The Mother (Nature) Of Stupid Complaints

| GA, USA | Right | January 29, 2015

(I’m a night auditor, and the only staff member on duty. I see that the office phone is being rung from a room that has only just checked in:)

Me: “Front desk. How may I help you?”

Irate Guest: “How dare you rent me this room! There are bugs! Oh, my God! Bugs!”

Me: “I’m so very sorry, ma’am. The exterminator comes regularly to prevent this sort of thing, and we have an excellent housekeeping department, but this being Georgia, and the rooms opening to the outside, sometimes it happens. Would you like to move to a different room, or would you prefer a refund?”

Irate Guest: “Well, a different room won’t do me any good. The bugs are all over the place outside. In the shrubs and around the lights and just everywhere!”

Me: “Wait. You called to complain because there are bugs outdoors?”

Irate Guest: “Yes! I’ve never seen such horrible things in my life!”

Me: “Ma’am, your registration information shows me that you live in Florida. I’ve been to Florida. Y’all have bugs.”

Irate Guest: “I just want a refund.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t give you a refund based on the fact that you think we should remove bugs from the great outdoors. You can talk to the manager in the morning.”


(The guest slammed the phone down. Minutes later, I saw her car speed out of the parking lot. I briefed the owner/manager the following morning. We had a good laugh, and an even better one after guest came back to demand her refund.)

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Very Soppy Soup

| USA | Romantic | January 23, 2015

(I’ve met a guy I really like while traveling for work. After a lovely week together, our work locations both move and we are separated but still keeping in touch. Although it’s clear we’re both rather fond of each other, we’ve carefully avoided using the word “love” due to the distance problem. One night on the phone…)

Guy: “At lunch today I saw wild rice soup on the menu and I said, ‘I love wild rice soup!’ And then I thought how stupid it is that I can say I love soup, but I can’t say I love you.”

Me: “Hey, [Guy]?”

Guy: *keeps talking* “I mean, why is everyone so afraid of those words? Why does it have to be such a big deal? It’s really—”

Me: “[Guy]!”

Guy: *finally stops* “What?”

Me: “I love you.”

Guy: “Oh, my god. I love you, too!”

(I will always have a special place in my heart for wild rice soup after this!)

Updates Berates

| Johannesburg, South Africa | Working | January 15, 2015

(My husband and I own and live at a guesthouse, which he runs as I have my own job. However, I work from home so I answer the guesthouse phone if he’s not there. We get a lot of telemarketers calling, but their products or services are aimed at big businesses, which we’re not.)

Me: “Good morning, [Guesthouse]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, can I please speak to [Husband]?”

Me: “Sorry, he’s not in at the moment. Can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, please. I’m looking for the person who’s in charge of buying hardware.”

Me: “That would be me, but we’re a small company so we’re not interested in what you’re selling.”

Caller: “I’m not selling anything. But even as a small company, you must have a fax machine, laptops, etc…”

Me: “We have some equipment obviously, but I’m still not sure what it is you want.”

Caller: “Well, we help you replace anything that’s broken with regards to your hardware.”

Me: “No, thanks. We’re a two-man business, so if something breaks, we just go to [Major Electronics Store] and replace it ourselves.”

Caller: “Well, can I get your name and email address so I can send you updates?”

Me: “Updates on what? I’ve just said we’re not interested in what you’re selling.”

Caller: “I’m not selling anything! We just need your email address to send you updates.”

Me: *getting frustrated now* “No, thanks. I don’t want to be spammed.”

Caller: “We do not spam! We’ve been around for two decades so we don’t need to spam!”

Me: “I’m still not sure what you need our email address for. What are these ‘updates’ you keep mentioning? I’m not giving you our email address and we’re not interested in whatever it is you’re offering.”

Caller: “Never mind, I’ll just speak to [Husband].”

Me: “It’s not going to help you. I’m his wife, and he’s going to tell you exactly the same thing.”

