EBT = Epic Bad Tale

, , , , , | Right | July 19, 2020

I work at the front desk at a fairly nice hotel for the overnight shift. It’s not five-star fancy, but it is significantly nicer than most of the hotels in my area, and our guests tend to be wealthier individuals. 

One night, I’m working and I get a group of very loud young adults. I hit a few snags during check-in, as they want to split the payment with cash, and we don’t take cash payments after 10:00 pm. They don’t want to put the room charge on one card, because the leader of the group states that she needs enough money on her card for rent.

After some negotiating, they agree to leave a cash deposit, one member leaves a piece of ID, and I put one card on file, just for incidental purposes. In the morning, my manager can split their payment four ways and refund the card on file. The leader of the group tries to give me an EBT card.

Me: “We can’t accept EBT.”

When I finally get a valid debit card, I go over my spiel on quiet hours and some of the services we provide. One of the boys asks about room service, but I state that room service ends at 9:00 pm — it’s now after midnight — but that we do have a pantry where they can buy food. The group heads for the pantry, grabs armloads of food, and dumps them on the counter. The total comes up to fifty dollars, for which they try to use EBT AGAIN. 

Me: “Sorry, folks, but we don’t accept EBTs even for food. Do you have another form of payment?” 

Guest: “Yeah, but it’s food! you have to accept it.” 

Me: “My system literally has no way to process EBT. That’s why I can’t accept it.”

They begrudgingly agree to go to a convenience store that’s right next door. 

I think that’s the end of it when they come back and go up to their room. But nope. The guy who tried to pay with EBT keeps on coming down to the front desk. I’m supposed to greet guests every time they come to front desk, but he never wants anything. He just stands around and tries to make conversation, mostly wanting to complain about his fiancée and her friends.

The first time, I humor him for a couple of minutes, but when it’s apparent he’s at the front desk just to chat and not for any reason regarding his stay, I tell him I have work to do.

After conversation attempt number four, he starts going to the pantry and buying random snacks, and of course, I have to be at the front desk to accept payment, and he’ll stand there and just talk. 

A few of my duties involve me having to leave the front desk occasionally — to water plants, sweep, mop, make coffee, and keep the coffee bar stocked. I leave the desk once to water the plants, but the entire time, he follows me around. So, after that, I stay firmly behind the desk — locking the employee-only door — and sitting in the office, staring at security cameras. The entire time, he either sits in the lobby or goes outside for a smoke. 

My shift ends, but I have a second job to head over to, about one block away. Once the front desk girl arrives, I give her a brief update about the night and tell her I wasn’t able to tend to the coffee or sweep because of this guy following me around, and then, I head for the door. 

Almost immediately, he breaks away from his group and makes a beeline for the door, starting to walk out the same time I do. I turn around and go back to the office, telling my coworker that now he’s following me outside and I don’t feel comfortable about him and I’m worried that he’ll find out I work a second job. She goes out and distracts him whilst I escape out the side entrance and run down the block, entering my other job from the back entrance for good measure. 

After my shift, I saw a text from my manager, stating that a guy claimed to know me and wanted to know my name and when I would be back at work. My morning coworker had thankfully alerted the other employees and the manager about a creepy guest following me around, so the manager told him nothing about me. The manager left a note for all employees to never give out information about any fellow employee. 

I haven’t seen him since, but his fiancée left us a lovely review.

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