I watched an airport shuttle arrive. A large man, who hasn’t shaved in a couple of days, pushed the passenger door open. He stepped out, then slammed the door shut. The driver, a much shorter man, who reminded me of Hunter S. Thompson, stepped out of the driver’s seat. The two of them exchanged some words. I could hear them each call the other an asshole, through the glass doors. Both men ended up with a middle finger in the air. The large man, finally handed the driver his credit card. The driver slid the card on his handy little card reader, and gave the man his receipt. The large man took his receipt. And the driver offered him another wave of his middle finger as he stomped his feet on his way back to the cab.
The man entered the hotel with his single bag hanging over his shoulder. He looked confused as he looked around the lobby, then he started talking. “Alright, just give me my key. I’m too tired for bullshit, and I’m going to need you to reimburse me for that cab.” He stood there and stared at me. He gave me the impression that he couldn’t understand why I wasn’t making it snappy. “Right now works for me.” He said. I could smell the beer as he spoke.
“Can I have your name, please?” I asked while pushing a candy dish filled with chocolate in front of him. He emptied the dish into his hand and put the chocolates into his pocket.
“Are you kidding me? You guys always just have my shit ready for me when I arrive.”
“I’m sure we do. I just need your name so I can check you in.” The mans one eyebrow became raised, and the other eyebrow lowered. If it wasn’t for his bad attitude, I would think he was part Vulcan. He looked around the lobby, like he just couldn’t believe what was happening.
“I did the online check-in thing.” Was I supposed to know that just by watching him walk through the door. I still couldn’t do anything without knowing who he was.
“I’m sure this will be quick. Can I have your name? I will be able to see which room is yours with your name.” He sighed.
“Grossman.” He said. That wasn’t so hard, now was it? I typed his name into the search field, and there wasn’t a Grossman on my arrivals list. Shit! It sucks when I have to tell an already ill-tempered person that their name isn’t on my list. I try not to be so blunt about it.
“I don’t see that name. Could it be under a different name?” He did that eyebrow thing again, but he added a head-tilt, making him seem more like The Rock. Which one of us watches too much television? It could be a tie. I sniffed, to see if I could smell what was cooking.
“No. It’s Grossman. I only have the one name.” Like Bono, or Fabio.
“Maybe the reservation has the wrong dates. I’ll check that for you.” I said. Grossman, leaned into the counter. I searched for his profile. If he had a reservation, we would have a profile for him. It would have every past, current, and future reservation available for me to see. There are lots, and lots of people named Grossman. “Can I have your zip-code, please?” His voice blasted each number like a bullhorn. I looked for that assholes zip-code. That asshole had no profile in our system. That asshole had no reservation at the hotel. I had to tell that asshole, we didn’t have a reservation for him. “I’m sorry to have to say this, but we don’t have a reservation for you. Is it possible the cab brought you to the wrong location? I can call the other locations for you, if you want.” Is it possible to smell another person’s blood boiling? I though that was just a saying, but that just might be what The Rock was cooking.
“No! I made the reservation myself, online, just today!” When you were a kid, do you remember that Phys-Ed teacher who would scream at everyone like it was a boot-camp? Do you remember the way it seemed like his eyeballs might actually pop out of his head? That was Mr. Grossman. Only without the sweatpants, and blowing a whistle every 30 seconds.
“Did you use our company site, or a third-party site?”
“I just search online for the place that will give me the lowest price. Listen, I stay here all the time.” I have never seen him before, and If he always checks-in that late at night, I would have seen him before. Did it matter? There was still no reservation for him. Either he showed up at the wrong hotel, or he was full of shit. Perhaps both. Someone call William Shatner, and ask him where this guy’s hotel is. I didn’t bother asking him for a confirmation number. I picked up the phone, and ignored Mr. Grossman, who wanted to know what I was doing. I called all the locations that related to my hotel. None of them had a reservation for Mr. Grossman.
“Sir, I suggest you contact the third-party that you used to reserve your hotel. It appears that you do not have a reservation at any of our properties. If you need me to make you a reservation I can do that right now.”
“I know I made my reservation right… Did you remodel this place or something?” There was a hint of a sudden realization in his eyes. He looked over my shoulder where the hotels big, obvious looking logo was hanging on the wall. He took a deep breath, looked at his feet. “I’m at the wrong damn hotel.” He said. Mr. Grossman walked out the door. He saw the competing hotel on the other side of the street. “That’s where I’m supposed to be.” He said as the doors closed behind him.