What Not To Say To Guests.

I know this will be difficult to believe, but there are many times I find myself in the uncharacteristic position of having to hold back when dealing with guests.

Call me crazy, but I’ve grown accustomed to steady employment.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t share the comebacks that never were with all of you…


“What’s happenin’, Hot Chocolate?”

To be fair, the guest in question was actually amused by my greeting. Okay, “amused” may not be the right word – but she didn’t freak out, which I consider a win. Of course, the Front Desk Manager was in earshot and he definitely freaked out – but he didn’t fire me.

So I consider that a definite win…


“If it was up to me, you’d be the one being beat on… you miserable sack of monkey excrement.”

There is a family that has visited the hotel on several occasions that make my blood boil every time I cast eyes on them. Imagine seeing a grown man in his golden years being publicly abused on a daily basis. His family eats without him, depositing him on a lobby bench outside the restaurant while they feed their fat faces. He is legally blind, but his own daughter shoves him through the lobby at a pace that exceeds his diminished capacity. He is a broken man, inside and out.

Now imagine being unable to do a damn thing about it.

I’ve never had to serve these scumbags (the children get a pass, obviously, but not their parents), but I’ve observed their crimes often enough to have their number. Sooner or later, something will break. I just hope it isn’t the gentleman in question.

breakgiphyThis is The Hook when he’s… I mean, when I’m forced to hold back…

break“I was told you needed a hand… but it looks like you need considerably more than that… but I’m married… so as you were.”

Could there be anything more awkward than walking into a guest room to find a young lady in the throes of passion… with herself?

That was a rhetorical query, of course. Many years ago, when I was a bellman at a small hotel on Clifton Hill that required the Bell staff to assist Housekeeping in the evenings,  I was called to a room to deliver some towels. (Thrilling stuff so far, right?) The door was ajar, but I could hear… something in the room, so I walked in, towels in hand… and there she was…

She was splayed out on the bed, each leg as divided as American voters these days. Her breathing was ragged as her ample, barely-covered-by-a-tank-top chesteral area heaved uncontrollably. Incoherent ramblings escaped her parted lips. A pink self-pleasuring device disappeared and quickly reappeared within her nubile form.

Yes, I obviously stuck around for a moment. What can I say? My hospitality career was in its infancy; I had yet to firmly establish my Hook persona. In other words, I was too shell-shocked to move.

And I dropped the towels, though I imagine that was a given.

Inexplicably, the young lady remained oblivious to my presence. (Who say Western Ninjas aren’t real?) I quickly scooped up the towels – which one can assume were never meant for that room – and beat it out of there in a flash.

Come to think of it, perhaps my use of the term “beat it” in this context was in error? Either way, I took off, slowly closed the door behind me – this was before fire departments required hotels to put automatic closing mechanisms on all their doors – and made my way to the closest staff washroom. Don’t you worry about why…


“What’s up, douchebags!”

I’ve honestly lost track of the number of times I’ve been tempted to issue this greeting to various hockey families, frat boys and hungover bachelorettes, among others, of course.

breakWell, as you can imagine, this has only been the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I’m sure we’ll revisit this topic someday. Though not too soon. After all, I rarely hold anything in when it comes to guest relations.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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22 Responses to What Not To Say To Guests.

  1. taraverses says:

    Our restaurant, in its early days, was often the scene of many a douchebag. I wish I’d had the sass and confidence in my 20s to deliver them from evil. Thankfully (though not good for lack of blog material), my mom takes no prisoners and we see very few of these types because she will throw them out.

    A few years back a woman and her husband came in for an early dinner, and the woman complained that the food was substandard and she could get “better food in California” and so mom left the stoves and went out to “talk” with her. It seems you can’t fix assholes, and so mom told her to get the f@#$ out in front of a whole courtyard of other guests, who actually applauded her when she was done.

    The worst part? The woman had a mentally disabled daughter whom she had left in the car during her entire meal. Stories like this, and the blind man above, make me feel postal.

