It’s Been One Of Those Nights


During my shift, I like to walk through the building. It keeps me off my ass, and it’s a good idea in general. I took the elevator up to the top floor, and walked through each hallway, taking the stairs as I went down. When I reached the 1st floor, I noticed the odor of burning cigarettes. Following the smell, I ended up outside the guest laundry room. When I peeked through the window, I saw a woman in her 50’s sitting in a folding chair, wearing only her underwear, and smoking a cigarette; she had a tablet sitting on the folding table, and she was watching Big Bang Theory. I heard… “Bazinga!”… through the door. So I knocked on the door and walked in. She ignored me and kept puffing away on her cigarette.

“Ma’am, this is a smoke-free property. I have to ask you to put out that cigarette. Also, I need you need to wear clothing.” I said. The lady slowly turned her head towards me, took a deep drag, and blew the smoke above her head. Then, she opened the window, took another drag, and returned her attention back to her tablet. “Excuse me, but I did just tell you that you can’t smoke in here.”

“It’s raining.” She said, without removing her eyes from the tablet.

“You need to put your clothes on.”

“My night gown is still in the wash.”

“Where are the rest of your clothes?”

“In the wash… it’s not rocket science.”

She smoked her cigarette down to the filter, dropped it on the floor, and pulled a crumpled cigarette pack out of her purse, and lit another one.

“Please put out that cigarette.”

“What are you going to do about it? Take it from me? Go ahead.”

“The last thing I want to do is get close to you.”

“Aww, what’s the matter? Are you afraid I might bite you?” She pulled out her teeth and placed them next to her tablet. “Now you don’t have to worry.” She said while scratching her armpit.

That was gross; she put her teeth directly on the table top. Who knows what people put on that surface? How many other people, similar to her, have placed their bare asses on that table top? I bet she put those teeth right back into her mouth without cleaning them first. I heard the phone ringing, so I had to rush back to my desk. There wasn’t much I was going to be able to do about that lady, without calling the police, and I hadn’t dismissed that option. I answered the call. It was just another hotel. Looking for information. Sometimes the auditor at another location calls me, and tell me there is a person at her hotel who isn’t on her arrivals list and wants me to confirm if I have the guest on my list. In this case, just like most, the person was not on my list. We exchanged a few polite words and hung up.

An elderly gentleman approached me. I could smell marijuana. It wasn’t mine. His shoulders were hunched forward, and he looked at me over the top of his glasses, because he couldn’t straighten his neck, or at least I assume that’s the issue. He reached into the pockets of his robe and pulled out a small bag of marijuana, and a packet of rolling papers, then he placed them on my desk.

“Can you help me with this? I can’t roll these things by myself anymore.” He said.

“What the hell… Why not?” I said. “Just make sure you smoke it outside.” I took his stuff and started breaking up his weed, right there.

“My grandson grows it.”

“Kudos to him.”

I finished rolling his joint, and I walked him outside. He started smoking it, and I went back inside. The lady from the laundry room walked to the desk, still only in her underwear.

“I smell pot.” She said.

I had a pile of towels sitting at the desk; I threw one at her.

“I smell cigarettes, and under-boob-sweat. Put on your clothing. I can’t let you stand in my lobby, without clothes on.”

“You can’t smoke pot in here.”

“I’m not… You can’t smoke cigarettes inside the building, but, that hasn’t stopped you. You also need to wear clothing, and here you are, standing in my lobby in your underwear.”

“It’s not pot, and who cares? Nobody can see me right now.”

“I can see you, and I’m taking off my glasses so I can see less of you. At least the guy smoking pot is outside.”

“But pot isn’t legal.”

“Well, I suppose you could call the police, and complain.”

“What if I do?”

“That’s fine. I’ll just ask them to give him a break, and they will because they don’t actually want to be bothered with this stupid situation. But, if you are the one making the call, they will want a statement from you. I’ll be sure to let them know that you have been refusing to listen to me tell you to stop smoking inside the building and that you also refuse to wear clothes while outside of your room. Then I will ask them to make sure you leave the property, and they will.”

I grabbed the bottle of air freshener, and sprayed it generously, in her general area. She walked back to the laundry room with the towel in one hand, and scratching her armpit, again, with her other hand.

That guy might be old, but he inhaled that joint quickly. I saw giant clouds of smoke billowing from his face. He has stronger lungs than me. When he finished smoking, he walked back inside, wished me a good night, and slowly wobbled back to his room.

At 2:30, the lady returned, and she was wearing her nightgown. Finally! She had the rest of her laundry bunched up in her arms.

“I’m done.”

“Great. Don’t let the elevator door close on your ass.”

“I’m gonna need a wake-up call at 10:00.”

“Certainly. What is your room number?” She told me, and I opened the reservation. “Alright, you are all set for that wake-up. Just for the sake of being thorough, is the Visa card that you checked in with going to be the same card you plan to use to settle your bill, at check out?”

“Yes, why?”

“I’m just keeping everything up to date… I’m the night auditor. It’s my job to make sure everything is tip-top.”

She walked away. I opened her billing screen and posted a $300 smoking fee. When I did the audit, I made sure to print a copy of her Reg Card. It shows her signature, including where she put her initials, acknowledging the no smoking policy. I put the copy under her door, along with the copy of her bill. She can complain in the morning if she wants to, but I’m working a double shift, so unfortunately for her, I will be the only person available to take her complaint.

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