What’s The Hook Up To Now?

That’s a damn good question, isn’t it?

I’m glad I thought of it. Now let’s get to it shall we?

One)  “Whose decision was it to bring our guests closer to the Falls than ever?”  It’s been two weeks since a flood worthy of a James Cameron flick struck the hotel. I haven’t written much about this particular incident since I rather enjoy being employed, but in a nutshell:

  •  The hotel’s pool was removed months ago to accommodate a complete lobby revamp that will see my desk and storage area moved to a spot that once hosted the hot tub. (The Bellmen lobbied unsuccessfully to keep said hot tub.) Taking down these walls allowed the extremely-frigid Canadian winter air to bombard exposed pipes.
  •  The pipes burst (shocker!) at three am on a Sunday. These things never happen when it’s convenient. Fate’s a bitch.
  •  I awoke Monday morning to a call from work. “You’ve got to get in here, Hook! We’re not going to say anything… this one has to be seen to be believed!”
  •  Sure enough, the second floor, lobby and basement were all dark and wet (there’s a joke in there somewhere) as insane amounts of water flowed where it was never meant to… and chaos reigned.
  •  Ceiling tiles hung precariously. Lights flickered. Office computers buzzed as they shorted out. There was an eerie silence. Cue the horror movie score.
  •  Even though the upper floors were unaffected I spent the next several hours evacuating guests. We drafted other staff members to act as temporary bellmen, though none of them rose to my level of snark. In retrospect, that’s just as well.
  •  The hotel was devoid of guests and the water had been sucked up and pushed out the front doors (seriously!) by mid-afternoon.
  •  My decision to play “My Heart Will Go On” on my phone as the whole aquatic disaster played out received mixed reactions… but I stand by it.
  •  The electronics in a few elevators are still fried but otherwise life has gone on and it’s business as usual at the hotel.


Okay, so it wasn’t this type of flood… but you all know how my mind works, right?


And speaking of business…

TWO)  There isn’t any!  Well, to be clear, the hotel isn’t doing too bad; winter in Niagara Falls is always reminiscent of The Shining’s Overlook Hotel anyway. But the bellmen haven’t seen much action this season.

The truth is, travelers are cheaper and more hostile than ever. The average schmuck would rather strap twelve bags to Little Timmy or re-purpose Grandma’s wheelchair or walker into a luggage cart than ask for a bellman’s assistance. Think I’m being dramatic? Here’s an actual gust interaction I took part in last week.

FEMALE GUEST:  (Contrary to every rule of writing, being vague works best for my purposes. This way, I keep my job you get the important bits. Everyone wins.)  You got any of those luggage trolley things, pal? I got a lot of junk in my trunk!

Yes, she was from New York. Go figure, right? You get all kinds in Niagara. 

ME:  You look fine to me, but I can come to your car and assist you, miss.

FG:  You don’t have any carts? What kind of joint is this?

ME:  The kind of joint that has bellmen, miss. We know you work hard all year long so we’re here to work for you while you enjoy the natural splendor of Niagara.

FG:  What the hell did you just say?

ME:  We’re a full-service property. The bellman will bring the cart out to your car, load the bags for you and deliver them to your room.

FG:  Well lah-dee-da! That’s high class! How much is that going to cost me?

My initial reaction was to respond with, “Less than a tenth of your last welfare check, miss.” But that would’ve been wrong. Funny as fuck… but wrong.

ME:  Oh, there’s no actual charge, miss. They pay me to be here for you. They don’t pay me much… but they pay me nonetheless.

FG:  You don’t talk like no hotel guy! I never met a bellboy like you before before!

ME:  And you never will again, miss.

And that’s a quick snapshot of my life at the moment, folks. Many guests just can’t disconnect from their worries for a few days and so they carry their frustration with them. It turns into hostility and that negativity is projected forward. Truth be told, I take more crap from people then I ever return.

But sometimes I have to fight back in my own manner. At the end of the day I’m prepared for these harsh winters. My bills are paid, my mortgage is non-existent and I stopped selling organs to cover my comic book collecting habit… so I’m good.


