I’m not sure why, but I haven’t felt very festive this year.
Fortunately, that hasn’t stopped the chaos from flowing like cheap wine at work. Here now, for your pleasure/amusement/horror are my Top Ten Holiday moments/Guests so far.
10) The morning a guest actually suggested I’d be cut out for a role other than “Sarcastic, Outspoken Bellman in a Leading Role”.
Just picture a thin (relatively), Canadian boy and drop Lauren Graham. (VampireLover would have my bellman guts for garters.)
9) Guests stuck in the revolving door.
What do you get when you combine two $250,000 state-of-the-art (but not really), revolving doors with thousands of travelers? Why, hours of fun, of course! Never mind the explicit computerized vocal instructions:
“Please… keep moving forward. Do not touch the glass.”
And what do our guests do when a computer voice issues them instructions? You guessed it. They do the exact opposite; they stop and they place their hands all over that glass like it’s a plate of free bacon. Good job, people. Incidentally, I’ve condensed hundreds of incidents into one.
8) The siblings that lashed their little brother to the Christmas tree beside my desk. With bungee cords.
“I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO.. JUST WATCH TIMMY WHILE YOUR FATHER AND I GO GET A COFFEE, ALL RIGHT?”
Not only did this brother/sister duo’s mother make Kevin McCallister‘s progenitor look competent, she had apparently never heard the phrase, “Careful what you wish for.”
7) The drunken sorority trio from Texas that slammed into the glass beside the revolving door in my lobby. Twice.
“Dude, are we wasted or what?”
I honestly didn’t think real people spoke like that. But they do. When drunk. To clarify, the blonde, brunette, and redhead (they were a united colors of Benetton of sorority girls), all slurred that declaration simultaneously after the aforementioned collision. And when I mentioned their timing?
“That’s not all we do simultan-… that’s not all we do simul-… that’s not all we do at the same time!”
By the way, that was the red head. She was the least inebriated of the bunch – and she had vomit on her blouse and shoes. God bless America.
6) The Wonderful World of Crasians.
“Crasians” (I’m in the process of trademarking the term, so back off, Ned Hickson), are Asians of either gender – though the term is most often used to describe over-animated females from the Pacific rim – who have embraced chaos with every fiber of their being. The week preceding Christmas brings thousands of Crasians from Toronto and thereabouts to the hotel.
They’re happy. They’re fired up. They’re decent. They’re incredibly cheap. Mostly.
They’re also wonderful to deal with during the check-out rush. Protocol demands that we call a room and verify if the guest has parked their car with our valet department or exercised their self-parking option. This helps the bellmen coordinate our efforts with the guys behind the wheels. Easier said than done.
ME: Yes, this is the bellman. I’m on my way to your room but I wanted to see if we valet parked your car?
CRASIAN GUEST: Cart? Yes, we need cart! For luggage!
To be fair, I can only imagine how I’d do if I was traveling abroad. But let’s continue, shall we?
ME: No, I need to see if you need your CAR brought around?
CG: I need CART!
This is when I either give up or repeat until a communication breakthrough occurs. Either way, I shake my head until it feels as though it’s going to fall off and roll down through the lobby.
5) Those maniacal kids.
Some of them are hopped-up on Red Bull. Some of them have mainlined a dozen Pixy Stixs. Some of them have inhaled enough candy bars to make Willy Wonka a diabetic. Some of them are covered in the remnants of various fast food pit stops along the road. All of them are completely, utterly, out of control.
But I don’t blame them. Their creators should be beaten with a copy of a Dr. Spock collected edition.
4) The hookers dressed as Daphne and Velma from Scooby-Doo.
I’ll say this, these escorts weren’t up to the high standard set by Bobbi Starr and Bree Olson in the 2011 adult film masterpiece Scooby Doo: A XXX Parody.
But they were willing to go above and beyond for their “craft”.
Or should that be “below and forward… and backwards”?
Either way, I’ve seen a few call girls (I prefer the term “hooker”, rather than something dressed up, but, much like my guests, I feel the need to spice things up a bit at times), who have been willing to go the extra mile via cosplay but these girls pulled out all the stops. Among other things, of course. Our paths crossed as they were walking out of a room, cash in one hand, stylish raincoats in the other.
3) The dad who was out of his depth.
A cursory glance at his attire and features told the tale; ill-fitting, designer label clothes that had no business being on his middle-age, hockey dad, suburban frame. Chipped fingernails. Coffee breath and weary, bloodshot eyes. A receding, blond hairline, newly-cropped and colored with frosted tips. Designer specks, teetering in the edge of his nose. To top it all off, this poor guy had to deal with:
- A young Third-World-most-likely-mail-order-new-wife with a Kardashian complex… and the attitude to match.
- Three kids who were taking full advantage of this poor schmuck’s obvious guilt over his divorce.
- A tiny, ridiculously rambunctious, yip-yappy dog of unidentified species whom I’m certain was drinking Red Bull in the car with the Terrible rug-rat Trio.
- Twenty bags. (Don’t ask me why he didn’t get a bellman.)
- Zero clues.
I attempted to help him, but he was determined to go down swinging.
2) That time the phones went down and everyone freaked out.
Incidentally, as of this writing, that was five minutes ago. In the hospitality business, communication is key. Without precision coordination between departments, everything goes to heck. And so, when the phones went down, managers went ballistic. Guests were oblivious as usual. I kept writing.
1) The unknown/that which has yet to come.
It could be anything from a fire alarm to a zombie apocalypse. Literally. The sky’s the limit when you mix thousands of kids, hockey dads, Crasians, corporate drones, road-weary parents, hookers, frat boys, drunken sorority girls, inebriated frat boys, mail-order brides, serial-killers-in-training, the odd decent soul, confused grandparents and a mix of everything-under-the-sun… and me.
Wish me luck. I’d pray, but the Good lord has better things to do than listen to my pleas, especially at this time of year.
See you in the lobby, folks…