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Going To Have A King-Sized Problem Here

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2021

I work in a medium-small hotel in a very large city on the west coast of Canada. We are a corporate hotel, so 90% of our guests are corporate travellers who come from all over the world. We have many regular guests and many who only stay with us once or twice, but we are only two blocks from a popular convention centre away from the main city centre. Because of this, we are more often than not sold out from Tuesday to Thursday nearly every week.

My work week starts on a Friday and runs to mid-week, which means that I have the pleasure of checking in all our corporate guests every Sunday and Monday.

It’s Sunday at about 10:00 pm and two women come to the desk to check in. I’ve had a number of late arrivals this day and have a number of guests still to arrive. I pull their registration cards from my arrival list and go over the details with them as I do with all my guests.

Me: “One room, one adult, two double-size beds for five nights, correct?”

She confirms the information, I complete the pre-authorization, give her the keys and move on to her companion.

Me: “One room, one adult, two double-size beds for five nights, correct?”

Guest: “No, I was supposed to have a king bed.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this was booked through a travel agency and they booked you a room with two double beds. Give me one moment and let me see what’s going on and what I can do for you.”

I pull up the week and see that — surprise, surprise — we are sold out for three of her five days.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m unable to move you to a king room for your entire stay. We would be able to get you a king for tonight, but all my king and queen rooms are sold out starting tomorrow until the end of the week, so you would have to move tomorrow back to a room with two double beds.”

Guest: “Ugh. I was told that I was booked to a double, but if I asked, I could move from the double to a king room when I checked in.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it looks as though the person who booked your room for you had only one choice of room type when they booked online and we were not contacted about possibly upgrading. As I said, I can get you a king for tonight, but only for tonight. “

Guest: “I don’t want to move. Give me the keys to this room.”

I give her the keys and bid them both goodnight. About twenty minutes later, l get a call from her room.

Guest: “My heater isn’t working, and I want to move to a king room.”

I explain everything yet again.

Me: “Can I send my bellman up to your room to see if he can get the heat working for you?”

She grudgingly agrees. My bellman returns not even five minutes later.

Bellman: “She’s insisting on an upgrade because her heat isn’t working.”

Me: “Is the heater actually broken? If so, I need to add it to the maintenance report.”

Bellman: “The room is warm, but she said she’s freezing.”

It’s at this moment that she calls and starts complaining about her room. I absolutely HATE rewarding bad behaviour, but I ask that she give me some time to see what I can do to move her rooms and we hang up.

I go over the whole week’s arrivals and try to figure out where I can move things around without downgrading guests to move Miss Priss. As I’m doing this, I continue to take phone calls and check in my remaining late arrivals. 

The hotel is not super large and it is uncommon to have two front desk agents scheduled after 9:00 pm, so I am on my own.

Twenty minutes later, this woman comes down to the front desk and starts laying into me about how she’s been waiting over an hour to move to a king room. I never promised that, even though I was trying.

Guest: “My room is colder than my home on the east coast!”

Yup, the tropics of Canada are colder than the east coast.

Guest: “You’re doing nothing to help me! You have no customer service skills!”

Me: “Ma’am, I have to go over an entire week’s worth of reservations with three of those days being sold out to shuffle things around to just move your rooms, let alone a room you wouldn’t need to move out of tomorrow.”

Guest: “I don’t care if I have to move tomorrow! Give me a d*** king room, you fat, lazy, b****!”

Absolutely done with her entitled attitude and demeaning attitude, I move her to a king room because it’s clear at this point that she will do anything to get what she wants. I give her the keys, politely remind her that she WILL have to move the next morning to a different room, and bid her a stiff goodnight.

She goes off smiling to herself because she got what she wanted.

I leave a note for the morning reservation supervisor about her and ask that she look to see if she can do anything to keep this guest in her king room. I HATE rewarding horrible behaviour, but I know she will make the next week Hell if we don’t. 

The next afternoon when I come in for my shift, I see the reservation supervisor and ask if she was able to do anything for our wonderful guest. The supervisor was able to shuffle things around so she could stay in that room all week. Then, I am informed that:

1) She had lied about only one person being in the room — it doesn’t change the rate, just lets us know for emergency reasons. She had brought her boyfriend and that was why she HAD to have a king room even though she knew what had been booked for her.

2) She tried to get a discount, even though she got a free upgrade and there was nothing wrong with her heater — maintenance checked.

3) She then tried to get us to upgrade her coworker/traveling companion who didn’t give us any fuss and never asked for an upgrade. (The companion was a wonderful person, by the way.)

The best part is, that night, she has to come to the desk to get her keys reprogrammed. She tosses them at me, and I can tell she’s getting ready to have another fit.

Guest: “My keys don’t work. Why don’t my keys work?”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. It’s because when you moved to that room last night, we had you scheduled for only one night. Now that we are able to keep you in that room, I would be happy to reprogram them for the remainder of your stay.”

I could see that she felt stupid for snapping, that there was a very valid reason with an easy fix, and that there was no way she was ever going to admit or apologize for her attitude. 

Some days, I really LOVE my job.