I keep checking my calendar; I can’t help it.
My home is beautifully decorated. My dogs have their treats under the tree. My daughter even has a brand-new Christmas light-up sweater – courtesy of VampireLover, of course! There isn’t any snow yet, but that’s actually a good thing.
So why am I filled with white-hot rage towards humanity?
The word’s popularity these days is telling in and of itself. Some people have split it in two, but it will always be a singular description of humanity’s bottom feeders to The Hook. They have begun to gather in large numbers – never a good sign for the Christmas holiday season at a hotel – and I fear they may dominate my call sheet.
And considering how deathly quiet it has been so far, that is a fear I simply cannot afford to have come true. My humble place of business should be alive with the sounds of hungry, restless travelers. Instead it’s as busy as the production offices of “Justine Bieber: Uncut. The Not-So-Full-Length XX Feature!”
In other words, my hotel is DEAD.
I’ve seen fifteen years of holiday seasons, and I have never witnessed a forecast that was short by 400 rooms! And the guests we are getting? To say they have been of poor quality would be an understatement of Biblical proportions. There was the lady that requested the “luggage transport-type thingy”. I explained the protocol, but she countered with “So is there a charge for that?”
Only a real douchebag asks if there is a charge. I countered with “No miss, you can leave a gratuity if you like, but there is no actual charge.” She then called down twice from her room and it was necessary to explain everything all over again. The end result?
She took help. And she stiffed the poor bastard I sent up there. Merry Christmas, right?
Then there was the “gentleman” who left me standing behind his “Mini-van from Hell” until I was blue in the face – literally! The cold kept me hopping, a fact that went largely unnoticed by my clueless guest. He simply allowed me to grab whatever I felt was of importance; until I forced his hand and left the two baby strollers and boots behind!
He had no choice but to spend a few more minutes in the cold with me. Finally, his wife emerged from inside the hotel and shouted “Don’t forget the kids’ coats!” To which he responded “Where are they?”
“In the van, of course! Where else would they be?”
He insisted they weren’t there and so they went back and forth as the blood continued to freeze in my veins. Finally, she realized the coats were not in the van at all; they were at home! At least they got to check out the local Wal-Mart.
The lobby began to fill up – slooowly – as another problem began to emerge; guests who have no idea just why the hotel lobby is decorated at all!
I have no problem with the large number of foreign guests that make their way past my desk; Christmas may mean nothing to them – hence the ridiculous superiority of “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas” – but they should recognize the significance of the season to Canadians.
From a financial standpoint Christmas is like a vise that gets tighter by the second. The credit card bills grow more overwhelming with every purchase we feel we have to make to “celebrate the season”. And so we become selfish – especially when traveling. We’ll spend thousands on gifts but we refuse to throw a few dollars at some poor fool who is simply trying to make a few dollars so he can dig his own financial hole.
I ask you, what kind of rat bastard stiffs someone at Christmas?
To be clear, I have no problem with foreigners. My negative views stem from encounters with cheap people of all backgrounds and colors. In fact, looking back at my “work” here I feel somewhat ashamed, but not enough to erase anything I’ve written. I’m as flawed as the next guy – although some people make me look like a saint!
Case in point: a family of three – two seniors and a daughter in her thirties – were attempting to snag an elevator before “those brown people got onboard.” I kid you not, they were almost running. I decided to hold the door as it closed and wave on the aforementioned “brown people.”
It was a great moment in my personal history.
Overall my life has been pretty darn good these days, it’s true. I just find it disheartening to see so many Scrooges at a time when we all need to be thankful for whatever we have.
Anyone who is traveling across North America with malice in their hearts should book a trip to North Korea. I’m sure they’d love to have you – for target practice.