Common Sense Has Checked Out Early

, , , , , | Right | August 29, 2019

(I am working the night shift. The phone rings, marked as an internal call.)

Me: “Good evening. Guest services, this is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Guest: “Can I get a late checkout?”

Me: “Certainly, Mr. [Guest], regular checkout is at eleven, but we can extend that to noon.”

Guest: “Can you do any later than that? Like two?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unfortunately, I cannot. My housekeeping department leaves for the day before that on a weekend.”

Guest: “We’re just going to be out running errands all day…”

Me: “If you would like, we can hold your belongings behind the front desk until it’s convenient for you to pick them up around two?”

Guest: “Actually, I want my checkout at three.”

Me: “Sir, unfortunately, I cannot do a three-pm checkout. If I let you stay past noon…” *at this point I hesitate, looking at his account; he’s a high-profile member* “The very, very latest I can offer is twelve-thirty, and I’m really not supposed to do that.”

Guest’s Wife: *in background* “We need a three-pm checkout!”

Guest: “Three pm.”

Me: “If we let you stay until three, we have to charge you for a half-day’s stay. I’m sorry.”

Guest’s Wife: “What? No way! Why?”

Me: “Because housekeeping won’t be here to clean the room, so we won’t be able to sell it for tomorrow night.”

Guest’s Wife: *still in the background* “I want to speak to your supervisor!”

(It is about 12:30 am.)

Me: “I am the supervisor, ma’am.”

Guest’s Wife: *still yelling from background* “THEN I WANT TO TALK TO YOUR MANAGER!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am the manager on duty. I am also the only employee here at the moment. Would you like me to mark you down for a noon checkout, or charge you for the half-day so you can check out at three?”

Guest’s Wife: *still in background* “TRANSFER ME TO YOUR MANAGER!”

Me: “I am the manager. I can send you to my general manager’s voicemail box, but she won’t be in until Tuesday morning, as this is Friday night and a holiday weekend.”

Guest: “Please, just transfer…”

(I transferred her to the voicemail, shaking with silent fury. A few hours later, the guy came down and asked for Bengay — of all things — and to apologize for his wife. He asked for the 12:30 checkout and thanked me, apologized again, and left.)

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