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His Hopes Of Getting Away With It Went Up In Smoke

, , , | Right | CREDIT: mstarrbrannigan | August 2, 2021

The head housekeeper texts me a picture from a nonsmoking room as evidence that the guest smoked in there. There’s an empty blunt package in the trash along with cigarette ash and burnt and unburnt bits of weed all over the desk. It also smells of smoke, though that’s complicated to document in a visual medium.

I go to charge the card, but no one is surprised it doesn’t go through for the full $250. I’m petty, so I go ahead and try a few increments down until the card goes through for a lousy $25. Oh, well, it’s our $25 now. If nothing else, it will inconvenience the a**hole.

Twenty minutes later, the guest calls, asking why I charged $25 to his card.

Me: “There was evidence of smoking in the room, so we had to charge you the smoking fee.”

Guest: “Smoking fee?”

Me: “Yes, when you checked in you signed a registration card and one of the things you agreed to was a $250 fee if you smoked in a nonsmoking room.”

Guest: “But the charge was $25.”

Me: “Yes, that’s all your card went through for.”

Guest: “But you said the fee for smoking in the room was $250?”

Me: “I guess you can come pay the rest in person if you want.”

He hangs up and honestly, I don’t think he is coming to pay the rest. I am right; he tries a different tactic. He calls and says he was supposed to be in a smoking room. I check and confirm that was not the case; he booked a nonsmoking room.

Guest: “But the girl at the front desk was supposed to have switched it to a smoking room.”

Me: “Regardless of what she was supposed to do, it was a clearly marked nonsmoking room and you agreed when he signed the registration card not to smoke in it.”

Guest: “That doesn’t count, because I didn’t read it!”

You may be aware that’s not how that works.

I basically repeatedly tell him that it doesn’t matter that he thought it was a smoking room, and the fact that he was so blatant about smoking in the room is not evidence that he thought it was a smoking room because plenty of people do that in nonsmoking rooms. He asks for managers’ names and my coworker’s name.

Me: “Tell you what, sir. Let me check the cameras from that time and see where the breakdown in communication happened. Depending on what exactly happened, I’ll see what I can do for you.”

Guest: “Well, I was outside, so…”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry. We have full audio on all our security cameras; I’ll be able to hear both sides of the conversation with no problem.”

I could hear his confidence just plummeting as he asked me how long that would take. I said maybe ten minutes tops; he said he’d call back in twenty.

As I went to have a look-see at the cameras and I texted the coworker who checked him in to see if she remembered the interaction at all. While he was perfectly friendly and all during check-in, there was no mention of a request to switch rooms. My coworker called me back and confirmed the same thing.

I wonder if he’s going to call back, or if he knows the game is over.

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