I get it, everyone wants free stuff. I don’t blame people for trying to squeeze-out everything they can for the money they spend, but clearly, there’s a limit to how far a person can go with it before it changes from expecting good customer service, to going overboard, and expecting too much.
If you show up at 3am without a reservation, I’ll work with you on your price, and check-out time. But, If you are checking-in after making your reservation in advance, I don’t care if you’re arriving late. I am not changing anything, and I am not going to give you any extra time to check-out; other than the standard 2pm check-outs for rewards members.
After getting to work, and seeing no more expected arrivals, I made fresh coffee, and had some of the yummy left-over cherry pie. I guess it was National Cherry Pie Day today. (I’m lucky to get leftovers.) A gentleman walked-in, and said… “I’m here to check-in. You can call-off the search-party.”
“The party is over. You can tell, because we are out of pie. To be honest, I think they stopped looking past that table.”
“I know, right? People are assholes.”
He laughed. Nothing to worry about with this guy, right? He’s just going to check-in, and let me listen to Dead and Company, because John Mayer sounds frigging awesome, playing the music of The Grateful Dead, and I tend to be critical of people who fill-in for Jerry. You can listen for yourself if you don’t believe me. “I’m going to need a late check-out tomorrow.” He said.
“Sure, how does noon sound?”
“That’s too early.”
“I can do 1pm, or 2pm at the latest if you want to join our rewards program.”
“I don’t need that shit.”
“I know, right? Screw earning free nights, plus upgrading to a suite for no extra cost. I dig it.”
“Are you the night manager here?”
“Did the tie give it away? It was the tie, wasn’t it?” He laughed again.
“Normally I would think you were being rude, but you’re kind of funny. You should write this stuff down.”
“I don’t know… Maybe I can start a blog where I can make fun of hotel guests, or something.”
The man signed the papers, and took his key-card. He walked away without confirming when he would check-out, until he returned. The guy never made it to the elevator. Suddenly he was in-front of me again. “About that late check-out. Make it six o’clock.” I chuckled at that. There is no way he was serious. “I’m serious. I want a six o’clock check-out.”
“I can’t let you stay in your room until six o’clock. You do mean P.M. Right?”
“Yeah, why? Is that a problem?”
“I will have to charge you for another night. I can’t let people stay in a room that late after check-out-time, and not charge them for another night.”
“It’s never been a problem in the past.”
“We don’t offer check-outs that late. We would never be able to resell the room after you leave. We don’t have housekeepers here at that time. I can give you until two at the latest.”
“I’m not paying for another night. I will be back on the road tomorrow night.”
“Yet, you plan to stay in your room six hours past check-out. After two o’clock, we will have to charge you for another night. I’m only supposed to allow our members late check-outs. I’m being more than generous.
“I’m just going to give you a friendly heads-up. Your customer-service-skills, and ability to satisfy, sucks.” That’s not what your mom told me.
“You’re upset, because there’s no more pie. Am I right? I completely understand. People never leave me any treats either.”
“Who gives a shit about pie?”
“Me. I love pie. I especially love to eat pie while enjoying a fresh cup of coffee. I love flavor combinations. Most people know this about me.”
“Do you know what you are?”
“Yes. Beside being the night manager, my title is also night auditor. I am a desk attendant, and you can also call me, Majordomo.”
“Major-what? What, do you think this is the military?”
“Of course not. This is interesting to me, because I was just discussing the title with a friend of mine, before I left for work. Don’t worry, I thought it was just from a Grateful Dead song. It turns out it’s a real thing. Oh! Did you know Dead and Company will be at S.P.A.C. this summer? Far-out! Am I right? I might go.”
That was the point where his brain shut-down. He was no longer looking at me. He was looking past me, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. I bet I could have done The Electric Slide in-front of him, and he wouldn’t have noticed. He shook his head, like an Etch-A-Sketch. Sometimes you just have to shake it all away. “Just give me a six o’clock check-out. I’m not discussing this anymore.”
“You got it. I will go right ahead and extend that reservation.”
“Thank you! Was that so hard?”
He didn’t wait for my reply. That was probably for the best, because what I actually did was extend his stay for another night. He can leave at six if he wants. But he’s paying for the full night.
I might be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I’m enjoying the ride…