Sunday, September 28

cutting into those Zs

This morning around 9:30 I received a few calls from 109 asking to be connected to 100. This always irritates me, as I fail to understand why it's neccessary for someone to dial 0, wait for me to answer, then request the other room, and then wait for me to connect them instead of just dialing the three digits themselves. But I digress.
After the third call, she called me at the desk and asked me to go into 100 since they weren't answering. I told her that I was sorry, but that we can't go into rooms unrequested like that unless there's an emergency.
"Well, I'm his mother and he's not answering," she told me, and then demanded that I go with her to knock on his door. Since I didn't have much else to do, I agreed.
A few minutes later, a tiny old lady in her eighties arrived at the office, and we went down two doors to her son's room. She knocked once, and then demanded that I open the door with my passkey. "Ma'am, are you sure he's not just sleeping or in the bathroom?"
"No, there's something wrong!" she insisted. "Why wouldn't he answer?"
"Because he's asleep or in the bathroom?"
She knocked once more, but there was no answer. "Can you open it?"
"If he's upset about us opening the door, you will have to assume the blame, ma'am."
"Why would he be upset?"
Because he was asleep and his mother and a stanger opened the door on him for no apparent reason, I thought to myself, but shrugging, I tried my passkey. The lights flashed green and red, indicating that the door was locked from the inside, and all but impossible for anyone to open from outside. I explained this to her.
"Well, what do we do now? There must be something you can do? What if he's had a heart attack?"
"Does he have heart problems, ma'am? Is he at risk for a heart attack?"
"No. He does smoke, though."
Just then, the door was unlocked and opened, and there was a very irritated grown man standing there. "What is it?" he asked his mother.
"Well, I thought you were ill!" she explained.
"Why would you think that?"
I left her to him.
Shortly after, he came into the office. "My mother is crazy," he told me, sounding for all the world like an embarrassed teenager. "She won't leave me alone! Like I'm going to die today! I was really getting some good Zs, too. I sometimes ask God why He won't release me from this torture, but I guess He's got a plan." He sighed and shook his head, then wished me a good day.

Thursday, September 25

"well, you're a whore."

Is what I should have responded when she was blathering about how I just work in a hotel and can't have clients like she does. Ah, l'esprit de scalier.
Rewind thirty minutes. I was minding my business and the Lol-iday Inn's when I noticed some weirdness outside involving a cab. Two rather disreputable types came inside: a Latoya-channeling tranny in a short black jumpsuit with a white marabou bra hanging out the top, and a thuggish and somewhat high seeming young black man. The tranny barked, "Call us a GreenCab" at me, then proceeded with her phone call. The young man stood in front of the desk staring blankly.
"Are you guys staying here?
"Uhhhh, yeah."
"In what room?"
"There is no room 398 here."
"I forgot, but we are staying here."
"Well, what's your name? I'll look it up."
"Davante what?"
"Uh, Sills."
"Well, there's no one here registered under that name."
"We just need a cab."
Meanwhile, during this exchange, I can hear the tranny jabbering into her phone about "the bitch at the hotel" who isn't calling her a cab. Well, forget that.
"You can use that phone there to call a cab," I told them, pointing at the house phone.
Staring me down, the tranny declared, "I don't have a number." (How unprofessional for her not to!)
Smiling beatifically, I replied, "I can give you one."
She stalked over to the house phone muttering rather audibly about a "dumb bitch too lazy to call me a cab," so I stopped her.
"On second thought, you can just leave."
"Yeah, we can!" she fired back, walking back over to the desk where her escort was still standing. Confusedly, he asked, "Where we going?"
"Some CUNT won't call us a cab," she told him in ringing tones, looking at me for emphasis when she said "cunt"--just in case I was unsure to whom she was referring.
"Seriously, I am so offended. You guys just need to leave."
Then they started tag-teaming me: "You fat bitch!" "I'm here to see a client, and you act like that, bitch!" "Get some contacts, bitch!" "Maybe if you weren't so ugly, you could get clients, too!" "You work in a fuckin' hotel, who're you?" (That's where I ought to have said, "Well, you're a whore.")
I simply rolled my eyes during all this, and waved them toward the door, repeating "You need to leave. Get off the property now," over and over again.
She walked out into the parking lot and stood there shouting obscenities at me, it looked like just "cunt" and "bitch" repeated with an occasional, "ugly" thrown in for good measure. He stood in the doorway shouting, closed the door, then opened it again. "What? Say it to my face, bitch!"
"I just said it to your face like fifty times, dumbass: leave. Get out."
At that, he threw a handful of Skittles at me, shouting, "Clean it up, bitch! You're just a fuckin' housekeeper!" He then tried to slam the door shut, but failed, and banged on it a few times instead.
While they stood out there, I picked up the phone and dialed non-emergency, pointing at it and mouthing, "I'm calling the cops for their benefit.
Someone then came to check in, which looked lovely I'm sure, and while I was checking those nice folks in, wanna-be Latoya and her pal took off westward on Stark--toward 82nd, no surprise. I was pleasantly surprised to see the cops arrive very quickly, within about five minutes of my call. I had told them I wasn't in any immediate physical danger, but that they were causing a disturbance. One of the cops was a gentleman who comes in regularly to pick up a guest roster, and he was very sympathetic. He shook his head over their throwing candy at me. After I pointed them in the right direction, he said they'd try to find them, and both cops cars took off down Stark.

