Trust me, it will make sense soon.
First though, a short explanation: many of the guests I come in contact with think my job is one best-suited for a simpleton. Do you know how often I’ve heard, “So what are you planning to do when you finish school? ” or “How long do you plan n doing this for? You won’t be doing this forever, right?”
I should mention that despite my receding hairline I actually appear quite young; this is just one of the biological gifts nature saw fit to bestow upon me. Any others are unfit for publication. At least in this forum! At any rate, there is more to being a bellman than loading and unloading a luggage cart.
- Next to the valet drivers and doorman, the bellman is stationed at your vacation’s Ground Zero, so to speak. We help shape your perception of the hotel – and we get the brunt of the frustration you sometimes develop while traveling.
- On the way out, we get to hear all about your trip – good and bad – and sometimes you have A LOT to say, let me tell you! In this day and age, listening is a lost art. Trust me.
- We are the “Go-To Guys” for the Front Desk. Which, quite frankly, means we get to deliver keys and vouchers to the really angry guests who have spent some very tense minutes on the phone with some poor clerk who know better than to show up at the room afterwards!
And finally, we get to be all things to all people. To many guests we are expected to be ….
- Bartenders. Guests always seem to want booze on midnight shifts after the liquor stores have closed, of course!
- Pimps. Seriously.
- Security. And believe me, you I’m next to useless in a physical confrontation; I’m no Batman, to say the least!
- Valet, Room Service, Housekeeping, you name it, I’ve done it.
I think its time for a point, don’t you?
I mentioned loading and unloading a bell cart for a reason; many guests seem to think loading a cart is a no-brainer. Not so. It can take considerable skill to make 25 bags of varying size and shape fit safely and securely on a brass bell cart.
But I recently ran into a family of seven who were convinced they had everything “under control” when it came to transporting their bags. They gently shoved me out of the way and began to load their cart in a most ill-conceived manner. Honestly, it looked like God threw up all over their cart, there were so many bits and pieces wildly assembled haphazardly!
The mother was especially reckless, whipping items all over like a nine-year-old boy on a steady diet of bags of sugar and Red Bull. Her crowning achievement was placing two extra large containers of Arizona Iced Tea at the peak of her luggage mountain. Of course, the load began to shift….
THE HOOK: Careful miss, those big jugs are going to cause you to tip over!
Did I mention the mom-in-question was well-endowed, to say the least? I only mention it because the entire room became deathly quiet after my verbal faux pas and everyone adopted this “deer in the headlights” look… Everyone except Mom, that is.
She got this strangle gleam in her eyes and that’s when things got… Weird.
ARIZONA MOMMA: Okay, we’re done here, everyone downstairs! I’ll stay here with Robert….
FLUSTERED DAD: But dear, why don’t we all leave at once?
ARIZONA MOMMA: (In a stern, slightly demonic tone) I said, I’ll stay here with Robert and you can take the kids down! I’ll check the room one last time. That okay with you?
Defeated – for probably the hundredth time – he bowed his head, gathered his confused brood and headed out. The spineless bugger left me on my own with his obviously frustrated wife.
A FREE MARRIAGE TIP FROM THE HOOK:
If you haven’t paid much attention to your wife in an unusually long time, do NOT leave her alone with someone who does! Granted, you may not realize just how starved for attention your spouse is, so here’s a clue: if she’s read the Fifty Shades of Grey series – especially more than once – you’re in trouble…
So I’m alone in a room with a woman who I’m guessing hasn’t been hit on since child #5 and she’s fidgeting around, as though she’s waiting for… something. Finally, I heard the elevator door open and close – the door always remains propped open while I’m on a call – and she relaxed. I wish the same could be said of me.
THE HOOK: (growing more nervous by the minute) Do you have everything, miss? Is there anything else you need?
I really am an idiot sometimes…
ARIZONA MOMMA: Thank you for everything, Robert. (her constant use of my name stood out for some reason) I’m just checking to see if I have everything, I’m a mess right now…
THE HOOK: You have five kids! Who wouldn’t be a little discombobulated? But you’re doing fine. So are we good?
I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! But this lady was determined to keep me around.
ARIZONA MOMMA: Do you have kids? (she wasn’t waiting for an answer) They drain you. He never pays attention to me anymore –
THE HOOK: He’s paid attention to you at least five times in the last few years…
My humor didn’t even make a dent.
ARIZONA MOMMA: What makes you think they’re all his?
Its funny how some people will just bare their souls to perfect strangers. Its also funny how some people will start to move slowly towards their bellman with the same look The Coyote gives the Road Runner! Actually, it isn’t funny when it does happen. I responded by simply asking her a question as I moved towards the door, quickly.
THE HOOK: Just out of curiosity, have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?
ARIZONA MOMMA: I love those books!
Long story short, I got out of there in one piece, kept the elevator chit-chat to a minimum – normally I’d ride the service cars, but I wanted this over with fast – and I managed to snag a sizable tip, to boot! Flustered Dad looked relieved when we appeared downstairs right away, and then dismayed when she handed me a wad of cash!
Oh well, you can’t please everyone…
- The Bellman Chronicles Goes “Live” – At Last! (youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com)