Monday, May 25

we're moving!

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Wednesday, May 20

nice job!

Awesome update on the Ingallses!

Wallace was working and got a call inquiring about 136, the Jacuzzi room with a king bed. He told the caller it was available, and they said they'd be right over. He had kind of a weird feeling about the caller, so he locked up his laptop, and waited. It was the Ingallses, who he wasn't familiar with due to never encountering them on his shift before (remember, too, he returned pretty recently). She asked whether she could look at the room before renting it, and Wallace agreed, locking the cashdrawer and walking her there while Mr Ingalls waited in the lobby. 136 is at the far end of our property, wchi is L-shaped, so they were gone a few minutes. When they returned, Mr Ingalls gave Wallace his license, and Wallace began the check-in process. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, they changed their minds and decided not to get the room. Wallace assured them that it was no problem, handed the ID back, and they left.

Wallace noticed then that there was something different, and looked around, trying to figure it out. The outgoing mail was gone. "No way," he thought. So he checked the footage from when he was taking Michelle Ingalls to 136. Mr Ingalls stood quietly at the desk, then wandered to the flyers rack. Then he came and stood next to the outgoing mail, surreptitiously looked around, and then sloooowly slid his hand over to the rack. He snatched up the mail and quickly hid it in a pocket while nonchalantly looking in another direction.

There are a few elements that make this so great. One being that the outgoing mail holder is placed next to our video monitor. The monitor showing the office. And yes, it is angled so that guests can see it. So there was no reason for Mr Ingalls to think he wasn't being watched. Also, instead of just leaving after stealing our mail, Ingalls gave Wallace his ID. His real ID. And then, all they got were some pictures of Adrienne's baby that she was sending to a friend and a few bills we were sending people. Nice job, Ingalls!

And yes, we did report it to the police, and there is a case opened.

Monday, May 18

o, what a beautiful day!

Today I got to clean up a dead baby opossum from the parking lot. Some crows were snacking on it, and had eaten the eyes.

I'm so lucky!

Saturday, May 16

the identity of two-face

I talked to Adrienne about Ms "It's My Twin Sister's ID." Turns out that she is Michelle Ingalls, who we've had trouble with a whole bunch recently. Trouble with she and her husband both, actually. And their dogs.

When checking in, Mr Ingalls told us would be just him and his kid, and that his wife might stop by, but he would let us know whether she would stay or not. A day or two went by, and we caught Michelle Ingalls coming and going from the room, so we insisted that they pay for two. They argued for a while, then said they'd pay in a little bit as soon as someone brought the money, and then they'd leave when no one was looking. At least it was early enough so that the housekeepers were still around to turn the room over for new guests.

A few days later they returned, and he again tried to pay for one. We let him know that if Michelle's going to stay then he needs to pay for her, but he insisted again that she wouldn't be around. And she of course turned up. And was caught, leading to more argument before they'd finally pay. This pattern repeated itself several times over the course of a month, with them trying to check in individually, but secretly sneaking the other in, and lots of argument over it. Then we caught them sneaking two dogs into their rooms, and Mr Ingalls agreed to pay for them. And then they checked out again the next day.

When next they returned a few days later, they again sneaked the dogs in. This time my boss was here, and when they tried BS-ing him about how the dogs are just visiting, he gave them a piece of his mind. Mike yelled at them, and they agreed to pay, but then sneaked off the property with their belongings yet again, only they didn't return for a while.

In addition to all that fuss, they were very dirty, and would try to refuse housekeeping for their room for a few days in a row, and when forced to take service would invariably have trash all over the room and other assorted delights.

Wednesday, May 13


I was working late tonight, and a woman came in asking about a room for one. She looked really familiar, and I was certain she'd stayed here before several times, but I have a hard time putting names to faces (a liability here). I asked for her ID, and when she handed it to me, examined it. And then looked at her and said, "This isn't you."

She huffed and puffed about how it most certainly was her.

"For one, this picture isn't you; it doesn't look anything like you." I continued speaking over her sputtering. "For another, this ID is for an eighteen year-old. You are waaaaay past eighteen, lady." (She was at least a decade older in appearance, plus I KNOW HER.)

"That's my twin sister."

"Riiiiight. Regardless, I'm not renting to you."

I'm going to have Adrienne take a look at the footage; I am sure she'll remember this woman's name.

Sunday, May 10

i'm not gonna lie . . .

