story ran, I’ve had people stealing robes, lying about eating from the mini-bars and pulling all kinds of shit!”
“That guy makes him pretty mad sometimes!” his pet chimed in. “You wouldn’t believe what I have to do to calm him down sometimes!”
(Actually sweet-cheeks, I know exactly what you have to do to calm him down.)
Despite her unintentional humor, the Nubian princess still hadn’t fully diffused the situation and so I let the gentleman believe we had a common enemy.
“Actually, sir,” I began, after gaining as much distance as the enclosed space would allow, of course “I’ve read the book in question and I’ve seen the 20/20 report and I understand your anger. I self-published my book and while it certainly hasn’t done well, I take pride in the fact that it doesn’t paint our industry as a meat grinder that chews up and spits out an employee’s soul. I bitch as much as the next guy, but I love my job and I would never encourage people to lie, cheat and steal while on vacation.”
He took stock of my statement. I think she was singing show tunes in her head; I swear I heard music.
My guest had one final statement in the form of a question: “All that guy does is bite the hand that feeds him. You don’t do that, do you?”
Even if I did, I sure as hell wasn’t about to reveal that information and risk another attempted throttling.
“No, sir! I don’t write about the inner workings of the hotel.”
He sighed, his bought-and paid-for-girlfriend giggled, and I got off the elevator as fast as I could. I then looked back and let the other shoe drop.
“I write about the guests I encounter.”
“Oh!” his girlfriend blurted out, her artificial-and eternally-perky bosom jiggling all the while, “I guess we’ve given you plenty to write about, haven’t we?”
“Absolutely, miss!” was my two-word, cutting answer.
I have to admit, I have a long way to go, but it feels good to be back.
MORE GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!
Here is a brand-spanking new post from a dear friend of ours. Take it away, Susie!
When life sends you obstacles, start hurdling!
First of all words cannot, nor ever will express my deepest gratitude in the support you have given me the last few weeks. The blogging community is amazing and all of you are the absolute best! I can feel your prayers as I write this on the night before surgery. I just wish I could physically hug each and every one of you. The words, “thank you,” will never seem like enough.
If you are reading this, my bi-lateral (fancy-like name for double) mastectomy is over. Yeah! I am on the good drugs and most likely kidding around with the interns.
My husband Danny will give you an update on the surgery and my lymph nodes. The sentinel nodes were removed during surgery and tested for cancer. If they were clear, then my surgeon didn’t touch the rest of them. Thorough testing in pathology will give conclusive results by Wednesday.
The breast reconstructive process was started. A tissue expander was placed behind my chest wall and sewn into place. I am sure when the drugs wear off, my chest will feel as tight as a drum. It will slowly stretch out again as saline is added over the next few months to give my new “girls” some shape.
Here’s my rock, Danny, with the update! Geez…. I hope it’s good news..
This is Danny speaking: Great News!! The lymph nodes are clear! She is doing great (except for the pain).
A Note From Susie: As you wild riders know, I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking and prayer. Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. I’m kicking “C’s” Ass. I will write a proper thank you and post in a few days. Love Susie
Danny again, I cut her off, more news later.
That’s all for now, folks. Once again, thank you for being the best friends a man could ask for. My family will never forget your kindness and positive vibes.