Wednesday, September 24

tis the season

Now that we're not sold out every night of the week to pimps, hoz, and dealers, as well as vacationing familes, we've got more of another sort of guest: the agency guest. They are paid for usually by DHS (the Department of Human Services), the Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul, or sometimes by a few other groups out there. They are people who've been dispossessed due to the destruction of their home, either by nature or internal forces such as domestic violence, and they usually bring children with them.
Most times they come in during the week, in the midmorning or early afternoon, and they are sometimes driven by a caseworker. Occasionally, they will check in late on a Wednesday or Thursday night, sporting a fresh cast or shiner, and surrounded by a passel of kids. Those are the saddest, I think.

Sunday, September 21

I saw a naked man and had to call 911 today.

It's been a very quiet Sunday, no fuss, complaints, or problems. Then one of the housekeepers, Lupe, called to check on whether a few rooms were staying over or checking out since it was 1pm (checkout is at 11am), and there were still people in both rooms. I called 206 first, and they told me they were taking their stuff down to their car. Then I tried ringing 205; after twenty rings (I count), there was no answer. I tried hanging up for a minute, then calling back--I've found that this is an extremely annoying practice and almost guarantees an answer--but with no luck.
I went upstairs to tell Lupe, and she and I went to the room. She knocked. "Housekeeping!" Then again, "Housekeeping!"
Since there was no answer, she unlocked the door. There was a man lying on his back in one of the beds, not moving. I hate it when I open a room and there's someone sleeping in it; I feel embarrassed, and am sure that they are, too. However, when I knocked much more loudly on the door, and said, "Excuse me," I got no response.
Banging on the door now, I shouted, "EXCUSE ME! SIR! HELLO! EXCUSE ME!"
He moved his head and scratched his nose, but remained unconscious.
Cupping my hands around my mouth, I shouted as loud as I could: "HEY! WAKE UP! IT IS TIME TO LEAVE! YO!"
One of his legs twitched.
After a few more minutes of this, I took a deep breath and screamed. Now, when I scream, people hear it. According to my brother-in-law and many others, I am the loudest person on earth. I have been asked to quiet down at strip clubs and rock shows when I've let that piercing quality enter my voice, and when I really bust it out, it's audible at a distance. In short, I made an extremely loud sound.
And Sleeping Beauty didn't even move. A bit alarming.
I hesitated, then walked closer to the bed. One eye was half open, with only the white showing. Eww. I tried shouting at him again, but he just kept sleeping. By now, there were a few onlookers outside the door. I shooed them away, and walked back to the bed. I gingerly poked him, then shook him by the shoulder, something I am loathe to do since you never know how a person will react when woken up by strangers in a strange motel room. No response whatsoever.
So I called the cops and filled them in: I work at a motel, and when I went to check a room that was supposed to be checked out, I found an unconscious man. He's breathing and occasionally moving, but completely unresponsive. They told me they'd have an abulance and fire & rescue out immediately, and to call back if there were any changes.
I went and stood int he doorway, so I could keep an eye out for them and also keep an eye on Sleeping Beauty. I heard a siren and leaned out to look, and when I turned around to look at him again, his eyes were open.
"Dude, are you okay?"
"Yeah, I"m fine. What time is it?"
"It's 1pm. There's an ambulance coming."
"What? Why?"
"You wouldn't wake up. I've been shouting and shaking you. It's two hours past check out."
"I don't want them."
"Well, I need to see you up and moving around before I'll cancel the call."
He sat up and looked around. "What time is it?"
"1pm, dude."
I called 911 back. They had me ask if he was diabetic (no), and then said they'd call, but that the emergency folks might come out regardless. I told him this, and he stood up, apparently unaware of his nudity, andreplied, "I don't want them."
Shruggin, I told him, "I'll pass that along, but that's up to them," and left. As I exited the room, he put on a towel, and I noticed that the Fire & Rescue truck was already here. I booked it downstairs and filled them in, and they decided to try talking to him, but had no luck, as he wouldn't open the door and shouted that he was fine.
So, I thanked them for their time and got some water. All that screaming wrecks my throat.
About a half hour later he walked out on his own.

