You ever have one of those days? We’ve all experienced those moments that make us feel like the puppet masters controlling the universe are out to get us, right?
And of course, those moments are intensified when we’re in the workplace, where our actions are restricted by professional etiquette.
Try having a week’s worth of “one of those days” compressed into a single three-hour period and maybe you’ll be able to feel what’s its like to be The Hook. In a single Sunday morning I was witness to:
- A traveling caravan of silver foxes – whose attitudes ran hot and cold.
- Cheap, obnoxious middle-aged Alpha Males with bully complexes.
- Man-eating elevators.
- Horny, uninhibited teenagers who feel my desk is a suitable place to dry hump.
The list goes on, but we only have a single post, so here goes… The silver foxes in question actually checked in Friday night and proceeded to wreak havoc from the get-go by refusing to allow their bellman to follow protocol and store their luggage until they arrived at the room. Instead, he left the bags at the Bell Desk, – which is always manned – thus alleviating the foxes concerns.
In theory, at least.
I was fortunate enough to be watching the desk at that moment and so I spent two very tense minutes glancing back and forth at five sisters and their wheelchair-bound mother as they stood motionless, their collective gaze alternating between the luggage cart and the desk.
THE HOOK: You can check in, ladies. I’ll watch the bags until you call down with your room number.
FOX #1: We need to be sure the bags are fine! We don’t know you!
THE HOOK: Okaaaay, but one of you should go tot he Front Desk while the rest remain on guard duty. If not, you’ll be standing here all night.
We reached a compromise: I accompanied the “guardian foxes” to the Front Desk and waited with them while Fox #1 checked in. Unfortunately for me, the guardians assumed I was mostly deaf, and so they were free to bash my hotel, department and integrity while I stood a mere two feet away! Fox #1 returned after what felt like an eternity and I retrieved their original bellman.
They offered me $5 (“For your time.”) but I politely refused; you just know you’ve gone too far when a bellman refuses to take your money!
However, as luck would have it they were my first call Sunday morning and so they were afforded a second chance to walk all over me! They did just that; making me wait twenty minutes – as the check-out calls poured in – while they posed for pictures and argued over the proper way to pack the trunk. here’s a helpful hint: let the bellman pack the trunk; he may actually have more experience then you.
But in the end, they handed me $15 and left me with a tale to tell, thus bringing balance to my day… For a moment.
Next up was the aforementioned Alpha Male who slammed eighty-five cents down on my desk after I retrieved his two bags from our storage room. “I don’t know why I’m tipping you, but here you go!” he bellowed, as a crowded lobby and my fellow bellmen looked on in wonder and confusion.
Against my better judgement I let the matter pass – I can’t take on every goofball who thinks he can push service personnel around, although it would certainly be fun to try – although I did issue an edict forbidding anyone from placing his laughable gratuity in our tip cup. It sat there as a reminder of man’s inhumanity to man.
From mankind to the machine world: I rounded a corner and watched as one of my fellow employees attempted to assist two female guests by stalling a departing elevator – by placing his arm between the closing doors. He assumed the sensor would detect his presence and send the doors back to the “open” position.
Much like the Alpha Male, the sensor showed him nothing but contempt and the inside doors closed completely. He pulled his arm back enough to avoid the first set, but the outside doors slammed against his limb, holding it firm as the elevator began its upward ascent.
Not to worry, he was able to easily free his arm. I f only he could have escaped what came next…
THE HOOK: (After assuring his colleague was completely unharmed) Don’t you EVER pull a stunt like that again! Customer service shouldn’t trump personal safety. Your arm is not worth $11 an hour!
I think my words sunk in; I know the female guests will think twice before asking someone to stall an elevator for them.
And finally, I returned to my desk after a morning filled with colorful characters and outrageous situations only to encounter a testament to the current state of parenting in North America. Let me break it down for you:
- A lobby filled with the last remnants of the departing horde.
- There was a girl of seventeen, dressed like a hooker, but with pigtails. She was going for “Lolita” look. I guess.
- Her Situation-wannabe boyfriend, his “wife beater” t-shirt clinging to his skinny frame.
- Their posse, Jersey Shore clones, each and every one.
- Together, the two aberrations looked deep into each others vacant eyes and rocked back and forth against my desk like two lemmings on Viagra.
I turned to one of my colleagues and remarked, “This day just keeps getting better and better.”
THIS SATURDAY IS THE DAY, FOLKS….
June 9. 2012 10 A.M – 7 P.M.
Scotiabank Convention Centre
Niagara Falls. Ontario. Canada
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