Grumpy Old Man


A grumpy old man checked in. I could tell from his body language that he was in a bad mood, and somehow, it’s probably my fault. He approached my desk, and gave me his name. Sometimes my computer freezes, and I have to wait a moment for it to work properly. It only happens when I have impatient people in front of me. He scolded me for taking too long. It took an extra 20 seconds. I checked him in quickly. I even skipped a few basic questions about his travels, just to get him away from me faster. The man left to park his car, then returned a short time later.
“I tried getting in the side door, but the key doesn’t work.” He said, scolding me again.
“I’m sorry about that. I will put in a work order for maintenance to look at it in the morning.”
He stood there staring at me. Grumpy people always stare at me when they are searching their brains for something else negative to respond with. It’s like their brains are working with a weak WiFi signal, on and old dial-up connection. My answer was not good enough for him.
“Well, how will that help me right now?”
“Do you want help carrying your luggage from your car?”
“No. I have everything right here”
“O.K. Will you be needing to use that door again tonight?”
“No. I plan to go to sleep.”
“If you don’t plan on using the door again, I’m not sure what I am supposed to do about this.”
The man started searching his brain for another reason to continue this discussion going. The door issue would not be resolved, and he was going to make sure of it.
“What if I need to get to my car for some reason?”
“Well, if the parking on that side of the building is inconvenient, I can offer you a space in the handicapped parking. You will be able to park right next to this door.”
“Do I look disabled to you?”
“I’m just offering you a more convenient parking space.”
“I don’t want to risk it getting towed.”
“I promise not to have your car towed. You can park right next to this door if you want to.”
He looked confused. It’s difficult to find a reason to get mad at people for offering to make things more comfortable for them, but that man has plenty of good old-fashioned determination.
“Well, if my card doesn’t work on that side door, then how do I know that it will work on my room door?”
“I can make you a new set of keys if you want.”
“How do I know they will work? I want you to check for me.”
“You want me to check to see if the keys work in the door?”
“Yes.”
“I have no way to check if the key works on the door from here. I can only program the key to work on that door. It should work just fine.”
“Well, it didn’t work on that side door.”
“That is just an issue with the card reader for that side door. It doesn’t mean your room door won’t open.”
“And how the hell am I supposed to know it if will work?”
“You put the key-card in the card reader.”
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“I will make you a new one, and because you have been inconvenienced, I’ll add 1,000 points to your rewards club profile.”
“Now that’s more like it.”
The man walked away, and never returned. His keys must have worked, or he died of a stroke on his way to his room. I’ll find out when I deliver receipts later, unless a horrified guest discovers him first.

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