The Guy From Kalamazoo

The people in the rewards program can sometimes be worse than the people who use 3rd parties to reserve rooms. In the rewards program, the guests earn points each time they stay at any of our hotels. Higher level guests get more points, and can also request free upgrades, early check-ins, and later check-outs. As long as there are rooms available to accommodate the guests request, we have to honor the request. People who travel most often tend to expect these perks to be automatically guaranteed no matter what, and refuse to consider reality when the hotel is unable to upgrade.

The hotel sold out. The one guest left to check-in arrived, and being a top-level member, he requested an executive suite. Unfortunately I was unable to do that. I apologized and told him the hotel sold out, and the only room available was the one he originally reserved.

“Is my membership level showing on your screen?”

“Yes it is. You’re one of our highest level members. Normally I would have no problem upgrading you, but the hotel is sold out. There are no more suites available tonight, but I can move you into one as soon as one becomes available tomorrow afternoon.”

“I’m guaranteed that suite.”

The man stood there staring at me. This is another one of those guys who thinks they can stop and stare a person down without finishing their thought because the uncomfortable silence is supposed to imply the rest, and I’m supposed to see authority in his presence, and then do as he commands.

“It’s only guaranteed based on availability.”

“It’s guaranteed. Period.”

That asshole ended his sentence with the word “Period.” That’s like putting your foot down, and asserting absolute authority. I work with 20 year-olds who try to pull that shit. Screw you, guy from Kalamazoo.

“I am sorry that I am unable to upgrade you tonight…”

“You can, and you will.”

In my head, I’m punching you in the face.

“I honestly cannot. I will give you triple the points for the inconvenience, and have a suite prepared for you tomorrow, but we are full tonight. I hope you can understand.”

“I understand that you aren’t doing your job. If you can’t give me the service I deserve, then find me somewhere that will.”

He clearly lives inside an invisible bubble that allows him to believe this delusion that he deserves special treatment without exception.

“Every hotel in the area sold out tonight. The room you currently have it quite literally the only available room in the city, and surrounding areas. I promise you, If I could fulfill your request, I would, but tonight it just won’t be possible.”

“Why the hell are all the hotels sold out?”

“We are all sold out, because we have no rooms left to sell.” Wrong answer, but it felt so right.

I put the paperwork in-front of him, along with a pen, and the two of us had a staring contest. I blinked first, but in my defense, there was an air vent blowing on my face. He finally put his signature on the paper, but he ignored the spot where he needed to initial next to the rate, and where he needs acknowledge the no smoking, and no pets policy. I could have let it slide, but I get to be an asshole too.

“I’m going to need your initials on a few more lines.”

“Just give me my damn keys.”

“I must insist that you initial those lines first. It’s the hotel policy, and I cannot give you keys until they have your initials on them.”

He grabbed the pen and scribbled over each line, then slammed the pen down, and reached for his keys. I handed them to him with a smile, and recited the whole “Welcome to our hotel” nonsense, as he swiftly walked away from me.


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