Wednesday, October 29

i don't get it

Schatzi: Is this address current?
Guest: The one on the driver's license is.
Since that was the only ID of theirs I had, I wonder what people like this are thinking. Why doesn't a "yes" or "no" suffice?

Sunday, October 26

on again, off again

A young man came into the office early this afternoon and told me that he and his girl were "having words," and could I please give him a key since she'd locked him out? I checked his ID, and since his name was on the room, went ahead and gave him one.
A half an hour later, 211 called the office. This time it was the female occupant. "I need you to tell him to get out of here! Call the cops!"
"It's his room, I'm not telling him to leave unless you're in danger." [I hate dealing with this kind of drama, and these two have very loud shouting matches outside their room almost on a daily basis.]
"I want him out of here while I get my stuff, then! I'm just gonna get my stuff and check out!"
"I'll come right up, and you can get your stuff, okay?"
"Yeah, come up here."
I grabbed my phone and locked the cash drawer, and hustled on up to stand guard over a combative couple. When I got to 211, the stood was standing open, though I couldn't hear them yelling. Hoping they had chilled out, I walked up to the door, rapped my knuckle on the door, and peeked inside. The girl was sitting on the edge of the bed, apparently nude from the waist down, while the young man knelt on the floor in front of her, arms around her waist. Her arms were wrapped around his lower back as she curved her body over him to rest her head on his back. She looked at me and said, "It's fine now, can you close the door on your way out?" I shut the door and returned to the office, rolling my eyes and shaking my head, but ultimately relieved to not referee a shouting match.
Not ten minutes later, the young man came back down to the office, turned in both keys, and said they were checking out. "You know I can't refund your money this late, right?" I asked him, and he told me that was fine and left. A few minutes after that, she called again, asking what he had wanted. I told her that he had checked out, and she insisted she would stay since she'd paid for the room [True.]. Not really caring anymore, I told her she'd need ID to put the room in her name and to come down and change it. I probably won't even bother with that; I'll just leave it for the boss to do tomorrow.

Friday, October 24

shots fired at the lol-iday inn

I missed some excitement Thursday night. When I turned over desk duty to Wallace at ten o'clock, I thought his biggest problem would be two feuding sets of rooms; both had noisy children and parents that disliked one another. When I woke up this morning, however, I had a text from him: "Shots fired right in front of me at work last night."
I called him and got the details. It seems he had heard a lot of noise upstairs around one am, and figuring it was the two feuding sets of rooms, he went out to investigate--and to tell them to shut up. When he went outside, he realised that the noise wasn't coming from those rooms, but that there were two young men walking down the hallway shouting. They came down the front stairs, and Wallace met them out front. "Are you guests here?" he asked, and when they replied in the negative, he told them to get off the property. He said that he was pretty aggressive about it--as we sometimes have to be--and was all but cursing them out. When they asked Wallace why he was so mad, he told them that they just could not be on our property if they weren't staying here, especially if they were disturbing our other guests late at night. [Dir!] He told them that if they didn't leave immediately, he would call the cops. They started walking toward the parking lot, presumably to get their car, and Wallace returned to the office.
Watching them on camera, however, he saw that they went up the stairs at the far end of the building, one of our troublespots. Wallace went upstairs and heard them shouting; when he got withing a few feet of them, one of the young men pulled a gun out of his waistband and fired into 223. Wallace immediately reversed, and saw them fire again, apparently at random, as this bullet went through 219's window. He continued back to the office at top speed to call 911, but found himself at a dead end in our back room, since the rear office--the most secure room available to us--was locked. He turned around and waited to see whether they'd come after him, since he was the main witness, having seen and spoken to them, as well as seen them start firing. Fortunately, they took off down the street.
When the cops arrived, they reviewed the security tapes with Wallace, who saw that even before he'd spoken to them the first time, one young man had lifted his shirt to show someone the gun in his waistband. "If I'd seen that, I wouldn't have cussed them out--or even gone outside," he told me. "I would've just called the cops."
The officers recommended that we expell that entire section of rooms, from 220 down to 224, and also 202 & 225 at the opposite end (one set of the feuding rooms, even!), who were acquainted with the shooters, which we did this morning at checkout.
They believed it was a drug dispute of some kind, as the guy in 223 has been under suspicion for dealing for quite some time. He's constantly got people calling, including from other rooms, and visiting at all hours for five minutes. Mmmhmm. The girls in 222 (who were prostitutes) said that the shooters were friends of theirs, and that 223 had come over to their room and was bothering them. Regardless, we made them all leave. 223 was injured slightly but fine, and 219's boyfriend was lightly grazed. No other injuries, fortunately.
"Tha was the biggest adrenalin rush in my life," Wallace told me. "I can't believe it."

Sunday, October 12

all we've had turned in today are a morning star and a pike

Creepy, smelly woman in leather pants who's been staying here for a week: This key isn't working, and I need to speak to your manager or owner or whatever.
Schatzi: Here's your reset key, and my manager will be in tomorrow. Is there anything I can help you with?
Creepy smelly woman in leather pants, shaking her head: No, I need to let him know that you have a thief among you.
Schatzi: Oh, really? Is there something missing?
Creepy smelly woman in leather pants: I have two blades that are missing.
Schatzi, thinking of knives: Blades?
Creepy smelly leather pants woman, gesturing with her hands: One this long, and the other about this long. Schatzi: What kind of blades?
Creepy smelly leather pants woman, significantly: Swordblades. They're gone.
Schatzi, remembering how this same woman lost her remote twice the night before, and both times called to say the housekeepers had taken it: And you're sure you didn't misplace them?
Creepy smelly leather pants woman, shaking her head: No.
Schatzi: Okay, I'll be sure to let him know.
Apparently, our nice little housekeepers (who are all matrons with many children and speak very little English) covet swordblades. I'm so sure.

our failure to predict someone's actions causes trouble once more

A woman came in and told me that she needed a printed confirmation for a reservation she had made for the twenty-ninth of this month.