  2. The restraint you showed with the young lady with the dildocular object is quite impressive. Your stealth mode even more so. I would have lost my job that day. And of I would have whipped out my cell phone and engaged its video capabilities – for purely documentary purposes of course.

  3. Old people and kids are off limits when it comes to being an a-hole. I think I would be fired over my reaction to the treatment of the elderly man. I immediately thought of blindfolding the family, tying them to a bench in the center of town with a shame sign.

    Also, Fearless up above is dead on!

  4. Paul says:

    Ummm, yeah,ummm, OK. Whew! It sounds like you have an intuitive grasp of what customers will accept or even enjoy. Well done. The abusive treatment if the poor blind guy really burns my ass. I’d have a hard time keeping my mouth shut even if it caused me problems.

    Your situation is unique in that you are at the customer interface constantly – lots of opportunity to sharpen your skills with thrust and parry. Ha! I have blurted out comments to customers upon occasion and kept my job but my experience would be that of a novice compared to your skill. Ha!

    I was the terminal manager for a transport company and we had the contract to haul Behr paint (Home depot). At that time they had a number of commercials where a Canadian vignette was shown all in one Behr color – so they had the parliament all in Behr Pink and then another had a beaver family building a dam – all in Behr blue.

    Anyway, one day a Behr official called me and complained that we had lost two skids of paint – they were two days late on delivery from Montreal. He insisted that they had been stolen. I explained that we had never had paint stolen – there was no market to sell it, especially since it was Home Depot’s private label – too easy to trace. I assured him we would find it and I would call him back. He wouldn’t let me go and insisted I tell him how I was going to find his paint. I told him I would check with the other terminals to see if it had been misdirected. That didn’t satisfy him and he again demanded to know how I would find his paint – insisting it was stolen. I got fed up with his lack of sense and blurted out: ” We’re going to look for Behr Blue Beavers and when we find them we’ll have found the thieves.” There was a long pause and he burst out laughing, but for a minute there I thought I might get fired. No such luck.

    As an epilogue, the skids were indeed on the dock in Montreal because Behr had mis-addressed them and the Montreal terminal had not yet figured out who owned them.

  5. HemmingPlay says:

    Hey, Hook. Just home yesterday from a 6,000 mile voyage of discovery, and the main thing I discovered was that the answers were right back where I started. Older but never wiser, eh? But I stayed in lots of places, met more than a few bellmen, and thought of you every time.

    Needless to say, I gave them no reason to blog about me. (I actually had pretty good reports on all places except for the last, which I am addressing with AmEx and a post on Facebook. Cue the evil laugh… 🙂 ) LA, New Orleans, Chicago, Pittsburgh. And Texas–HUUUUUGE–all reached via Amtrak (which I recommend over flying). The mileage isn’t any kind of record — that was a common commute to work for my brother — but it was a lot for me.

    Happy to report your brethren out there are taking care of business.

  6. This seems to remind me of a movie … Liar Liar? I’m sure you know it! Oh, the things that could be/ should be said, hey?!

  7. As old as I am, you’d think I would be finished hearing something shocking.
    Nope! You’ve topped it again, Hook. Holy cow!! Your stories are my Friday night entertainment 🙂

  8. 1jaded1 says:

    This made me glad i swallowed my tea before reading. 🙂

  9. nbratscott says:

    …But I think you would make that hat look GOOOOD!!!

  10. ladysheepdog says:

    Taming the tongue, biting the tongue, letting the cat have it or not, letting the cat out of the bag, using tack or not, telling the truth in love or not, using tough love verbally, or just plain being a jerk verbally – all the fun and games of being human. Not sure if I’m getting better or worse at it all as I get older. I certainly “have the guts” to say things i didn’t have when I was under 30, but I also have learned how to say things better at times too. Anyways, thanks for the laughs. Very entertaining post.

  11. curvyroads says:

    There is a special place in hell for that family that abuses the elderly man. I can’t imagine the restraint it takes for you to keep silent, especially since they keep coming back. Grrrr.

  12. vinnieh says:

    You really have witnesses some unusual stuff during your years on the job, haven’t you?

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