Then again, my daughter loves taking trips to NYC to experience Broadway up-close-and-personal, so I may need to buy even more weed stock.

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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41 Responses to What’s The Hook Up To Now?

  1. davidprosser says:

    You didn’t ask if management had reintroduced the swimming pool? No, perhaps keeping your job is better. Glad the problem is almost sorted now.
    Hugs my friend

  2. Sooooo when I go on my trip to Mexico in April for 2 weeks which by the way was a xmas gift from my parents. I’m way to poor to pay for that. How many peso’s Mr. Bellman shall I keep for my super cute Mexican Bellman who I shall affectionately name Pedro?

    • The Hook says:

      Not sure about the current Peso conversion rate, but Mexicans LOVE US dollars… so you’ll be good with any size gratuity.
      Have fun!

      • It’s odd but when I went to Cuba some years ago, if you were visiting you had to pay for everything in the running dog capitalist lickspittle Yankee dollar.

  3. Ding Dong The Divorce is Done says:

    I was thinking Titanic the whole time I was reading the first part. HAHA. I really wish you would have played some good old Celine while you were evacuating the guests. That would of been classic Hook!!

    • The Hook says:

      I really should’ve kept the song looping on my phone, but some folks were genuinely concerned they were going to have to decide whether or not to let their loved ones go under like Kate did to Leo…

  4. Becky says:

    Oh boy. Never a dull moment, eh Hook?

  5. Did Female Guest come up with a tip? You should charge entertainment tax too.

  6. Loved the post, Hook. We here in South Texas sure know about the power of water and its destructive force. Hope all gets back to normal soon.

  7. dianaepona says:

    You can have Celine. I’ll take Johnny in the form of Captain Sparrow! Either way, question is, how long can you tread water, Hook? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpgiFh66swc

  8. Doug in Oakland says:

    I live in California, so if it had happened here, someone would have showed up with a surfboard…

  9. michd74 says:

    Oh dear, sounds like a doozy. lol

  10. What comics do you like? I collect comics too!😀

    • The Hook says:

      I can’t bring myself to collect individual issues anymore (the prices are outrageous) but I’ll read pretty much any trades from DC, Marvel or Image that I can find. Heck, I’ll read pretty much anything from any publisher to be honest, it gets pretty quiet at work these days!

      But I’ve always loved the JLA, Avengers, Teen Titans, Nightwing and dozens of others. I’m flexible.

  11. Tara says:

    I can’t believe they didn’t save this adventure for our trip there. This is Exactly the kind of shit that Todd attracts… and it’s funny as hell. You get to have all the fun.

  12. Theresa says:

    Holy crap Hook, when it rains it pours! No pun intended! You’ve got a lot more reserve then I ever could imagine! Menopause would cause me to be snarky with ignorant people without even blinking! You’ve got the patience of a Saint!

  13. Did I read above that this project would be on going for two years. People do not like staying in hotels that have any kind of construction work going on. Hopefully, you will be able to keep your head above water for that long. (Yeah, I went there.)

    • The Hook says:

      You read correctly.
      The theater is on a July1, 2019 deadline, the new pool’s deadline of June 2018 has already been blown out of the water (I went there too) and the rest of the renos, of which there are dozens, are open-ended.
      Pray for me.

  14. You’d think that inhabitants of the frozen north where all our cold fronts come from and so near Santa’s workshop would be clever enough to keep all water pipes snug, warm, and protected….we even know about doing that in the subtropics here. (I’m suspecting a rival hotel paid off someone. Conspiracy!) Love your musical response and the comments offering additional suggestions

  15. StillWaters says:

    Brilliant you playing that crappy song from that crappy water movie (“A Night to Remember” is oceans better!!!). I would have laughed my wet arse off, b’y, once I’d reached higher ground.

  16. Life of unending upheavel sounds like. Keep smiling Robert.. it suits you. 😙😙😙

  17. Jo Bryant says:

    Funny as always.

  18. Always always love your snappy humor and writing. Why have I been away for so long? Glad to return and see that you are still the Hook we all know and love. Xo

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