Caller: “Well, I’ve done my job!” *click*

A Sad Depiction Of Eviction

| NJ, USA | Right | January 14, 2015

(I work second shift front desk at an extended stay [Brand] hotel. Of 140+ rooms we have only a couple of two bedroom suites, the largest of our [Brand]’s suites.)

Caller: “Are you owned or managed by [Some Company]?”

Me: “No we are owned by [Company #1] and managed by [Company #2].”

(I never get asked this.)

Caller: “I’m interesting in seeing the two bedroom suite.”

Me: “Sure, if you can come by tomorrow I can have someone show you the room.”

Caller: “Could I see it tonight? I want to stay for three months. I’ll have [Related Brand] hotel shuttle drop me off.”

Me: “The room hasn’t been cleaned yet…”

Caller: “That is okay.”

(It being a Sunday night with only a few check-ins left, I figure it would be okay if I took 15 minutes to land a three-month stay in our most expensive room.)

Me: “Great, I’ll show you the room when you arrive.”

(The shuttle drops them off.)

Me: “Welcome to [Hotel].”

Caller: “You aren’t owned or operated by [Company #3], are you?”

Me: “Nope!”

(I’m getting a bit worried about this; nobody asks this question or is so interested. I show them the room and they tell me about how they need more chairs, a desk for their son, etc. They come across as very needy. This does not bode well.)

Caller: “We will be living here until our house is ready, and we will need to use the van to pick up our son from school and to do errands.”

(Red flag: They have a house under construction but they don’t own a car!)

Me: “For all these things especially the extra furniture and preferential van scheduling will need management approval.”

Caller: “Okay, let’s book this and your manager can get back to us.”

Me: “Great, I just need a [Loyalty Card] number and a credit card.”

Caller: “Okay here is the [Loyalty Card] number and let me read you the CC number.”

(With confirmation number in hand they called Related Brand hotel and got the shuttle back. At this point I checked their Loyalty Card history. They had been in two hotels for 12 months. I wanted to know why they are changing hotels and what is going on and what they aren’t telling me. I left a note for my manager to call Related Brand hotel and find out why they are leaving. My manager called the other hotel. No sooner did she say the guest’s name, the other manager burst into tears. In New Jersey, if you live in a hotel long enough, you are entitled to protection under the eviction laws. That means the hotel has to take you to court if you haven’t paid your bill. For the first 60 days they paid on time and in full but as soon as the eviction rules kicked in they stopped paying. As a result the hotel had impounded their car. The hotel, having had them evicted, was in the process of extracting money owed for the room, totalling something like $80k. The family was also being investigated by the FBI for committing wire fraud from the hotel’s business center. Naturally my manager cancelled their reservation and I got a $20 gift card to Olive Garden for saving us tens of thousands of dollars of pain. If they hadn’t been so d*** needy we wouldn’t have known until it was too late!)

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(Very) Bad Translation

| Singapore | Working | January 12, 2015

(I have a new colleague who can only speak English and Korean. She wants, very much, to get along with everyone at the front office, including the chief concierge, who is a middle-aged, very proper Malay gentleman. She enlists the bellhops to teach her greetings in Malay. They oblige, not knowing that she was going to use what she would learn on their boss, the chief concierge. Unbeknownst to her, all they taught her were curse words. This happens one morning when she is assured that she is fluent in the language.)

Colleague: “Mr [Chief Concierge], [swear word]!”

Chief Concierge: *shocked* “Who taught you that?!”

Colleague: *innocently* “[Bellhop #1] and [Bellhop #2]. I asked them to teach me how to say ‘Good Morning’ in Malay. Did I pronounce it wrongly?”

Chief Concierge: *angrily* “What else did they teach you?”

Colleague: *taken aback by his reaction* “Well, some other greetings, like [lots of foul language].”

Chief Concierge: “Nice girls like you shouldn’t know such bad words! How dare [Bellhop #1] and [Bellhop #2] teach you such nasty stuff? Don’t ever say all that again!”

Colleague: “What?! They taught me bad words?! I might have said it to a guest!”

(The two bellhops were standing nearby, horrified, when this incident happened. They were reprimanded severely by the chief concierge.)

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