This Hotel Has Much Room For Improvement

, , , , , , , | Working | July 5, 2018

It’s my last night in a hotel in Baltimore, and I’ll be getting up early the next morning to catch a flight, so I go to bed quite early, maybe nine pm. I’m dozing off and I hear some rattling, like someone’s trying to open my door. They can’t do it because they don’t have the right key, and anyway, I’ve put the safety latch on. The noise stops, and I assume they’ve spotted that they have the wrong room, or maybe I just imagined it because I was half asleep.

A few minutes later, however, the door suddenly opens and gets caught on the safety latch, making a huge noise, at which point I scream in terror. There’s a curt apology and they shut the door again.

Terrified, I pick up the room phone and try to dial reception. The phone is clearly broken or not connected, and I’m in too much of a state to work out what is going on. I fling some clothes on over my pyjamas and rush down to reception.

Reception explains that someone misread their room number, thought my room was their room, and tried to get in. When they failed, they found a security guard loitering around who, instead of checking with reception if they had the right key or room number, just decided to use their master key to get into my room.

While they’re explaining this, the culprits — idiot guest and even more idiot security guard — are stood right by me and clearly think it’s hilarious that I’m so upset about this. I’m sure it’s terribly funny to make someone think they were about to be murdered in their bed!

I didn’t get any sleep at all that night because my heart was racing. I did, however, get that night refunded by the hotel, who did accept liability for their receptionist’s poor handwriting and their security guard’s spectacularly bad judgement.

A Security White-Out

, , , | Working | June 29, 2018

(Strangely, our university doesn’t have security. After the November 2015 Paris attacks, our university hires private and mobile security guards.)

Security Guard #1: “Student card, please?”

Friend: “No problem.”

(My friend shows her student card, and the security guard authorises her to go into the building.)

Friend: “You didn’t look in my bag?”

Security Guard #2: “No. Why?”

Friend: “You never know! Just because we are students, it doesn’t mean that we don’t want to blow up the university.”

Security Guard #2: “With you, we didn’t worry because you are white.”

([Friend] and [Security Guard #1] were shocked. [Security Guard #2] was fired.)

This Rule Is A Lie (Down)

, , , , , | Healthy | June 22, 2018

(I’ve ended up in the ER waiting room with an excruciating spinal headache, due to a myelogram test I underwent four days earlier. This means I can’t have any part of my spine bent for more than a minute or so without the headache coming on and making me severely sick. I’ve been becoming severely sick the entire four days anytime I’ve so much as gone to the toilet, so I’ve been forced to be bedridden the entire time. The waiting room has nowhere to lie down, not even two chairs near each other without a non-removable armrest between them. I also know that if I stand in place straight up for more than a few minutes my blood pressure will drop and I’ll lose consciousness. For lack of any other solution, I’ve crawled to lie down on the floor in a semi-clean corner, with my head under one of the unused seats, to hide from the bright ceiling lights and be as much out of the way as possible. I’ve been waiting this way for over an hour. I carefully get up to ask the check-in nurse how much longer it’ll be. She can’t tell me; she can only say that I’ll have to wait some more. I go back to my place on the floor. In less than a minute, a security guard comes up.)

Guard: “Miss, you can’t lie on the floor here.”

Me: “What? I need to be lying down. If I don’t, I’ll become badly sick.”

Guard: “Well, but surely you can sit down, miss; there are seats here. You just can’t be lying down.”

Me: *bewildered at having to explain such obvious things in an ER waiting room, and after already having lain there for an hour without being bothered or bothering anyone* “I’m sorry, but I can’t sit anywhere. The reason I’ve come to the ER is that I have a specific condition where I become severely sick when I’m sitting. There’s no way I can physically be in that position right now. I have to be lying down so I don’t become ill.”

Guard: “Oh, well… But miss, there’s a rule that says you aren’t allowed to lie on the floor in this room. So couldn’t you please just go over right there and sit in one of these nice empty seats, anyway? There’s a rule, you see.” *looks at me expectantly like he’s making a perfectly reasonable suggestion.*

Me: “…”

(I checked later: there were no signs anywhere in the room stating such a rule.)

Breathe Easy… But Don’t

, , , , | Working | June 12, 2018

(Our laptops have loud security alarms attached to prevent theft, but they are overly sensitive and regularly set off accidentally. An alarm has just been set off, and I hurry over to deactivate it.)

Me: “Ah, don’t panic; let me fix that for you!”

Customers: “Oh, did we set that off?”

Me: “Did you breathe on them?”

Customers: “Uh… Yes?”

Me: “Then yes, you did.”

No One Terrorizes Like Little Old Ladies

, , , , | | Working | May 18, 2018

(I am in the screening line for an international flight, LONG before 9/11. A little old lady goes through a metal detector, and sets off fourteen different kinds of alarms. She walks on as if nothing happened. The security guard looks at her and shrugs, shakes his head, and waves me to go through the metal detector. I pass with no alarms, and quickly catch up with the little old lady.)

Little Old Lady: *with a big smile* “Humph! He didn’t think I could be a terrorist, did he?!”

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