Can’t Y’all Do This Crap At Home?!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Briarrose1021 | May 31, 2021

I work at a small motel and normally work the night shift. It’s usually pretty quiet. I am covering the day shift while a coworker is out sick. I check in a couple for a night and everything goes smoothly. The next day, they pay for an additional night. All good, people do that here frequently, and we have a storm moving in so I think they don’t want to travel in the snow.

However, the red flags start when our maintenance man and I notice someone else trying to get into the couple’s room with a key. It won’t work because the room has been dead-bolted from the inside. I don’t think anything of it, but our maintenance guy comes into the office later.

Maintenance Guy: “I’ve seen at least three different people go in and out of the room, all different from the person whose name is on the room.”

Okay, there could be a simple explanation, but I’m starting to lean toward drug use in my head.

Fast forward to this morning. The guest who was in the room next door comes to the front desk right at 9:00 am, visibly exhausted.

Guest: “The couple in the room next door to me woke me up at six this morning with a screaming argument.”

Me: “I’m so sorry! I can give you a late checkout today so you can get a few more hours of sleep if you want.”

He is actually very reasonable about the incident and has an “I can’t believe people wouldn’t have common courtesy in a motel” kind of attitude. Once he leaves to go back to his room, I put a note on the other room that their stay will NOT be extended and they will be checking out today.

The day gets started and I’m checking people out and extending stays where requested, staying consistently busy the whole time, so I don’t even realize until noon that the guests of the room in question have neither checked out nor come to pay for an additional day. So, I call the couple’s number.

Me: “Your checkout time has passed, and you will need to vacate the room and come down to check out.”

Man: “Okay, we’ll be out within fifteen minutes.”

Time passes and they do not come down. Due to some smaller issues that crop up, about thirty-five minutes end up passing. I try calling the guest again; this time, there’s no answer. They also will not answer the door for our housekeeper. When he knocks on the door, he is greeted with silence and, because they have deadbolted the door, our master keys won’t open the door.

I am frustrated, but there isn’t much I can do. My general manager is out sick. I do what I CAN do, though, and call the non-emergency police number. I explain the situation and they send an officer on over. The officer goes with me to the room and does the police knock with an announcement… and there’s silence from the room. There is no movement of the drapes and, with them closed, we cannot see evidence of anyone being present or absent.

Officer: “I’m really sorry, but without a known emergency, there isn’t anything I can do. You are certainly within your rights to remove them from the property, and I’m willing to come back to supervise while you break through the door, if you decide to go that route.”

He then leaves.

It is now just after 1:00 pm. Since the guest is not answering the phone, and I’m not really sure what else to do since we do NOT want to have to break down the door, I try sending a text message to the guest’s phone from our office cell phone. It is short and sweet.

Me: *Texting* “Sir, this is [Hotel]. I am verifying that you have left the hotel and checked out.”

I honestly do not expect a reply. Imagine my surprise when, a few minutes later, a reply comes back. It is even shorter than mine: a single thumbs-up emoji. I take this to mean that either they have already left or they will be leaving shortly.

I am wrong.

While helping another guest at approximately 4:30, I happen to see someone — NOT one of the two people who originally rented the room — peek their head out of the room as if to check if the coast is clear. As soon as he sees me, he ducks back into the room. I am now very frustrated, but at least we have confirmation that they are still there. Still not sure what to do, the maintenance guy and I put our heads together.

Maintenance Guy: “I have a crowbar. I’m willing to break into the room if the police will come supervisor.”

Me: *Texting the guests again* “I just saw someone poke their head out of the room which you said you had vacated. You have thirty minutes to leave. If you are not gone, we will be calling the police back and breaking into the room.”

There is no immediate response. We contact the police again.

Dispatch: “It will be a bit since this a non-emergency and we don’t have any officers available at the moment. We will dispatch one as soon as someone is available.”

Maintenance Guy: “I don’t want to try to break in without the police here.”

So, we have to wait. So much for an ultimatum; they certainly do not leave by five. I am finally able to get ahold of our general manager and I briefly explain the situation to him while apologizing for disturbing his rest and recovery. He is not in favor of breaking the door but does give us an ingenious option.

General Manager: “Provided there are no children or pregnant women in the room, turn off the power to the room.”

This is a great idea; it is 32F and dropping.

The maintenance guy goes to do just that. At approximately the same time, a girl comes up to me at the desk asking to extend the stay on her sister’s room another night, cash in hand, and tells me the room number. Lo and behold, it’s the room of our troublemakers!

Me: “I will not be extending their stay. We’ve been trying to get rid of them all day! They won’t even answer the door.”

Guest’s Sister: “Well, that explains why they sent me up here with the money.”

She heads back to pass along my message. That is about the time that the maintenance guy cuts the power to the room.

He then goes to the room and yells at them through the door.

Maintenance Guy: “The power to this room will remain off until you leave, and if you’re still here when the police arrive, we’ll be pressing charges for trespassing.”

Wouldn’t you know it? Suddenly, the door opens and people start leaving. Just about that time, I get a text message back from the registered guest.

Man: *Texting* “I am not in that room. I left the keys on the dresser.”

Me: *Texting back as professionally as I can* “You may have left and not be in the room, but with it in your name, you are responsible for everybody else that was in the room — all of whom refused to vacate. Your name has been placed on the Do Not Rent list for the future.”

It still took about forty-five minutes before everybody who was in the room finally got packed up and left — before the police arrived, dang it! While they left a definite mess in the room, I was just glad to finally get them out of there. It was not until the maintenance guy finally got into the room that he recognized some of the other people in the room, all of whom had been problem guests that had been removed on prior incidences, mostly due to drug use. They had apparently been trading around who would check into the room to hide that it was the same group.

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