A Whole Lot Of Noise About Nothing

, , , , | Right | March 8, 2019

(I am a manager at a hotel. I receive a noise complaint around nine in the evening. It’s a little early in the evening, especially on a weekend, to be calling about noise complaints, but the elderly couple who called are adamant, and the room they are complaining about DOES have a large party of little girls, so it isn’t impossible that they’re being a bit rowdy. I call the room and the mother picks up.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am! I’m sorry to bother you, but we’ve had a complaint about noise coming from your room. I know it’s still a bit early, but if you wouldn’t mind asking the girls to quiet down a little? Some of our guests do turn in a bit early.”

Mother: “Oh! I’m sorry; I didn’t think they were being too loud. We’ll quiet down.”

(Thankful for an easy call, I hang up and think nothing more of it. About thirty minutes later, the room below the party calls again to complain about noise. I call the room again.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t mean to be a bother, but we have had another noise complaint.”

Mother: *sounding a bit annoyed* “Well… I mean, they’re just sitting and watching a movie right now. They’re not talking or running around, and the TV isn’t even up too loud. I don’t know how they could be quieter!”

Me: *beginning to think this was a mistake* “Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry! I’ll sort this out, ma’am. Sorry to have disturbed you.”

(I hang up, but I am at a bit of a loss. It’s possible the mother is lying, but given her pleasantness earlier, I’m not sure that’s the case. I walk by the complainants’ room, but I can’t hear anything that might be causing them their issue. By the time I get down the desk, they have called again, still insisting the room above them is being loud. This time I don’t call; I physically go up to the room. THERE ISN’T EVEN ANYONE THERE. The guests have left their curtains open and I can see clearly that the room is entirely vacant. I go down to the complainants’ room to speak to them.)

Guest #1: “Why are you bothering us?! It’s the people upstairs that can’t be quiet!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but I just came from that room. The guests aren’t even in it right now. There is no possible way they’re causing your issue, and I can’t continue to bother them for something that isn’t their fault. Are you positive the noise is coming from above you?”

Guest #2: “Well, that’s what it seemed like! Come in and listen!”

(I do so. It is dead silent. You could hear a pin drop. I have no idea what their issue is.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I honestly don’t hear anything.”

Guest #1: “Well, it stopped now! But aren’t you going to do anything?!”

Me: *getting frustrated* “I can’t stop a noise that I can’t hear and you can’t accurately locate! I’m sorry, but the best I can offer is to move your room, and hope that whatever noise you’re hearing won’t be in your new location!”

(They did end up moving rooms, but they left a nasty complaint with the morning manager. I soon decided I wasn’t cut out for management, and moved back to my position as an overnight auditor. Now, when I get noise complaints, I won’t even call an accused room if it’s past midnight unless I can get my security guard to confirm where the noise is coming from. People seem to lose all sense of directional hearing when they stay in hotels, and it’s not worth having TWO rooms upset at me.)

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