Unfiltered Story #18655

Unfiltered | May 29, 2017

This happened to me ten years ago or so. I was staying at a large (several hundred rooms) four-star hotel in central Berlin, co-organising a congress for 800+ people. Our crew, including technicians, artists and the like, could have very well been sixty-something people. We almost took over the entire hotel for four days, because we rented all of the conference rooms, and our boss requested that we got breakfast served earlier than usual (5.30) so that we could get to work early preparing everything. Needless to say, we were known. I was twenty-five at the time.

Anyway, I’m my boss’s second-in-command, a translator and interpreter in a foreign country working for a crew that did not know the local language. Through this, I got to know almost all of the hotel staff and I was very much known, too, because whenever something needed doing or taking care of, I was the one to contact anybody else in the hotel, and vice-versa – whenever anyone from the hotel would want anything from us, they came to me.

Anyway, this is the last day, three or four a. m., the congress is almost over and the people were just dancing in the main congress hall. I saw my boss asleep at the sound mixing table, so I figured I’m permitted to hit the sack myself. I took the long elevator ride and walk up to my room, only to find that my key card is not working. I find my way down to the reception. Mind You, it’s been a very long few days.

Me [very tired]: Hello. My card seems to not be working any more. Could You recode it for me?

Clerk [definitely older than my father]: Certainly. What is Your room number?

Me: [number]

Clerk: Here You go. Can I get You anything?

I paused. At first I didn’t say anything, I didn’t move because I was so very tired. The clerk was very, very polite with me.

I noticed a shelf with memorabilia from Berlin. As is the usual case with hotels, they were all VERY pricey. I noticed a small teddy bear costing 32 Euros, which was a small fortune for me back then, but I wanted to bring home something nice.

Me: Yes. Could I see that little bear please?

Clerk [hands me the bear]: Here You are.

Me [looking at the bear, then slowly]: I will take it. Please sell it to me. I will pay cash.

Clerk [took the teddy bear from my hands, looked at it, looked at me, and I don’t know why, but he said]: I’m giving it to You as a gift.

Me [almost too tired to be surprised]: Really? Thank You very much, sir. Have a good night.

I walked off, very much stunned. The staff at this hotel were always very, very helpful. I felt the clerk took pity on me because I was so beat up, and he really didn’t have to make that gesture, but he did.

[note: You may leave it or you may delete it, but I want to add: the hotel was named Maritim, and I recommend it]

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