One thing that frustrates us to no end is the way in which people blatantly lie and expect us to believe them. Mostly, people lie about the number of people in a room. Look, dudes, we know you're coming here with your girl/boyfriend, so just pay up. You other dudes, we know you're bringing in a prostitute, so just pay up. We don't care, just so long as a) we get our money, and b) you don't try to lie.

One person, really? What about that other person in your car? They're not coming up to the room? Well, I hope you know I will watch you walk to your room, and the second I see that person walk through the door, I will call you and hassle you. And 99.9% of the time, you will be dumb enough to pick up the phone. And when I demand that your "visitor" come and check in with their ID, I will indeed call back repeatedly if they are not down here in the five minutes for which you asked. Oh yes, I will. I will continue until you pay. And in my human frailty, I will enjoy it, viewing this as my Holy Mission, my Crusade, and your punishment for lying to me.

So let me tell you again: I do not care what you are doing in your room—provided you are not damaging it. I do not care with whom you do things. As long as you check in all visitors and pay for the correct number of people in your room, I will not be bothered, and therefore I will have no cause to bother you. It's very simple.

Saturday, May 9

it's not just the guests

When I worked last on Thursday evening, 219 was having phone problems; she could not get a dialtone and was also not receiving any calls. I tested the line, and the phone just rang and rang, indicating that it was plugged in (if it's not, we get a disconnecting message), so I went up and checked the phone out, ascertained it didn't work, and fetched another phone with which to replace it. Well, though I'd tested the second phone in another room, it also failed to work in 219, leading me to believe that jack was broken. I offered her another room, but she preferred not to move that night and said she would just use her cell phone.I made a Maintenance note on her room in the computer, and also noted the problem in our logbook.

When I started my shift today, I followed my usual practice of finding out whether I'd missed anything on the day I was gone. As I read Friday's notes, I found this gem:

"Tried to call 219 about switching rooms, got no answer."

Nice one, co-workers!

Wednesday, April 22

no, your other right

I often am called upon to give directions to and answer questions about other lol-iday inn locations, although we are all separate entities. Now that our parent company has built another location on the same street as ours, but ninety blocks east, things have gotten slightly more complicated.
Caller: Is this the lol-iday inn on A Street?
Schatzi: There are two on A Street now, and this is one of them. There's one at about 90th , and another at about 183rd--do you know which you're looking for?
Caller: The one by B Street.
Schatzi: B Street runs parallel to A Street for its entire length, sir. [Note: The two streets are one block apart throughout the entire city, so it's "by" both locations.] Can you think of anything else nearby?
Caller: Well, it's by 181st.
Schatzi: That's a lot closer to 183rd than 90th, so let me give you their number. Do you have a pen?
Caller: Uh, no. Hold on.

Thursday, April 16

911 is somewhat humorous

We recently had a fun guest, the likes of which we haven't had in quite a while. Someone else paid for his eleven-day stay, and the gentleman occupied a smoking single, 218. He had been here a few days when I first encountered him on a quiet Sunday morning. He came down to the office to hang out while the housekeepers finished cleaning his room—or so he told me. He was in here and wandering around outside for a good two hours, and the housekeepers only take twenty minutes max to finish an occupied room, so I am not entirely sure what he was up to besides killing time.

I was quietly sitting, doing some school reading and idly watching the beginning of The Highlander on TV (so awesome!), when he came in and asked whether he could use the lobby computer. I told him to go right ahead. A half hour later, my manager Mike called down to ask how many people were supposed to be in the guy's room. One, I told him, and Mike said that there was a lot of noise coming from the room, and it sounded like someone talking. He wanted me to ask 218 whether he had anyone else in his room (a common occurrence since many people seem to feel it is beneath them to pay the additional $6.75 for an extra guest). I hung up with Mike, and called to the gentleman, "Excuse me, sir? Is there anyone else staying with you or in your room?"

Whereupon the guy turned around and proceeded to flip the fuck out. "Is there someone in my room? I'm here, I'm the only person in my room, just like you're standing there and you're the only person working!" he hollered.

