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I’m Mo-Telling On You!

, , , , | Right | July 19, 2019

(The city has just started a month-long arts festival, and there is also a motocross championship happening, so you can’t get a motel room easily. I’m checking into a cheap motel with an okay reputation, just happy to get a room at short notice. I’m checking in early and know that I might have to wait a little while before the room is ready. I’m filling out the registration form while the receptionist is on the phone. A well-dressed lady in her 40s storms in.)

Lady: *to me* “Urgh! This place is disgusting. You’re not staying here, are you?”

Me: “Actually, I am.

Lady: “Well, don’t. It’s disgusting — definitely not worth [price]!”

Receptionist: *off the phone* “Hello. Checking out?”

Lady: *throws room keys at him* “Yes, and I want a refund now!

Receptionist: “I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask why?”

Lady: “The mirror is smashed; I could have seriously hurt myself. There’s no parking, I had to park on the street, and the room reeks of cigarette smoke.”

Receptionist: “Ma’am, I explained yesterday that it had just been broken and that we would replace it, but you didn’t want to wait. Parking shouldn’t be a problem; we have more than enough spaces.”

Lady: “When there are a bus and a four-wheel drive with a trailer there are not!”

Receptionist: “We have allocated spots for large vehicles. Did you try closer to the office?”

Lady: “Well, how was I meant to know about that?! It’s not like I work here.”

Receptionist: “Anything else, ma’am?”

Lady: “The room reeks of cigarette smoke. I’m allergic. It nearly killed me.”

Receptionist: “We have extremely sensitive smoke alarms in the rooms and bathrooms that would have had the fire brigade here if someone smoked in the room.”

Lady: *huffing, now really angry* “This place is disgusting. I’m putting a review on [Travel Website] and talking to a lawyer.”

Receptionist: “Ma’am, you arrived last night when we were full. We managed to get a room ready when someone had checked out early. I explained about the mirror when you inspected the room, and you stayed over checkout by two and a half hours and didn’t bring this to my attention. I can’t help you, but the owner will be here tomorrow if you want to talk to them.”

(The lady storms out, cursing.)

Receptionist: *takes a deep breath* “I’m so sorry about that.”

Me: “That’s fine, not your fault.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, your room isn’t quite ready yet. It is room eight, the room she complained about, but once it’s ready you can inspect it and the mirror can be fixed later this afternoon.”

(He looks scared that I will cause a scene.)

Me: “It’s okay. I’ll just go and get a coffee up the road, and I’m sure the room’s fine. She’s just a b****.”

(The receptionist looks relieved and laughs a little. I leave as more people come in. Twenty minutes later, I get the call to check in. The room doesn’t smell of smoke, there is a small amount of damage to the bottom of the bathroom mirror where the glass has been removed, and there is plenty of parking, just not right beside the room. Later, when I check out, both the receptionist and owner are there, with the owner on the phone in the back office.)

Receptionist: “Miss [My Name], I hope the room was acceptable.”

Me: “It was fine. The mirror didn’t bother me, I couldn’t smell smoke — I have severe allergies — and I found the parking fine. I really appreciate the early check-in. Thank you. I’m lucky to have gotten a great room so cheap at this time.”

Owner: “Hi, are you the lady that stayed in room eight last night?”

Me: “Yes, I did.”

Owner: “Can you please tell me what happened?”

(I recount what happened, and I give my impression of the room and the great job the young receptionist did.)

Owner: “Thank you. I just had that other woman on the phone demanding a refund, saying that [Receptionist] yelled at her and called her a rich b****, and that [Receptionist] had been smoking when she inspected the room.”

(I was given a discount on my room by the owner and thanked by the receptionist and wished a safe trip. As I was about to drive away, the receptionist ran out with bags of drinks and snacks, more than enough to keep me going through my eight-hour drive home, as a thank-you. Seriously, lady, you check into a cheap motel at one of the busiest times of the year, when other motels are charging up to five times their normal rates, for under $100, and expect five stars?!)