Please Don’t Shoot Your Shot

, , , | Working | February 22, 2021

I have worked in an Indiana college town in a 147-room hotel for about six months. Most of the time things go swimmingly, but the last couple of nights have been doozies thanks to our boilers going AWOL, leaving the hotel without hot water. This left two wedding suites unable to shower comfortably. But that wasn’t the most interesting thing to happen this week. No, that would be tonight.

Around 9:15, someone walks into the hotel and asks for public restrooms. I eye the person, whose appearance and demeanor fit that of the local drug addict population.

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t have public restrooms.”

Guy: *Barely above a whisper* “I’ll take a room, then.”

This is red flag number one. Normally, people just grumble and walk out. They don’t suddenly switch to wanting to pay $150 for a room. But I click a few buttons on my system and fake looking for rooms.

Me: “I’ll need a credit card and a photo ID.”

The guy pulls out a green BMV-issued ID card — not a license, just an ID card — and a debit card. While we can take debit cards, I’m still suspicious. It is at this point that I notice that the guy’s left hand is covered in fresh blood.

Guy: “I’ll pay for anything, even a suite.”

This is red flag number two. To go from wanting bathrooms to wanting to pay for anything we had just screams, “I’m a junkie and I’m looking for a place to shoot up.” I decide to refuse service for a few reasons: one, there’s no sense in risking him overdosing on whatever his poison of choice is and having a dead-in-room situation; two, there are two weddings in house tonight; and three, there are a lot of kids in house.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we’re completely sold out.”

This was a blatant lie; we were only at 54% for the night, but I was certain he was looking for a place to shoot up and was going to do whatever it took to do so.

The guy turned around and walked out. My manager, after hearing this, told me I’d done a good job and the night went on as usual. This was a first for me. Feels like I got through a rite of passage for hospitality or something.

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