The Rules of Polite, Upper-crust Society are boring, so some people refuse to follow ’em. Simple as that. Yes, I realize you’re confused, but read on all will be clear.
When things go awry – which they tend to do – the average
hotel guest will pick up the receiver on that drab, uninspired room squawk box and give whichever Front Desk Agent is unfortunate enough to answer the phone a portion of their psyche that quite, frankly, they cannot afford to part with. The Front Desk Agent (for fun, let’s refer to this mammal as an “FDA” because we love to reduce people to letters in our society), will take certain steps to rectify the situation. In order:
The FDA will drum his or her fingers over a few keys and determine the guest’s room rate and economic status based on said rate.If the guest has been polite and is paying top-dollar to put their head in one of the establishment’s beds the FDA will actually give a shit and help the guest emerge from said dilemma in a timely manner.If the guest has been an ass, well, then my friends, the guest is screwed. Oh sure, someone will arrive to fix the problem – but not before the guest has blown several gaskets and cursed whichever deity intervened and brought him to the godforsaken hotel in question.
There are some guests, however, who prefer face-to-face contact (it is much easier to look stupid than to sound stupid, after all), and so they set out for the lobby to voice their grievances in person. Unfortunately for these travelers, distinguishing the Bell Desk from the Front Desk is no easy task and so they often wind up right in front of yours truly. Fortunately for yours truly, these travelers are impervious to reason and so they never recognize the depth of my crime when I choose to violate the traditional guest/servant paradigm.
And every once in a while Mistress Fate will direct a real winner onto a path that crosses mine and I’ll get to legitimately cut loose without having to worry about being summoned before an HR representative.
Which brings us to Hank, your garden-variety loudmouth for whom the following exchange is commonplace.
HANK: Hey, Robert, I’m Hank, how the fuck are ya?
ME: Oh, pretty good, Hank. (After a quick scan of the lobby reveals it to be management-free.) How the fuck are you?
HANK: Not good, my man! I need a couple ‘a blankets! My room is FUCKIN’ COLD! What kinda joint you runnin’ here? My old lady is gone to the casino with her fellow hens and I ain’t got anyone here to keep my balls warm! AND MY BALLS ARE COLD!
ME: As far as your balls are concerned, Hank, you’re on your own. As for your room, this is Canada, it’s SUPPOSED to be cold! You know what’ll warm your room up? A few nine-dollar brandys in the lobby bar!
HANK: You’re a real prick, Robert… I like that! Your customer service skills blow though!
ME: You get what you pay for, Hank.
HANK: FINE! Here ya go, ya prick! (With that, he slammed a weathered American twenty down on my desk.) CHOKE ON IT, YA PRICK! Whataya say to that?
ME: Excuse me, won’t you?
Hank honestly looked as though he was giving birth as his mind scrambled to determine what was happening. His confusion gave me the opportunity to race to our backroom and retrieve two blankets from a stockpile we keep for emergencies. (We started storing blankets and pillows after a father slammed the trunk lid of his Lincoln down upon his daughter’s seventeen-year-old skull in the middle of winter. I doubt any manner of bedding would have lessened her agony, but as they say, it couldn’t have hurt. At least not as much as the trunk lid did.)
I returned to the lobby just as Hank’s eyes were beginning to fill with blood. He spotted the blankets and his face began to lose its crimson hue.
HANK: You’re a PRINCE among PRICKS, Robert!
ME: Thanks, Hank, but you can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
HANK: The Hook? You don’t have a crooked Johnson, do ya, Robbie?
ME: Ask your wife, Hank!
HANK: AW, YA GOT ME, YA PRICK!
Yes, I was risking my neck with the “Ask your wife, Hank!” crack, but you’re not surprised, are you? In the end, Hank walked away happier than he arrived and I got more book material while violating more than one rule in the hospitality handbook.
I love it when everyone wins, don’t you?
Incidentally, and this is a true story, I threw my copy of the employee handbook out of a low-story widow during my first shift as a bellman. I felt it set the necessary precedent.
Of course, I also ran over a small child with my luggage cart. She was fine – after a few surgeries, that is. But let’s be honest, kids today never go outside anyway, so spending a few months in traction gave more her more time to Google Taylor Swift’s exes and update her Facebook status every fifteen seconds with multiple “OMGS!!!” So when you think about it, I did her a favor.
I make a great humanitarian, don’t I?
See you in the lobby, kids…