More Fun On The Phone With The Hook.

Once again, I’ve decided to inspire a collective question among my readership.

And not just, “Why the hell are we reading this blog? After all, there are literally a billion cat videos on YouTube, and there’s still some paint drying on the kitchen walls…”

No, today we’re going to revisit the question, “How the hell does The Hook get away with this stuff?” To be clear, I don’t have any answers but if I do my job correctly, you won’t care. As I often say to the wife, the content may not be the greatest, but the payoff will be more than worth it.

This brings us to a typical Saturday during the so-called Niagara Falls off-season. The phone at the Bell Desk rang and I decided to have some fun while being a smartass bellman. You know, for a change of pace…

ME:  Bell Desk, Robert speaking. How may I help you?

Gripping stuff so far, right?

GUEST:  Can I have a cart but no bellman?

ME:  I’m afraid not, sir.

GUEST:  Why the hell not?

ME:  Because we don’t like you, sir.

GUEST:  Say what? But… but… you don’t even know me!

ME:  We’ve heard things…

I swear, you could feel his apprehension over the Canadian phone line…

To clarify, I recognized the gentleman as a father of eight (!) that had checked in a few nights earlier. I had served them all and they seemed cool. Of course, I was still gambling with my job, but I’m certainly used to it.

I arrived at the room a few minutes later.

The gentleman answered the door.

Still gripping stuff, right? John le Carré has nothing on me.

GUEST:  Are you the same guy who answered the phone?

ME:  Guilty as charged, sir. And we still don’t like you.

He stood motiveless for what seemed like forever. (I really need to start carrying a watch.)

Then he started laughing so hard I was going to call Security to his room with a portable defibrillator.

In the end, he was amused. I was tipped. The world kept on revolving. The game continued.

As I said, I don’t specifically know just how I’ve manged to last in the hospitality game so long except to say I’ve learned how to pick my battles perfectly. Something as simple as the tone of a guest’s voice can be the key to deciding whether or not to let my smartass side take point. Here’s hoping my skills don’t diminish with time.

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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21 Responses to More Fun On The Phone With The Hook.

  1. charflew23 says:

    Awesome as always Hook!

  2. Paul says:

    Ha! That is absolutely hilarious Hook. I’ve managed it a couple of times in my life, but as one offs,not as a daily plan as you seem to be able to pull off. I can recall one such time that I still am astounded i kept my job. I was the safety manager for a gas tanker company in their Ottawa terminal. The head office was 300 miles away and the owner was a very gruff guy who swore like a longshoreman. When we screwed up he would call and whoever answered the phone would get a string of obscurities and then the phone slammed down. Through a set of exceptional circumstances we let one of our most important customers run out of diesel for 3 hours one day and they had to shut down their operations,costing 10’s of thousands of dollars. It happened over night and the next morning the head office of the largest oil company in Canada called our boss and reamed him out threatening to destroy his business if we didn’t smarten up. When the phone rang the next morning we all knew who it was and the chicken shit dispatchers left it for me to answer. Now I had had colon cancer and had a colostomy – and the owner – Gord – and I had spoken of this as his Dad had died from the same cancer – it was less treatable in his Dad’s time. I was expecting a rough conversation this time and it was:

    Gord (screaming): Who the f*ck is this!?

    Me (quietly): It’s Paul, Gord.

    Gord: What are you f*cking idiots doing down there! You’re going to cost me my f*cking business!

    Me: Yes sir.

    Gord: I’m gonna come down there and rip every f*cking one of you incompetents new f*cking assholes!

    Me(quietly): I already have two assholes Gord, I’m not sure where I’d put a third one.

    Long Pause

    Gord: BWAHAHAHAHA! F*CK OFF PAUL! (click)

  3. Ned's Blog says:

    They really shouldn’t let you work unsupervised, Robert…

  4. Tara says:

    Excellent. My sarcastic side is often accepted as humor on the job. Except last Saturday, when a wedding guest came in and asked if it was okay to still go to the buffet (which was still set up, but no one was there), and I said, no, I’m sorry, we’re closed. He backed up and seriously said, oh, okay. And I smiled and said I was just kidding. Young guy. And totally didn’t get it. I’m not as polished as the Hook, clearly.

  5. Your writing is enjoyable, humorous and exhilarating all at the same time – – – but we still don’t like you. And we hope that you forever show your face around here again.

    Do you have an extra one of those little black pill-box caps that I could borrow?

  6. With stand up comedy, timing is everything…and the ability to read that and people. Sounds like the same is true with hotels. Enjoyed the giggle (and I keep getting flashing images of Sally Field’s “You like me! You really like me!”….)

  7. jlheuer says:

    I used a certain amount of flippancy in my job (librarian) for 30 years.Not even close to yours. And you are right you have to have a sense about the person you’re directing it at. Every once in awhile though, I would misjudge. Let me tell you back-peddling is an art too.

  8. Sometimes you just know when you can kid around with someone… one should never let those opportunities pass! 😉

  9. Terrific. I could see the guy standing there and having no recourse but to laugh. You know how to pick em.

  10. You get away with it because you are genius at sizing people up. You know who can take a joke and who can’t, who has bone dry wit and who is witless. And you are smart enough to not engage someone to a battle of wits who is completely unarmed.

  11. curvyroads says:

    Your smart-ass skills are truly awesome!

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