Mildly taken aback, I tried to explain that my manager had heard noise in his room, and asked whether it could be his TV left on if there was no one else there, but that just further infuriated him. "Call the cops! I want you to call the police if there's people in my room! You go in there and find out who's in my room!" and so on. After five or so minutes of that, I told him his time was up on the computer (there's technically a twenty-minute limit), to which he replied, "I've only been down here four minutes!" I almost laughed out loud than that, but restrained myself. As he went out the lobby door, he turned and asked, "Are you going to be reasonable?" but then before I could even respond, he put his hands over his ears and shouted, "Please be quiet!" He repeated that four times before finally returning to his room, where it turned out that he had in fact left his television on very loud. Mike came down shaking his head, and said, "That guy is really weird!" Apparently, his room was a disaster area, and he had rearranged all of his furniture.

That was my Friday, and when I returned to work after my weekend, I was thrilled to find him still at the motel. When I logged in to the computer, I found a note for everyone about how 218 had called 911 on Monday night because he had no food. According to the note, the cops had someone bring him a food basket, and then told us that he had some "problems," and that we should call them immediately if there were any situation with him. Aces! I did not see him at all that night.

A few nights later, 218 came in ten minutes after I started my shift to complain that the cable wasn't working in his room. So I grabbed my keys and went up to take a look. When I turned the TV around to check it out, I found that there was no cable jack. And the back of the TV was loose, as though it had been removed. Then he came out of the bathroom with all the cables. Mind you, the TV worked fine previously. I told 218 I had to call my manager, and that I would give him a call and let him know what we could do.

When Mike finally called me back, I explained the situation, and he shouted that since the guy had taken the TV apart, he wasn't going to put another TV in there to be similarly destroyed, and 218 would just have to wait till the next day. If he could come out, he'd try to fix it, but otherwise, the guy was SOL. I called 218 and let him know that since it was Easter Sunday, it was difficult to get the TV fixed, so it might not be fixed till the next day. He seemed lucid and polite, and was even understanding about it.

Two hours later, I got a call from a 911 dispatcher. She wanted to verify that there was a person by his name occupying 218, and then asked me whether I had any reason to believe that the motel was on fire. Hmmm. I looked out the windows, then told her, "None of my alarms are going off, and there's no visible smoke or fire." She told me that he was pretty clear about being on fire, so I asked whether she wanted me to go up and check on him. She told me that she wouldn't suggest that, and that the police would be there shortly. Oh goodness.

The cops arrived a few minutes later and went straight up to his room. They were up there for quite a while when an elderly Volvo station wagon arrived, with two crisis counselors who went up, too. Shortly after, one of the cops came down to explain that the lack of a TV was making his problem worse, and was it possible to get another one? Fearing Mike's wrath, I described to the officer how he had taken it apart, but called Mike to ask. He remained adamant about the TV, which was not fun to explain to the officer. The officer returned upstairs, and soon after, the crisis counselors left. A little after that, Mike arrived just as the cops were leaving, and talked to them. He came in, grabbed another TV, and took it up to 218.
He checked out the next morning.Maintenance notes after check-out included: broken TV, broken table, broken chair, broken bathroom light, hole in wall by bed.

Tuesday, April 7

baby, it's cold outside

One of the nice things about the end of winter is that this stops happening.

Prospective Guest: How much for a single?
Schatzi: Just one person? $56.24 after tax.
PG: That's not what the sign out front says!
Schatzi: The price isn't on the sign, sir or ma'am.
PG: Yeah, it says $39!
Schatzi: That's the temperature, sir or ma'am.

Thursday, March 19

old friends return

Hurrah, Wallace is returning to the lol-iday inn! You might remember my stalwart compatriot from the graveyard shift, who left in October after the shooting. Well, the job hunting has been poor since then; he reports that where there were once three or four other people at interviews, there are now twenty or more, some in three-piece suits, people who lost GOOD jobs. So he's back at the good old lol-iday inn. We're easing him in real gentle-like, starting with three nights a week. It'll be nice having someone both reliable and sensible on the night shift again.
Reflecting on the current economy, particularly in light of Wallace's experiences, I am glad to be at the lol-iday inn. Sure, the people sometimes suck, but where do they not? It's a comfort to have a job it's almost impossible to get fired from, especially since I have a lot of flexibility with my hours while in school. And my boss is pretty decent. Hurrah for the lol-iday inn!--at least, til I am done with school.