"I'm sorry," I told her. "But our computers are down this weekend, so I don't have any access to reservations, much less the ability to print a confirmation for you, right now. You could see whether the Central Reservations will fax or email a confirmation to you; I can give you their number." [It's been a hassle-filled weekend, thanks to tech support's refusal to work weekends, the busiest time for hotels.]

Getting huffy she said, "Well, I talked to Jennifer, and she told me I could come pick up a confirmation. She said your fax wasn't working." [We have had problems with our fax machine recently, so it seemed reasonable that that would have happened, but without computers, it was a moot point anyway.]

"I'm not sure why she would have told you that, since our computers are down, and have been since Friday. We don't have any way to even look up a reservation right now, and can't make them either. Are you sure you didn't misunderstand?"

"No, I told her I would come in to pick it up, and she said 'OK.'"

Jennifer's new, but she's smart and has caught on to the job quickly. I was pretty sure she wouldn't have said that when she was working Friday or Saturday evening, when we had no computers. Suddenly struck with a suspicion, I asked, "When did you speak to Jennifer?"

"About two weeks ago. I was at work, and I needed her to fax it, but she said she couldn't."

No way. "You told her two weeks ago that you were coming in to pick up a printed confirmation?"

"Yes, and I am very upset that she didn't say you couldn't do it for me. Why would she say it was ok if you can't?"

The woman was clearly demented. I told her, "I'm sorry, but our computer wasn't broken two weeks ago, so she had no way of knowing that when you came in today, we couldn't print a confirmation."

"She should have said you couldn't do it instead of wasting my time, making me come out here to pick one up. I told her I would come in on a weekend, and she said it was fine."

I stared at her. "Jennifer did nothing wrong, ma'am. She had no way to predict two weeks ago that you would come in today, and that our computers would be down. Surely you understand that?"

We stared at each other.

"It's a waste of my time," she repeated.

I shouldn't be surprised.

Friday, October 3

more on calling long distance

[Twenty minutes later]
Guest: My cell phone isn't working, how do I use your phones?
Schatzi: To make a local call, just dial 9 and then the phone number.
Guest: You said it's not a local call.
Schatzi, experiencing deja vu: If it's a long distance call, you need a calling card.
Guest: Well, I don't have one. It says on the phone I can bill it to my room.
Schatzi: I'm sorry, but it is impossible to make a long distance call on our phones. You will need to buy a calling card at Target or 7-11.
Guest: Then why does it say that on the phone?
Schatzi: They're generic equipment, for use in many kinds of motels. I'm sorry, but as I explained, our phone system cannot make long distance calls. You'll need to buy a calling card at Target or 7-11.
Guest: I'm not going to do that! [hangs up]

what "local" means to you

Guest at check-in: Are local calls free?
Schatzi: Yes, you just dial 9 for an outside line. And don't forget that in Portland, you dial the area code for local calls.
Guest: Why is that?
Schatzi: Oh, I believe they needed more phone numbers due to all the cell phones.
Guest: So I dial 9, and then 214, and then the number?
Schatzi: Is 214 the area code?
Guest: Yes.
Schatzi: Then it's not a local number; you'll need to use a calling card.
Guest: But it's a cell phone, and she's in Portland.
Schatzi: A local number has to originate in Portland, with a 503 or 971 area code. Regardless of where a cell phone is located, it's not a local call unless it is FROM Portland.
Guest: But she's in Portland!
Schatzi: It's long distance, and you'll need a calling card to call it. Our phones are only set up for local calls or 800 numbers.
Guest: Well, I don't understand, but I'll just use my cell phone to call her.

Wednesday, October 1

i guess we should have known

Guest calling from room: When is our room paid up until?
Schatzi: Just a moment while I check the computer, ma'am. You are paid through Friday morning.
Guest: So we can come down and pay for the weekend anytime before Friday morning?
Schatzi: I'm sorry, but we aren't taking any reservations for this weekend, as we're booked.
Guest: Our room isn't available?
Schatzi: No, I'm sorry, but we have no availability this weekend. We are completely booked for Friday and Saturday night.
Guest, to companion off the phone: She says the room isn't available this weekend. She says they're all booked up.
Companion: Ask her why they didn't say so before?
Guest, to me: Why weren't we told when we checked in?
Schatzi: Unfortunately, when a person checks in for two days, we have no way of knowing whether they plan on staying longer unless they tell us. So if you didn't say that you might want to extend your stay, we wouldn't know to tell you that you couldn't. It's the guest's responsibility to let us know things like that.
Guest, to companion: She won't say. She's just beating around the bush. [What???]
Guest, to me: If we come down and pay right now, will that guarantee we can stay in our room this weekend?
Schatzi: I'm sorry, but your room is already reserved this weekend, as is every other room in the motel. We're not accepting any reservations for this weekend.
Guest: Well, I still want to know why we weren't told we could stay this weekend!
Schatzi: I'm sorry if you feel there was some miscommunication, but unfortunately at this point we have no options to extend your stay. [In the immortal words of Paul Reubens in Nice Dreams: I'm NOT sorry!"]