I was asked to cover the morning shift. It wasn’t too bad, but I only had eight hours to get myself home, and into bed so I could have some sleep before going in for my usual night shift. I did get some sleep, maybe not enough, but the coffee helps. I was looking forward to a quiet night. “They gave my room away!” I could hear the woman yelling from the stairway. “I told that asshole to wait for me to arrive, and he shows up early, and takes a room that I’m paying for!” I stood up from my seat, and waited for the woman to verbally assault me. “You gave my room away!” The woman in her late 50’s screamed at me, with her Long Island voice.
“I’m quite certain I did not give your room away.” I replied.
“My stupid, asshole, brother took a room that I paid for. It’s supposed to be one of my rooms. I paid for those rooms, and I want to know why you gave it away to him. Why did you give him the keys to my room?”
“Can I have your name? What room is it?” She gave me the room number, and her name. It was her name on the reservations, but there were other names attached to the rooms. I asked for her brother’s name, and I found it in the list of names added to one of the rooms. “Your name is on the reservations for all of your rooms, he never took anything from you. The room is still yours.”
“How come he checked-in, and was given all of the keys to the room?”
“I don’t know. I only arrived here a few minutes ago, but his name is listed as being part of your group. It is reasonable to assume that someone took his I.D. and let him check-in.”
“Well, he says he had to give you a credit card, and now he says the room is his, and he won’t give me the keys.”
“His credit card was used for incidentals. He didn’t takeover the rights to the room. It was still paid for by you. I can see it in your reservation. You prepaid. His credit card doesn’t change that. All he did was give us something to bill him with if he smokes in the room, or causes damage.”
“That lying piece of garbage!”
“I can easily make you more keys to that room.” I started making them for her. All of the sudden she was happy. I could see that her joy, was not because I reassured her that the room was still hers, but because she was about to barge into that room, and kick her brother’s ass. I gave her the keys, and she hurried back upstairs.
“Watch your ass Craig! I’m shoving my foot right up it.” She said as she walked upstairs.
It was only a few moments before she returned. “It won’t open the door. I get a flashing red light, instead of an open door.”
“Well, that means he’s using the dead-bolt on the door. I can bypass that, no problem.”
I grabbed my handy-dandy, electric-door-opener-thingy, and we marched ourselves up to the room. First, I tried the key, and I also saw the red lights. I knocked on the door, and told the guy that he needed to unlock the door. He never replied. It took me five seconds to open the door. I plugged in the box, typed in my password, and… Click… The door opened. I pushed the door open, and flipped the lights on. The guy was alone, and sleeping in one of the two queen beds. It stunk like cigarettes and weed. He bolted out of the bed as soon as the lights were on. “Get the hell out of my room!” He yelled at us. “I told you, Patty, I had to give them my card. The room is mine!” I’ve seen homeless people who looked better than him.
“The credit card you gave us was only for incidentals. You never actually made the room your own. Now, this room is in her name. She wants you to leave. I’m here to make sure that happens.”
“Hell no! I told you when I arrived that I didn’t want to give you my card, and you made me give it anyways. I watched you slide the card in your machine. If it’s my card on the room, then it’s my room!”
“This is typical Craig; always making up the rules to make things more convenient for him… Have you ever considered just getting a goddamned job, Craig? Did you ever think of being responsible? Can you at least wash your stinking underwear?”
“Shut the hell up.” He said.
“You’re sixty-five years old, Craig!”
Craig was standing there in his underwear, trying to make himself look like the victim. Everything about the guy screams, drug addict.
“You’re not mom, Patty! Stop talking to me like you have any say in how I live!”
“You stole my room, you piece of shit! Why don’t you go back to the bridge you live under!”
“Why don’t you talk to your own son this way? You make me out to be an addict, and your son sells weed!”
“My son is thirty-two years old, he went to college, and he works in a dispensary, in Colorado! At least he does it legally, Craig!”
As fun as it was getting, I needed to get myself back to the desk. “I’m going to let the two of you work this out. I need to go back downstairs.”
“Well, then you better take my card off the reservation then!”
“I’m not doing that.”
“I’m not getting charged for this room. Not on my card! You take her card.”
“Mister, this is dumb, are you a frigging idiot or something?” I looked at his sister. “He’s an idiot, isn’t he?”
“And a thief, and a liar, and I can go on, but all he’s going to do deny he did anything wrong. Please make him leave.” She said.
“You have to leave.” I said to him.
“But, we’re family!” He shouted.
“You’re not my family.” I said. “Now, please gather your things and go.”
“Not before you change that credit card!” He demanded.
“Not only did you give us a credit card for incidentals, but you also signed the paper agreeing to our rules. You agreed to pay the smoking fee. You have been smoking in here…. I’m charging you $200.” He made a fist, and stepped forward, but he tripped on the comforter that he tossed on the floor, and landed face-first. “Please put your pants on.” Craig stood up, and started putting his pants on.
“I’m not paying any $200!”
“Yes, you are. Please hurry up and leave. I’ve gotten very little sleep, and I don’t want to babysit you.” His sister grabbed a pillow, and started smashing it over his head.
“Get out of my life you no good asshole!”
“So, are you going to leave, or am I going to have to call the police?” I asked.
“What are you calling the police for?” He cried out while putting on his pants.
“You’re violent. You just attacked me.”
“I never touched you!”
“You touched me in my feels. You attempted to harm me, and now my feelings are hurt… Ouch. Now, get out.”
“Where the hell am I supposed to go?”
“How did you get here?” I asked.
“There is your answer. Get in your car, and go.”
His sister started slamming the pillow against his head again. “Get out… Get out… Get out!” He picked up his bag of weed, and pack of cigarettes from the nightstand. Then he picked up his jacket, and ran out of the room.
“I’ll be right back with some fresh sheets, and towels.” I told the woman. First, I followed the guy out of the building, and watched him get into his car. He reclined the driver’s seat. I walked to the car, and knocked on his window. “You can’t stay here, either.”
“What the f*ck!” He shouted, followed by pressing his middle finger against the glass. I watched him fumble for his keys. He eventually pulled them out of his jacket pocket, got his car started, and drove away like a maniac. I could smell the rubber burning as he skidded away.
I returned to her room with the sheets and towels. I even made the bed for her. After I finished with that, I returned to my desk, and added the $200 fee to the guy’s card. I get the feeling that was more money than he could afford to spend. I’m pretty sure that guy has made a living off of taking advantage of people, and taking all the free handouts he can get.
Maybe if people can’t see me, they can’t infect my shift with anymore of their craziness…