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Part Of The Mumble Lobby

, , , | Right | October 20, 2020

Our lobby has a constantly running fountain in it, as well as the standard muzak. It’s not terribly loud, but it does mean you have to speak clearly to be understood from across the check-in desk. A guest comes in one night and is already a pain from the start.

Me: “Hello! How can I help you?”

Guest: “Check in.”

Me: “All right! Last name, please?”

The guest mumbles his name and I can’t make it out over the ambient noise.

Me: “I’m sorry?”

The guest repeats himself, but in the exact same tone and inflection, so I still can’t hear it. This is actually a pet peeve of mine; if someone asks you to repeat yourself, clearly your original stab at it wasn’t effective, so why would you do the exact same thing and expect a different result? I have to have him repeat it a third time, and again, he doesn’t modulate his volume or pronunciation at all, but I’m leaning way over the desk and am able to hear him and check for his name. I can’t find it.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have a reservation under that name.”

Again, the guest growls his reply, and again I have to have him repeat it, though at least this time I lean forward first so I don’t have to have him say it a third time.

Guest: “I don’t have a reservation.”

He says this very aggressively as if I should have somehow known that.

Me: “Oh! Well, in that case, I have two-queen bedrooms available at [price].”

Guest: “I want a king.”

It is about 1:00 am on a Sunday morning; we’re quite full and he’s lucky we have rooms at all.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have any king rooms available right now, only two-queens.”

More mumbling. I’m double-checking the availability and have to lean back again to do so, so I miss it the first time and have to have him repeat himself again.

Guest: “I want a discount.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t offer discounts just because the hotel is out of king beds. I can offer you a two-queen; otherwise, I can recommend the hotel across the street, but I can’t guarantee what sort of availability they have.”

Guest: “But I want a king. Give me a discount.”

Me: “Sir, if you’d made a reservation for a king and for some reason we didn’t have it, then I might be able to give you a bit of a discount, but I can’t discount your room just because you waited until the last minute when all of our rooms were sold. If you were making a reservation online and we didn’t have the room type you wanted, you wouldn’t get a discount, you’d just have to pick a different type of room or look at another hotel.”

Guest:Fine. I’ll take it, then!”

He throws his card at me, another pet peeve of mine, and also pointless because we don’t swipe the cards ourselves; there’s a terminal on the guest’s side of the desk. I push his card back toward him.

Me: “If you’ll just pop your card into the reader there, we can get you set up.”

The guest shoves his card into the card reader and mumbles something again. I’ve leaned back again to be able to see my computer screen, so once again, I miss what he said.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, could you say that again?”

Guest: *FINALLY actually speaking up* “You know, I don’t know what’s wrong with your hearing! I don’t think I’m speaking that quietly!”

I am completely taken aback and fight the urge to point out that, clearly, he IS speaking too softly if I have to consistently ask him to repeat himself.

Me: “Uh… Well, I’m sorry, sir, but sometimes it’s hard to hear over the noise of the fountain.”

Guest: “Hmph. Whatever.”

He kicks off at a few more things through the check-in process, like the fact that I won’t give him a comped late checkout just because he’s checking in late. He returns to mumbling his words, too, but if I don’t catch it, I just smile and nod now rather than asking him to clarify. He finally stomps up to his room, and my coworker turns to me.

Coworker: “For the record, I couldn’t hear him, either.”

Me: “I should have told him I was partially deaf to try and make him feel like the a** he was being, but with an attitude like that, he’d probably have just b****ed about me being allowed to work the desk with a disability.”

Question of the Week

What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

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