The Hook Becomes Patient Zero!


The first half of this post was written before I found myself struck down by a nasty flu bug. I’m obviously back in the game now, but only at half-power, so the last half of the post offers a brief look at my first day back.

It was inevitable really.

The scourge of the Western World, the seasonal cold virus, has had a tight grip on my household. Between VampireLover (the wife), her father and our daughter, someone in our humble home has been sick on a regular basis for weeks.

So here we are, The Hook is under the weather, as they say.

Unfortunately, the bills keep pouring in, my daughter keeps growing and we all have to keep eating, so I have to suck it up and keep going. Of course, the wife tells me to stay home but I feel the relative ease of my duties combined with a sense of responsibility (which sucks by the way! Kids: stay young!), is enough to overpower my desire to stay in bed and watch my Christmas gift: Supernatural – season four.

Which, by the way, rocks! I was actually sent to bed early the other night (VampireLover rocks!) and I  had enough time to watch four episodes! I kept falling asleep but it still counts!


SNIDE GUEST: Bell Boy! Why aren’t the lights working?

THE HOOK: You just have to reset the switch –

SG: Bell Boy! We’ll need more keys!

I was too fatigued to engage in the usual to and fro with this guest – for once – so I just nodded and tried to appease the gentleman as best I could. Unfortunately, he was an aggressive Italian father used to ruling his household with an  iron – okay, mozzarella – fist. He just kept going; I don’t think he actually meant to be so aggressive but I was in no mood to take a closer look at the situation.

Long, loud story short, he tipped me well so he can shout “Bell Boy!” like it’s a superhero name all day as far as I’m concerned! Speaking of alternate names for The Hook, I had another Italian gentleman later on in the day – this one was a Golden Oldie – who kept calling me “Mister!” in a loud, aggressive tone.

My weakened state must bring something out in people. I still didn’t care though; I wonder if that’s the key to surviving difficult people? The rest of the day consisted of the usual shenanigans…

  • Mysterious smells in the lobby and service elevator shafts.
  • Guests who complain when a bellman doesn’t arrive at their door to collect their bags – even though they didn’t even call for one!
  • Loud, impatient guests who scream out loud “Why hasn’t my car arrived yet?” They soon realize, when questioned by a bellman with a hunch, that they forgot to request their car in the first place! Fortunately, the wait time was only forty minutes.

Okay, that was my day leading into my all-too brief convalescence. Now for the return to form…


Absolutely nothing.

It started out quiet; nothing unusual there, but my colleagues couldn’t help but notice the change in The Hook. I was quiet.

Too quiet, apparently.

I sat in a corner, read some comics and conserved the few vestiges of power I had left – the walk to work alone had actually drained me – and waited for the eventual call to duty. Turns out, I was unaware of a sinister presence in the hotel; a collective consciousness made up of some of the most foul family units to ever walk the Earth.

Hockey families were in-house. And Death checked in with them.

Don’t laugh too hard, when serving a hockey family, a bellman will often pray for Death to deliver a swift and merciful blow; they’re just that bad.

At least, they have the potential to be.

  • The boys are often little hellions, determined to lay waste to everything in their path.
  • The girls feel neglected and rebellious.
  • The same can be said of the moms. Except they can drink and prowl the lobby like tipsy cougars!
  • Their vehicles are always a complete disaster and challenging to pack, to sat the least.
  • And of course, the hockey bags are an assault upon the senses.

And the dads? I haven’t forgotten them..

  • They can be loud, aggressive and generally out of control.
  • Far too much alcohol is consumed during a children’s tournament.
  • One particular hockey dad I served wouldn’t stop yelling at his three boys; in his eyes they were lazy and incompetent. I understand the pressures of fatherhood, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Especially in public.

My fears were soon realized as the calls poured in and the families started cutting loose. Parents sniped at each other, “Why aren’t you ready, Margie?” and the inevitable response, “I’m doing the best I can, Frank! The kids aren’t helping at all!”

And so it went, and then some.

I returned to work on a Saturday and the hockey families were going to be leaving during Sunday morning check-outs as well. Another potential disaster. Sundays are volatile enough without the extra fuel, but that’s a tale for another day.

As for check-ins, I had a “fun” run-in with some PFDs – Pretentious, French Douchebags. Four young goofballs, to be exact. It was bad enough they were blathering on in their native tongue while clearly mocking everyone around them, but then they shot looks of righteous indignation at everyone who crossed their path. Did I mention they were drinking in the elevator?

At four in the afternoon?

Yep, it was good to be back.

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 Hotel Employees, Hotel Life, Humor, Life, Postaweek2011, Social Commentary, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to The Hook Becomes Patient Zero!

  1. Ah, yes. Families in with their kids for a tournament, match, what-have-you. This I am quite familiar with. I love how each and every parent thinks their kid is the next up-and-coming superstar. They’re lovely little prima donna’s. Demanding and rude, and typically very inconsiderate.

    Glad you feel better, and hope you recover to 100% soon.

    • The Hook says:

      Families are a great source of blogging inspiration, aren’t they? I’ll be back to tip-top shape soon – hopefully!

      • Ugh! Having a tough day with a triplet of hotels in Biloxi. I have a soccer club needing 135 rooms, done deal. But the triplet of hotels (same mgmt same parking lot) does not want to secure this block this size with us because happens to be a very busy week historically for them. So they’re waiting for the compression to hit and book in double to triple the rack rate. I understand their point of view, it is a nice revenue. But they’re turning away a solid 135 rooms I’m ready to sign for now. Sorry… venting…. they guy doing sales there is a true idiot – I’ve been having to deal with him for months now, and he cares little about good business relationships.

