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  • Talking At-At Cross Purposes
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    A Mother Who Will Never Be Out-Dated

    | Gunnison, CO, USA |

    (A middle-aged woman comes to the front desk of our hotel. Note that I am also a woman and my coworker is a man.)

    Customer: “Where are all the women at?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “The women! The good looking women!”

    Me: “I’m not sure I understand.”

    Customer: “My son just started college and he wants a woman. Where should I go to get him a woman?”

    Me: “I’m not interested in women, so I wouldn’t know.”

    Customer, to coworker: “You! Hey, you. Where should I go to get ladies?”

    Coworker: “Has he tried the college campus?”

    Customer: “They’re all ugly. I want to get my son a hot chick!”

    Coworker: “Okay, this is a small town. He should look around. A bar?”

    Customer: “He’s not 21.”

    Me: “The grocery store? I don’t know.”

    Customer: “But where would you go?”

    Me: “Ask at the visitors’ center. Have a good day!”

    Do As I Say, Not While I Stay

    | McMinnville, OR, USA |

    (A hotel guest who has been at our hotel for eight days comes up to the front desk while I am on duty.)

    Hotel guest: “Excuse me, I’d like to make an complaint.”

    Me: “Of course, ma’am, let me grab a comment card for you and we can discuss the problem to see if we can’t remedy it.”

    Hotel guest: “I don’t see how you could fix it, but your maid staff is stupid!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, what was it that was done to cause the problem?”

    Hotel guest: “Well, they never cleaned our room! In the whole week, we’ve been here they never once cleaned the room! I’ve had to ask for new towels and new soap every day, and the room is starting to smell!”

    (Upon checking her reservation information, I notice a “no service” comment has been put up on all but the first night.)

    Me: “Well, ma’am, it does appear that the maid service does recognize that they were never able to come in and clean your room. I know this sounds silly, but there was ever a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign put on your door?”

    Hotel guest: “No! I did not put any signs on my door! They came to us so G** D*** early in the morning! We stay out late and have a good time and they are knocking at 10 am to come clean!”

    Me: “I apologize, ma’am. That is when their rounds typically start, any time after 9 am. Did they never come back after you asked them to come later?”

    Hotel guest: “Oh, yes! They came back at 3 pm, right when I was taking my afternoon nap! Woke me up! They came back around 3 or 4 pm and wanted to clean then! But I was sleeping! Honestly!”

    Me: “So, let me make sure I understand you. The housekeeping came two times a day, and both times you sent them away because it was either too early or you were taking a nap…and you are wanting to complain that your room was never cleaned?”

    Hotel guest: “Yes! It’s like they didn’t even care about us!”

    Me: “Well, I can at least remedy this for the rest of your stay. What time would you prefer housekeeping come to the room?”

    Hotel guest: “Oh I don’t know! But not those times!”

    (I try for another 30 minutes to come to satisfy the guest, but she gets too upset and storms off. My manager, a great people-pleaser, ends up giving them a free night’s stay for their next trip.)

    The Imperial Left Or The Metric Left

    | London, UK |

    Guest: “How do you get to a cash machine??”

    Me: “You exit the hotel, turn left, and then–”

    Guest: “Turn left?”

    Me: “Yes, left.”

    Guest: “Left?”

    Me: “Yes, left.” *pointing with my hand*

    Guest: *confused* “Left…right…”

    Me: “Left in England is the same as left in America.”

    Guest: “Oh, okay! I get it!”

    A Customer Without Power Will Make Even Ghosts Cower After The Midnight Hour

    | Oregon, USA |

    (A few weeks before Christmas at the hotel where I worked, a huge snowstorm knocked out the power. I was working night shift when somebody walks into the pitch-black lobby at about 2 in the morning.)

    Customer: “What the h*** is this?! Where are the lights?”

    (Note: I’m hidden in the darkness, although I can see him clearly from the emergency light in the entrance.)

    Me: “How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Who said that? Oh God, this place is haunted, isn’t it?”

    Me: “Sir, no. I’m behind the counter. We just don’t have emergency lighting back here.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe you!”

    Me: “Yeah…what can I do for you, anyway?”

    Customer: “I want to check in!”

    Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but nobody can check in or out until the power’s back on.”

    Customer: “Why the h*** not?!”

    Me: “Well, because the computers can’t run without electricity. This includes the key card initializer. Even if I could check you in by hand, I can’t make you a key to get into the room.”

    Customer: “Well, fix it!”

    Me: “Fix what?”

    Customer: “Fix the power! God!”

    Me: “Sir, half the city is suffering from a power outage right now. I can’t just fix that.”

    Customer: “Sure you can! You’re a ghost! Ghosts turn lights on and off all the time!”

    Me: “Sir, I think it’s in your best interest to find a hotel on the other side of town.”

    Customer: “Fine! I’ll call your manager too, and tell him he shouldn’t be hiring ghosts! You are so unhelpful!” *storms out*

    Tasting Is Believing

    | SSM, Ontario, Canada |

    (The pool I work at is run using a salt water system instead of chlorine. I am in the process of adding salt to the pool when a hotel guest shouts at me from a poolside chair.)

    Hotel guest: “Miss! What are you putting in that pool?”

    Me: “It’s just salt. It’s not dangerous to you or anyone swimming in it. In fact, it makes the water that much safer.”

    Hotel guest: “Salt? That makes no sense! No one puts salt in a pool! They put chlorine! Why are you lying to me?”

    Me: “Sir, I assure you that this is nothing more than food grade salt.”

    Hotel guest: “I don’t believe you! It has to be chlorine! Get over here!”

    (I walk over to the man with my bucket of salt, where he proceeds to stick his entire hand in, pick up salt, and eat it.)

    Hotel guest: “Oh…I guess it is salt. Can I have a glass of water?”

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