Saturday, September 20

only the lonely

It's been very quiet this past week. Business always falls off a bit after Labor Day when people stop traveling quite so much, but recent developments on 82nd Avenue have also contributed to the quiet.
I noticed it the week before last, when Kitty (an older regular who is a working girl) got a call while she was in the lobby having me reset her keys. She told me that it was her "boyfriend" (read: pimp), telling her there were several busts on 82nd, and not to go out til later.
Then the police started coming 'round more regularly. They've been in short supply here this summer; up until May or June, they were cruising our parking lot five or six times a night--and that just during my shift!--and coming in several times a night to get guest rosters and ask questions about people we may have seen.
I'm curious to see whether this is a lasting change or not. Until then, I've only got Barry Hunter to keep me busy.

Wednesday, September 17

trouble in Barrytown

It may be coincidental, but ever since I spurned Barry Hunter's affections, he's been getting a bit out of hand. First he started coming into the office at all hours looking for me, sometimes four times in a shift. Fortunately, my co-workers were thoughtful enough to note these visits for me in the notebook. He also started going buckwild with his other eccentric habits: being up and about at all hours of the night, banging on doors, walls, and cars. following people to their rooms, propositioning women (fortunately, he seems to have the sense to restrain himself to propositioning hookers rather than our less unsavory clientele), wandering the property while looking completely nuts. At least once a night I get a phone call from someone reporting a strange old man on the property, and I have to reassure them that he's a harmless resident. (We hope he is.) He has also begun taking up with some interesting characters; women we believe he pays for their company. And they are very, very disturbing.
His burst of activity has also led to myriad notes in the logbook:
"Barry kept calling around 3am and asking if I was Adrien. I told him no and he said then who R U? I asked him what he needed and he said a girl in my room. He called like 3x in less than an hour saying the same thing."
"Barry left flowers at room 100 and was knocking on room 119."
"I don't know how it's possible, but Barry's being even more a pain in the ass, keeps music on full blast and has a crackhead int he room."
"Bad crackhead in Barry's room again, closed door at 3:30am. She is always naked and loud (and very gross)."
"Barry opening his door and slamming all night . . . annoying!"
"Barry's the worst he's every been, had to call the police."
"Barry calling room 100 . . . they were understanding."
"Barry now stands putside and laughs maniacally."
"Barry came in looking for Scahtzi and was disappointed to find me."
"Watch Barry. Some tweaker/prostitute and pimp were in his room going through his stuff. I made them leave."
"Keep an eye on Barry's room. That tweaker prostitute was hanging around him again (NOT GOOD). I told her she doesn't need to be on property when she's not a guest."
"Been chasing after Barry all night. Made him go to his room around 3:45am."
And my personal favorite: "Barry's on FIRE tonight!"

it's so hard to know sometimes

I think I may have crossd a line when I helped a prostitute fix her hairpiece before she went out.

Sunday, September 14

no, i'm not sure, but I'll be sure to find that out

Caller: Is this the location on Stark?
Schatzi: Yes, it is.
Caller: What's your rate for two people tonight?
Schatzi: $74.24 after tax for two people.
Caller: I thought it was only $59?
Schatzi: No, I'm sorry, it's $74.24, and has been for a couple of months.
Caller: Are you sure this is the one on Stark?

