To be clear, I have nothing but love for my hospitality compatriots at the Front Desk.
In general, at least.
I’ve toiled in the hotel trenches for almost two decades now and in that time I’ve worked with hundreds of Guest Service Agents (remember, the turnover rate can be ridiculously-high in a hotel), many of whom were hard-working, intelligent, decent individuals. Of course, some of them were lifeless, doltish, demonic wastes of oxygen.
But at least the demons are never boring.
ME: (While walking up to our Front Desk one Fall evening, not so many years ago.) Who’s responsible for sending me to 2706?
Of course, since my frustration was more than evident, none of the half-dozen clerks present at the desk at that moment was willing to confess.
ME: Come on, people! Someone sent the Bell Desk a PBX (a virtual form of communication, not quite cutting-edge stuff… but not bad), message to move the guest’s belongings from 2706 to 3008… but of course, there were a few hiccups along the way… as usual.
Again, silence reigned. One of our older clerks actually retreated into the back office, knowing full well what was to come. Finally, someone asked just what the problem was.
ME: I’m so glad you asked! Let’s see… the young lady, who, although she was sun-drenched and stunning… was blind-stinking drunk. At five in the evening. Her things weren’t packed… and they were strewn all over the room as though they’d been in a tornado. The room stinks of weed. Oh… and the guest is a hooker!
Yes, I know I should be used to hookers by now, and I am, but this one took the erotic cake. One of my, shall we say, “less intelligent” colleagues – who is no longer with the hotel, and who was never with reality – jumped right in.
KELLY: How do you know she’s a hooker? And aren’t you supposed to call them “escorts”?
ME: Political correctness doesn’t apply to hookers as far as I’m concerned, Kelly. And how did I know she was a hooker?
KELLY: Yeah, it’s not like she was wearing a sign or nametag! She wasn’t… was she?
KELLY: I didn’t think so…
ME: When she was finally ready to go… she offered to pay me with her mouth.
There was a bit of idle chatter at the desk before that moment. Needless to say, it ended a second later.
KELLY: (Giggling) What?
ME: She offered to pay me with her mouth.
KELLY: (Stammering.) Well… that doesn’t mean…
ME: (Slowly and clearly.) SHE… OFFERED… TO… PAY… ME… WITH… HER… MOUTH!
KELLY: Well, that doesn’t prove anything! Maybe she was a big, ole slutbag! Did that ever cross your mind, Robert?
ME: There are many… many… things crossing my mind right now, Kelly… but that’s not one of them. Thank you for enlightening me.
KELLY: That’s what I’m here for!
ME: And here I thought it was to fill a government-mandated quota…
ME: Never mind…
Before you go: aside form colleagues, I rarely get feedback from people in the hospitality industry, and so when I met a young administrative sales person from a neighboring property I was excited t hear her critique.
Until she shared it.