I finished the end of day reports, filed and emailed them to the appropriate places, and then I printed the bills for the morning departures. I placed the bills in envelopes and slid them under people’s doors. It took about 10 minutes to finish. When I returned to the lobby, a man was pacing in front of the desk. He had an angry face. “Sorry for keeping you waiting, sir. I was delivering bills. How can I help you?” I said.
“What the hell took you so long?”
“I was just delivering bills. I also made fresh coffee if that is something you’re interested in.”
“Why would I want coffee? I need to sleep.” He was being an ass. What person in my position wouldn’t offer the fresh coffee that was just made? Perhaps it being morning might be a reason I would assume he might want coffee. I actually don’t care if he wants coffee, or not. I made it. It’s available. I offered it. I did my job. Nobody said he had to accept the coffee.
“I also have tea available.”
“I didn’t come here for coffee. I need my room.” His tone was harsh. It was evident to me, he was going to be mad at me no matter what I said, or did.
“I understand. So, you are looking for a room?”
“401.” He said.
Room 401 was occupied. I put the bill under that door, moments before. I asked for his name, and he looked at me like I just asked him the worlds dumbest question, which seemed to irritate his nerves even more. “Have you stayed with us before?” I asked. Again, he looked at me like I must be an idiot.
“I stay here all the time.”
“Then it should be easy to find you a room. If I can just get your name, I will make you a quick reservation, and send you on your way.”
“I already have one. If you would just check me in, that would be great.”
“Have we met before?” I asked.
“I seriously doubt it.”
“I also don’t recall meeting you, which is why I don’t know your name. If you would just tell me your name, I can work much faster.”
He finally told me his last name. I found him in my arrivals list. “Sir, your reservation is here, but check-in time is at 3:00 this afternoon. If I check you in this early, I will have to charge you for an extra day.”
“You can see I’m a member. Members are promised early check-ins.”
“Although that is true, we don’t guarantee check-ins this early. We would be able to do a 1:00 pm, or 2:00 pm early check-in, but it’s 3:30 am. The room you requested is not available yet. I can put you in one of our standard rooms for now, and you can switch to the suite that you requested as soon as it becomes available, but I would have to charge you for day-use.”
“When I reserved the room, I requested room 401, and I requested an early check-in.”
What’s absurd is that guy thinking he can show up eleven and a half hours early.
“I see that. There is a note attached to your reservation with exactly that written in it. I can make sure to have housekeeping make that room available to you as soon as possible, but someone is currently in that room, and housekeepers will not be here until 9:00. I will make that room our first priority.”
He leaned towards me to read my name tag.“Michael, I just got off a long flight. As a member, I am guaranteed early check-ins. You need to make this happen.”
When people take note of my name like that, my blood boils. He wasn’t just acknowledging who I am, he was trying to show me that he knows who I am, and he knows who to trash-talk later when he complains to management about this. I already know what my boss will ask me after she deals with him…
“Did you tell him to go f**k himself?” I did, on the inside.
“I currently have a handicap accessible, single king standard that I can offer you. I will give you the room for $50, and you can stay in there until room 401 becomes available. You will earn another 100 points for that room, on top of the 1,000 points you will get for your original reservation.”
“You want to give me a handicap room?”
“I mean, it’s no different from most rooms. It just has a wider door in the bathroom and a roll in shower. Nobody will force you to use the hand rails next to the toilet, although, if you have issues.. you know, doing number two…. those hand rails next to the toilet could be convenient… if you know what I mean.”
He made a call on his phone. I stood there watching him while I sipped my coffee. I made sure to make extra loud sipping sounds. He noticed. Whoever he was calling, answered.
“Sorry for waking you up at this hour, Ted. I’m having issues getting my room…. Yes… I can’t get a room. I’m probably going to have to look somewhere else. I can’t stay here. This guy is an idiot. He’s trying to charge me more money for a room I already have reserved for today… I know this, Ted!”
Whatever Ted said, the guest clearly didn’t like it. He continued.
“Here… he’s right here. Do you want to talk to him yourself?” He shoved the phone towards my face. “Ted needs to talk to you.”
I took his phone, and I heard Ted yelling at him… “No, I don’t need to talk to the guy…”
“Hello, Ted.” I said. “My name is Michael, and I am happy to help you guys figure this out.”
“Jesus Christ! I told him not to put you on the phone.”
“Yep, I heard you say that; he didn’t. He was busy shoving his phone in my face. So here is the issue, Ted… May I call you Ted?”
“He has a reservation here, but check-in isn’t until 3:00 in the afternoon. Are you his employer, or something?”
“He just showed up and asked for his requested room, but it won’t be available until later this afternoon. I offered him another room for the morning, but I have to charge him for day use. I am sure you can understand.”
“That makes sense. Please put him on the phone.”
I handed the phone back and went back to slurping my coffee. He argued with Ted. He didn’t like whatever Ted was telling him. “I know you pay me back for the room, but I’m not letting him charge me anything extra.” He hung up on Ted. I bet that pissed him off. Poor Ted. “I’m leaving,” he said.
“Oh, okay. Well, It was fun chatting with you. We look forward to seeing you this afternoon.”
“I’m not coming back. You can go ahead and cancel my reservation. I will go someplace else.”
I had some very bad news for him. He wasn’t going to like it.
“I can’t cancel your reservation.”
“Why not?” His voice echoed down the hall.
“Don’t shout in my lobby. I can tolerate most negative behavior, but shouting in my lobby at 3:30 in the morning is unacceptable. I don’t care what’s pissing you off. You have no right to disturb my sleeping guests.”
“You know what…. fine…. Just cancel the damn reservation.”
“No. I can’t. You chose the book early and save rate. That means you chose the cheapest rate, but it’s a prepaid, nonrefundable deposit. You also agreed to no cancellations at the time you booked with us. It’s set in stone. You paid. You cannot get that money back. The room is yours. Even if you stay at another hotel, room 401 will be yours starting at 3:00 this afternoon. It will remain yours until your check-out date. You don’t have to stay if you don’t want. You can come visit the room if you wish, then you can go back to your other hotel. Either way, you do it, we can’t cancel your reservation.”
“You can put me in a room for $50.00?”
“I will put you in our standard room for $50.00 I will put a note on the reservation allowing you to stay there until 3:00. Normally day use reservations still have to leave at 11:00 am.”
“You couldn’t have been more of an asshole while saying that just now.”
“I absolutely could.” I was looking into his profile to see what his membership looked like. “Did you know you have enough points for a free stay?” I said.
“Good. Then I would like to use that for this stupid extra fee you are charging me.”
“I actually can’t do that. First, you can only reserve rooms with your points by going online and logging in to your member profile, then you have to make the reservation on our website. The hotel can’t do that directly. Second, well, the second part isn’t really a can’t do… Do you really want to waste those points on a room just for business purposes? I would want to use my points while on vacation, or something recreational. I know a guest who often stays here for work. He uses his points for free stays when he travels with his wife. He lets his employer pay for his rooms when he is working. Do you think his wife knows he pays a prostitute to stay with him at least once a week?”
“What the hell are you saying?”
“You’re right. It’s not my business. I can get you in that room in a jiffy!”
I made him a quick day use reservation and handed him his key.
“Don’t forget to tip your housekeeper. They clean the toilets after you poop in them.” I said with a smile. He stuck his middle finger in the air and walked away.