      • The Hook says:

        This is why I’m a bellman; front-office hotel workers can be a challenge to deal with. To say the least!
        Good luck!

      • Sorry… didn’t mean to vent on you. (she says sheepishly hanging her head) It won’t happen again. 🙂

  2. El Guapo says:

    Like you, I’m entirely too stubborn about not giving in to sick. by the time I let myself get confined to bed, it’s way too late.
    Also – Iron fist = mozarella fist?!?

  3. littlesundog says:

    As always, after reading one of your posts, I am content to carry on with the chores of the day, complaining NOT. I have paid my dues dealing with the douchbags, rude people, and hellions in the past. These days I rather enjoy the birds, squirrels, deer, dogs, racoons (when they aren’t destroying the back porch), armadillos and other various critters of the woods. Your life sure makes for great entertainment though!

  4. susielindau says:

    Hook! Hahaha! I loved the PFD’s too funny! I know a lot of hockey families and can just imagine!!
    It is awful to push yourself when you are still sick. Take care of yourself for God’s sake!!!

  5. Have you ever considered another career– like extreme fighting?

  6. When I drove school bus in college I took a bus trip overnight with a soccer team. It was the worst 24 hours of my life. They were loud, annoying, messy and made me stay in a room with the coach who thought he never left high school. The bus was trashed and my usual joy for people turned into a resentment for high school athletes. — All that to say, your post opened up some wounds. Thanks. Get well.

  7. Woman says:

    YAY!!!! Supernatural!!! And I am glad you are back on your feet!!!

    Tee hee hee… Mozzarella fist!!!

  8. I wish to stay young, or become younger again, but you know… time.
    You had a horrible day! But you’ll make it through with all the mental support you get from us.
    At least, I hope so.

  9. I am glad to see you are back on your funny track; that was a quick recovery. LOL

  10. raisingdaisy says:

    Right back into the fire, eh Hook? 😉

  11. Sandi Ormsby says:

    Okay, on behalf of the elderly, I’m guessing maybe they are hard of hearing, perhaps they don’t have their hearing aids up enough and they tend to be loud because they don’t realize how loudly they are talking?

    The whole “smell factor” would be a deal breaker for me. I wouldn’t be able to help commenting how hockey stinks…which would be taken the wrong way…No, I mean the bags of sweat/mildew not the actual sport!

    Lake Forest, CA USA

  12. I’ve never had to encounter a traveling hockey team from your perspective, sounds awful !
    I enjoy your self-indulgent Hook moments by the way; here’s hoping your household is back to normal soon !

  13. granny1947 says:

    You should have just breathed on the whole damn lot….it is good to share germs!

  14. mizqui says:

    I really do love dropping in on you at work, like this. I absolutely love this piece. Im sorry that you (and the household) have been sick – GOD SPEED on your GOOD HEALTH. Thanks for allowing us to peek into your window like this… I like it a great deal. It’s a vacation for me – one that usually leaves me in stitches. You are a natural…STORY TELLER & Comic. lol! Keep it up Sir Bell Man – I am HOOK’ed. (-:

  15. giselzitrone says:

    Best regards Gislinde

  16. Brilliant as usual, hope you’re back to 100% soon. 🙂

  17. Hockey families. Such vivid descriptions – it’s like I was there. Perceptive observations as usual. Glad you’re back

  18. Well glad you are back to good my friend…

  19. Hmmm … I thought I left a comment, but it seems to have vanished into thin air (insert twilight zone theme here). I’ll give it another try!

    Remind me never to stay at a hotel when the hockey family convention is in town – sounds too chaotic for me!
    Love, love , love your comment about the “Mozzarella fist” ~ hilarious!!

  20. TBM says:

    No rest for the weary…loved mozzarella fist, now I’m craving a pizza.

  21. iamnotshe says:

    Ms. Owl, you are nominated for the Your Blog is Great Award. If you chose to accept 😉 please see the Blushing Blogger Post (since i didn’t include the tag, rats!) to see instructions on how to accept the award. ARG. Still tired from sorting this out.

    The Post: The Blushing Blogger.

  22. Jo Bryant says:

    I agree with the earlier comment that you should have breathed all over the beggars…

  23. You have my sympathy my friend. I have been there done that. Being sick is never fun. And is always made worse by having to be at work while sick. I don’t think I could do your job though. I would be ready to snap someone in half by the end of every shift. Or in handcuffs. One of the two.

  24. Val says:

    Elevator Drinking Goofball Douchebags… welcome back Hook!

  25. Tori Nelson says:

    Glad you are back… and never at a loss for words 🙂

  26. giselzitrone says:

    Ich hoffe das du wieder Gesund und fit dank der Pflege deiner lieben Familie Sei Herzlich Geküsst Gislinde.

  27. countoncross says:

    Glad you are back…My family has been hit with the flu as well. We actually have all had it twice just passing it back and forth….so fun!

  28. Theasaurus says:

    Those hockey families sound god awful. Kind of like footy families, but with dangerous sticks that can knock you out cold.

  29. jlheuer says:

    Hope you got paid sick days.

  30. We once stayed in a hotel that was hosting a hockey team and their families. The kids ran through the hallways like maniacs, guzzling Mountain Dew and knocking on doors while their parents played drinking games in their rooms. On of the parents threw-up in the hallway.
    Having a great time catching up here!

  31. sonsothunder says:

    I watched the “Supernatural” show for a while…Pretty good show. I watch too many reality cooking, and antique shows, and the History Channel to stay on course with any series after the season ends though. Seems I never get back to it for season 2…Anyway, Oh, I edited the write up a bit…changed the “Bell-Hop” word to Bellman…just didn’t seem to fit…Bless You, Paul.

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