Friday, September 12

perhaps I'm being unreasonable

Caller: Are you the Lol-iday Inn near Wal-Mart?
Schatzi: The closest Wal-Mart is about two miles south of here.
Caller: So are you in the near vicinity?
Schatzi: If you consider two miles the near vicinity, then sure.
Caller: Well, I don't know, I'm from Cottage Grove.
I'm not sure whether miles are different in Cottage Grove or I'm just too easily annoyed by lines of questioning like this one.

talking to Barry

Actual communication with Barry Hunter has taken place! When I pulled into work one day recently, I parked right in front of Barry's room since it is one of our two coveted shaded spots, and he came to the door and waved, hooting "Hello!" at me. I went back outside a few minutes later to get a Diet Coke from the Coke machine (being in desperate need of caffeinated fuel), and as I was bent over retrieving my soda, he came up behind me. "Are you staying here?" he said, speaking more coherently than I'd ever heard before.

"Barry, I work here," I scolded him. "You know me."

"What room are you in?" he asked.

"Barry, I work here. I know you!"

He then followed me into the office. "You new?"

"No, Barry, I've been here two years."

"Yes, that's me!" And I shook his hand. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake, because ever since then, he comes in to talk to me multiple times a night. Later that same evening, Barry came into the office.

"You must be rich!" (Everything Barry says sounds like an exclamation, when you can decipher what he's said from his usual Muppet/Mr Bean mumbles.)
"No, Barry, definitely not."
"You pay a dollar fifty for that soda! You must be rich! Two liters fifty cents!"

"I can't get a two liter here at work, Barry."

"Tuesday, at Providence, slice of pizza for two dollars! I get pizza at Providence for two dollars!"

"Do you?"

"Fred Meyer chicken for six dollars! Buy a chicken Fred Meyer!"

"That sounds great, Barry."

He staggered around the lobby for a minute or two, then came back up and leaned on the desk, and proceeded to mumble confidingly. I'm not quite sure what he was saying, and most of it was incoherent, but once in a while he would throw his arms out and utter something like "In our fast-paced technological world," and then continue with the gibberish. After a few minutes of that, he left, then came back in and stood at the desk.

"Have pizza with me Tuesday?"

Oh. My. God. Did Barry just ask me out on a date? "What did you say, Barry?"

"Pizza Tuesday at Providence? Pizza with me Tuesday?"

Yes, yes he did. "I'm afraid not, Barry."

After that he left, but for the rest of the evening, he'd come in, stand around, then leave. I think I have an admirer.

who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?


Last Sunday I had to kick out five rooms. I work the morning shift on the weekends (9am to 5pm), and often have to clean up messes from the pervious night. In this case, several rooms either knew each other previously, or struck up and acquaintance, and the guests were wandering from room to room. We discourage this when we see it because if we need to kick one of these people out (which we invariably do, as the people who know each other tend to be dealers, pimps, and hookers), they just return to the property and hang out in their friends' room.

The gentleman in 224 had been here about a week this time, and the pimp and ho in 221 were also involved, and they had been here off and on for over a month. When people are here for a length of time, they tend to settle in and feel like this is their property. And it's not.

So 224 and 221, along with the occupants of three other rooms, were wandering the upper story around 4am, drinking, smoking, and being very loud about it. Some lady who had checked in to 223 very late with her two kids popped her head out of her door and asked them—very reasonably, I might add—to please keep the noise down. Rather than be considerate motel guests, they started shouting and cussing at the lady, telling her she needed to "check the fuck out." Of course, she then called the front desk, who came out and chased them all into their rooms with the warning that if they didn't stay there this time, they wouldn't be staying on our property at all.

Since it was a Saturday night, he got a call from 223 less than twenty minutes later. Now they were standing outside of her door, shouting and threatening her. So he came back out, chased them all back to their rooms and told them they weren't allowed to rent here anymore, that when morning came, they were out. When I came on at 9am, he told me about all of this, and we made a list of which rooms had to leave. He had already DNR'd them in the computer (added them to our Do Not Rent list).

Now, out of those five rooms, only one checked out Sunday morning without a fuss. The other four all came to the desk saying they'd like to pay for another night, and acted shocked when I advised them that they had to leave due to the goings on the previous night: "I don't know what you're talking about," they said, flabbergasted that such fine, upstanding citizens such as themselves could be impugned in this manner. "I wasn't involved in none of that. That wasn't me!" As though we clerks don't communicate with one another, and like we can't check the security cameras to see what happened. Right.