Sunday, February 15

what's the point in putting up signs when no one reads them?

there are double doors to the lobby, but we keep the left one (as I face them) locked. there is a sign at eye level on the door saying, "please use other door." despite this, I cannot count (though perhaps I should try one day) the number of people who try to walk through that door. they'll do it on their way in, and again on their way out. sometimes they stand there, repeatedly trying to open it. we had the sign at handle level for a while, figuring that's where people were looking, but it made no difference.

today they painted the edges of the desk. there is a large sign posted below the paint, and another sign sitting upright on top of the desk. I have already warned off four people who were just leaning on the wet paint, completely oblivious to the signs directly in front of them. the number would probably be higher, but Sunday is a very slow day here.

perhaps I'm just too scintillatingly lovely, and they're blinded when they come in.

Thursday, February 12

another one bites the dust

It's been a pretty quiet winter here at the lol-iday inn. Usually we have scads of people who live on the streets or in their cars all summer checking in to stay somewhere warm where they can shower, but I guess the economy's been slowing everyone down. Even the cops have little to keep them busy lately, or so they tell me when they drop by, which is rarely.

We did have a little excitement last night, however. Actually, it all started on the first of the month. *doodle-oo doodle-oo doodle-oo* (That's the Wayne's World flashback sound, you know.)
A girl came in wanting a room, and she looked familiar, so I figured she'd already have a record in our computer, but none popped up. I knew she'd stayed with us a few times recently, though, so I examined her ID a bit more closely. That's when I noticed that the font for her name and address was wrong, and there was no expiration date. And that the signature on the back was for a completely different name.

"I can't rent to you," I told her, handing the ID back. "This is a fake."

"Well, that's what they sent me when I changed from my New York license," she replied. "I still have my paper one if you want to see." But she made no move to give me a paper one to back up her story.

"Well, I don't know who sent it to you, but it's not from the DMV. It's not legit and you're not allowed to rent here."

"I can't believe his!" she exclaimed huffily, and then left.

I had a strong feeling she'd be back, however, so I left a note for all my co-workers with her description and the fake name was using. Unfortunately, I could not figure out what name she'd used previously, so I couldn't note that as well. I also gave some impromptu lessons to a few of my co-workers on recognizing fake Oregon Ids.

Fast-forward to Wednesday night, and I was back on shift after being off since Sunday. I was sitting at the desk, doing some homework, when who should walk in wanting change for a dollar but Miss Fake ID herself! Only she's dyed her hair this awful orange, the color of a pumpkin. (As a long-time home colorist, I recognized it as what happens when you try to dye bleached blonde hair red or auburn.) I smiled and gave her the change, then watched to see what room she returned to. 235, gotcha! Of course, she was using the name she'd previously used with us, J**** G*****, and had checked in on Sunday when I wasn't working.

So I called the cops. Non-emergency, actually, and explained the situation, and how since they didn't come by as often these days, I wanted to make sure someone checked her out since she was clearly not legit. A short while a later an officer I didn't know arrived and took down all the info I gave her: the J**** G***** name and ID number and DOB, as well as the fake ID name, A***** W***-H*******. After checking things out on her car computer for a bit, she came back in with an air of suppressed excitement. "I'm pretty sure this is a girl in an identity theft case we've been working on for a while," she told me. "So I've called the officer on that case, and he'll be in shortly."


Sure enough, when the new officer came in, he was soon chomping at the bit to get 235. They went up to her room, but she wasn't there. Clearly disappointed, they returned in the office to leave their names and cell numbers, and requested that I call them as soon as she arrived back on the property—and asked me to keep it on the down low. Dir! After they left, I went up and changed the lock on 235's door so that she would have to come into the office when she returned; that way, I could work on my paper without worrying too much about missing her. Unfortunately for me, she didn't return until just before I went off shift. I called the officers as soon as I saw that she went up to her room and was staying there. I had to leave, so I left K with strict instructions on what to do if she left, and to tell me everything!

Well, they did indeed return to pick her up about a half hour later, and she was the girl they sought. The name she was using to rent 235 wasn't her real name, either, the officer told me today that when they went in she protested, "But I'm J**** G*****!" but dropped the act immediately, admitting, "I'm really S**** M****," when they told her they knew everything. They had a mile-long list of names she'd been using, some stolen, others invented. And she'd been passing fake checks and using stolen credit cards all over PDX;' the officer advised me that she has a "mess of warrants" and would "be away for a really long time" and that she was "really bad news." They thanked me for being so "on the ball," too. Awwww.
But as I told A, the best part was how she was totally thinking to herself, "I showed that bitch who wouldn't let me rent here!"And then she went down. Ha-ha! Vindication!