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Procrastination Cost You Your Marriage

, , , , | Right | August 7, 2017

(I’m working the front desk at a hotel in the middle of July. We have been fully booked for the past two weeks and it is going to be pretty much the same for the next three. It is just before six pm and I only have one check-in left when a man in his mid-twenties comes in.)

Customer: “Hiya! I’m here to check in!”

Me: “Absolutely! Your name, please?”

Customer: “Sure, it’s [Customer].”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t seem to have a reservation under that name. Could it be under someone else’s name?”

Customer: “What? No, it’s got to be under my name. I booked all the rooms myself. 32 rooms for three days each. You guys even already took the full payment from my dad’s credit card.”

(He digs through his satchel and pulls out some papers and hands me a group booking contract with a list of 32 confirmation numbers on them. Reading over the contract I realize that things are about to get heated. I pull his information for the system and read over the notes before I address him again.)

Me: “Well, it does appear that you HAD a reservation with us, but unfortunately it was for May 22nd to the 25th.”

Customer: “Well, yeah, that was when we were originally planning to get married. We moved the date back so we could get married on her parent’s anniversary. We thought it would be romantic.”

Me: “Yes, well, unfortunately it doesn’t appear that anybody contacted us to change the date and as per your contract here you had to give notice of any change seven days prior to the arrival date. It also says here in the notes that our manager tried to contact you several times by phone, on your mobile, and by email, and never received a response. You were marked as no shows.”

Customer: “Yeah, I kinda dropped the ball on that one and I was too busy with work and stuff to return your calls or emails. I figured when we didn’t show up you’d figure out we were coming another time and just hold our rooms for us.”

Me: “Sir, I’m terribly sorry but it doesn’t work that way. Your reservation was cancelled when you didn’t show up or contact us. We had no way of knowing why you didn’t come or if you were planning to come at all. As much as I’d like to help you we are booked solid and so is every other hotel in town. I’m so sorry.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. You guys already took the payment for the rooms, so what should it matter? Just give me the rooms now.”

Me: “Sir, I can’t. I have none to give. And we took the payment for the rooms because that’s what your contract stipulated. I can explain the situation to the general manager and see if she is willing to refund you due to the circumstances but to be honest, I highly doubt that she will.”

Customer: “This is insane! Are you telling me that just because I didn’t call you guys you’re taking my dad’s money and refusing me service?! I’ve got, like, maybe 30 people at my house now and probably another 12 to 15 coming in. I need these rooms. I booked them months ago!”

Me: “I understand that but like I said, you never contacted us to change the date and you refused to return our calls or emails to explain why your group hadn’t come in on the day you booked for. You had a contract and it was up to you to hold up your end. 32 rooms is nearly half the rooms we have in the entire building. We couldn’t simply put them on permanent reserve on the off chance that you were going to come in another time. We would have lost an incredible amount of money.”

Customer: “This is unbelievable! What am I supposed to do? Yeah, I screwed up. I pulled a boneheaded move; I admit that but it was a mistake. I have a lot of people depending on me and an already rocky relationship riding on this. I don’t understand why you won’t just help me.”

Me: “I understand that you have a lot riding on this. I’ve been married and I know how stressful the whole ordeal can be. But I simply don’t have 32 rooms to give you. I don’t even have one room available. There is really nothing I can do for you other than to give you the phone numbers for some other hotels in [Next Major City].”

Customer: “WHAT?! That’s nearly four hours away. How the h*** are we going to get all these people over there and still get to the reception hall? This is crazy. Please, you must have something. Some extra rooms you keep for emergencies; some guests you can kick out. Anything, I’m begging you! I made a mistake. Why can’t you be compassionate?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I really have nothing available. There is nothing more I can do. I understand that it was a mistake but this is no different than if you had failed to contact the reception hall, the church, and the caterer to change the dates. They wouldn’t be able to help you now either because they too would have considered you a no-show and went on to book other weddings or events.”

(At this the customer’s face goes white and he just stands there for a minute.)

Me: “You… you didn’t call them either, did you?”

Customer: “I’m f***ed. I am totally f***ed. My parents spent a fortune, HER parents spent even more. Oh, my God…”

Me: “Dude, I am so sorry.”

Customer: “I’ve screwed myself. My girlfriend is gonna leave me. She’s on her way to decorate the reception hall now with her sister; she’s gonna be crushed and royally pissed. There’s no going back from this. All I had to do was call and change the dates. That was ALL I had to do other than booking the rooms.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “I had ONE JOB!”

(With that he turned and walked out with his head hanging down, still mumbling to himself that his life was over. I don’t know how things turned out for him but whoever you are, I hope things worked out and that you learned the importance of not procrastinating.)

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