And then when I'd tell them that the night clerk had specifically mentioned them, and we knew they were involved, they'd play their next card: "I've been here for a week!" So? "After all that money I spent here?" Yeah, spending money doesn't give you the right to harass other guests. Amazing, isn't it?

They're like children, I swear. Denying eating the cookie when they've got chocolate smeared all over their face.

Saturday, September 6

desperate times call for something

Schatzi: Thank you for calling the Lol-iday Inn, how can I help you?
Caller: I need to speak to a manager.
Schatzi: I'm afraid he's not available right now, but is there something I could help you with?
Caller: I had some questions about rooms. Do they all come with a fridge and microwave?
Did that really require a manager?

the harder they sleep

Earlier this morning, maybe 10am, a young lady who had checked in to 208 with her "uncle" the previous evening came in to inform me that they would be staying another night, and would like to move to a downstairs room. When people check in fairly late, and their desired sort of room is not available (first floor, smoking, non-smoking, two beds, etc), we often try to accommodate them if they stay over by moving them to another room. So I told her that would be fine, and that I would give her a call as soon as a downstairs room was ready. She said she was going to return to their original room to take a little nap while she waited.

Fast forward an hour. The housekeeper for that section has readied 110 for them, so I try calling upstairs. No response. I try back fifteen minutes later, in case someone had stepped into the bathroom or outside. No answer. So I turn the message light on. An hour later, I haven't heard from her still, so I try calling again. No dice. I go outside to talk to one of the housekeepers about another room, and I see her car is still in our parking lot, so when Lupe calls down to see about whether 208 is still moving, I ask her to knock on their door. Nothing. I deal with a few calls and check ins down at the desk, while also trying to call up to 208, and even after letting it ring for five minutes straight (I timed it), there's no answer. As soon as I can get away from the desk, I go upstairs and find Lupe outside 208, knocking. "Housekeeping!" she says. There's no answer.

She tries again. "Housekeeping!" We listen, and hear a baby start crying inside, but nothing else. We look at each other, and she shrugs and hands me the skeleton key.

Now, if there is one thing I hate, it's opening the door to a room when there's no answer but there is supposed to be someone inside, and that reluctance dates back to the time I found the dead woman. I'll get around to telling that story someday. I really do not like doing it. Plus, with some of the people we have here, you never know what you're going to find in a room, empty or otherwise.

I knock. "Front desk!" I take a deep breath and knock again, then unlock the door and push it slightly open. I see a person sleeping on each bed in the room. "Excuse me," I say loudly. Neither one moves. "Hello, miss? Excuse me!" I continue knocking on the open door, and practically shouting "excuse me" at them. Finally, one stirs. They were just sleeping real hard. She comes down to the office to get the key for 110 a few minutes later and apologizes.


Goddamnitall, why do people have to get me all freaked out like that? And how hard can a person sleep? I wasn't shouting, like the time 112 got locked out while some chick was nodding out inside, but it was close.

Thursday, September 4

like pulling teeth

Schatzi: Did you want to guarantee that reservation with a credit card?
Customer on the phone: I have a MasterCard.
Schatzi: Okay, I'm ready for the number.
Customer: It's a Washington Mutual MasterCard. But there's no money in my account. Can I pay cash?
Schatzi: You may pay cash when you check in, sir, but to guarantee the reservation I need a credit card number. We won't charge anything until you check in, and you may pay cash then if you wish.
Customer: Okay, let me get my credit card. It's in my truck. Can you hold on?
Schatzi: Sure.
Customer: [4 minutes later, no joke] I have my MasterCard.
Schatzi: I'm ready for the number, sir.
Customer: It's a Gold MasterCard. From Washington Mutual.
Schatzi: Okay, I'm ready for the number.
Customer: There's four four-digit numbers on it.
Schatzi: Can you read those to me, sir?
Customer: All of them?
Schatzi: Yes, sir.
Customer: [he reads them and stops]
Schatzi: May I have the expiration date, sir?
Customer: 2010.
Schatzi: And the month, please?
Customer: July.
Schatzi: Thank you, sir.