All licensed hotels, whether they’re a luxurious high-rise property or a scuzzy dive, have certain standards they must maintain in order to continue reaping the benefits of being a part of something larger than themselves.
In other words, if a hotel wants to keep that Marriott, Hilton etc., banner on the keys they have to run the gauntlet of regular inspections. And trust me, as someone who’s seen eighteen-plus years of inspections occur before his jaded eyes, I can honestly say it’s a helluva gauntlet. Don’t get me wrong, as an observer of human behavior I love to see managers run around like the proverbial decapitated fowl, but to be honest, inspections are sort of a joke.
The hotel knows exactly when the inspector is arriving so they have plenty of time to get things cleaned up and ready. His or her room is spotless and fully stocked. Carpets are shampooed. (Bye bye, blood or wine stains!) Elevators, guest and service, are cleaned and tuned up. Lobby walls are repainted and tidied. (So long plant that sorority girl threw up in on Sunday morning.) A hotel becomes the sort of property it should be every day whenever an inspector shows up.
Now if an inspector showed up out of the blue? Well, perhaps they’d find a detail or two that would result in a failing grade. Such as…
ONE) Conversations like this:
UNIDENTIFIED INSPECTOR: Are you the Bell Desk?
ME: No, I’m a bell man, sir. (Tapping the actual desk.) This is the Bell Desk. I don’t always have the most animated personality… but there is a distinction between the two of us.
And in case you’re wondering, the Inspector actually liked my humor. Though when he noted during a meeting with Management that he received horrible service from a staff member, my name was the first one raised. I wonder why that was?
TWO) More than one dead hooker hidden under a guest room bed. One dead hooker under a bed is acceptable by today’s standards. (Four Rooms was more of a documentary than anything else.) But two or more? Now that’s just lazy.
THREE) Honest answers to guest queries. Whoever decided that honesty is the best policy never ran a hotel.
TEENAGE FEMALE GUEST: Why are all the adult movies in this hotel soft core? How is my man supposed to get hard for me if the porn is soft?
ME: Is that your gentleman over there, miss? (I pointed at a man old enough to be this chick’s grandfather.)
TFG: Yep! He needs a little something extra to get him going and your porn here sucks!
ME: Pun intended?
TFG: What pun?
ME: (Sighing.) Never mind. As far as your flaccid friend is concerned, miss, (I figured we were down the rabbit hole anyway) have you considered pills or maybe just talking? Conversation can be very stimulating. Your man can tell you what Jesus was like.
TFG: If he wants someone to talk to he can get a dog! He’s paying me to make him feel like a teenager again!
ME: So let him feel you up and send him on his way before he gets any further. That’s how all my teenage encounters went.
TFG: Are you serious?
ME: Depends on whether or not my meds have kicked in, miss.
TFG: I heard that!
Would you like another?
BOSTONIAN GUEST: Your parking sucks! The spots are too damn small! I can’t figure out where to park my fucking truck!
ME: Have you considered using criteria other than compensating for shortcomings when purchasing a vehicle, sir?
(Oh, that Hook!)
FOUR) Television sets with only two channels – that are as blurry as Sarah Huckabee’s answers to direct questions. To be fair, there is a sign in front of the TV that reads, “To Our Valued Guests; We apologize, but there’s nothing good on television anymore anyway.”
FIVE) Valets that get into your car while wearing a crash helmet. Safety first, kids.
And that’s all I have for you today. To be honest, this has taken all the brain power I can muster; I’m knackered!
See you in the lobby, friends…