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Taking Impossible Demands All The Way To The Top

, , , | Right | CREDIT: bearjcc | December 6, 2021

I work at the front desk at a privately-owned hotel that was a chain five years ago. The only way to book a reservation is to talk to the front desk staff — no online reservations and no third-party reservations. About 50% of our rooms are sold to walk-ins.

One holiday weekend, we are booked full. Our elderly elevator is having some trouble with all the traffic and spooking guests, so I close it and call for a repairman, but it’s ten o’clock at night, so I’m not expecting anybody until the next morning. All of our guests are checked in and our accessibility rooms are on the same floor as the lobby, so I’ll just help out anyone with their luggage if they have more and put up a sign saying so.

In walks a woman I don’t recognize from check-in. She plops a piece of paper in front of me and then goes and gets lots of luggage. The paper shows her with a reservation at [Chain] at this address for tonight for a tenth of the price we were selling before being fully booked. She comes back to the desk, likely thinking that I have been checking her in all this time.

Me: “I regret to inform you that we do not accept third-party reservations; we are, unfortunately, are already booked for the night.”

Woman: “I have a reservation! It’s right there! I paid good money for it!”

Me: “Ma’am, I believe you. Unfortunately, you are not in our system because we don’t take third-party reservations. They sold it to you fraudulently.”

Woman: “You are just trying to steal my money! I have a confirmation number right there! I handed it to you.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, you handed me a reservation to a [Chain]. We are [Hotel].”

I gesture to a nearby sign. All of the signage inside and outside the building is correct.

Me: “Also, this is for a fourth-floor room; we only have three floors.”

Woman: “I stayed at this [Chain] last year on the fourth floor!”

This argument continues for a while. I keep my cool, informing her that we are booked, all of our rooms are full, and insisting that we don’t have a fourth floor, we’re not [Chain], we don’t take third-party reservations, etc. Eventually, she screams at me.

Woman: “You are going to take me to my room on the fourth floor — which I paid for — right now!”

I don’t respond; I just stare at her with a blank face until she slaps the desk and screams, “Now!” again.

I don’t mime making a room key, but I do grab my huge key ring and we both load ourselves up with her excessive luggage and climb the stairs. Once we get to the third floor, I gesture to the third-floor sign and tell her it is the third floor. I then use my maintenance key to unlock the door to the maintenance stairs, which are not lit, and she trudges up behind me, not saying anything. I open the floor to the tarred roof and walk outside.

Me: “And here is the fourth floor. I hope it is as nice as the last time you stayed here.”

I dropped her luggage and went down the stairs back to the front desk. For people concerned about her safety, this was a flat roof with a four-foot facade/wall around the outside.

Honestly, had she been nicer to me, I would have tried to help her get a room at a different hotel and submit documentation to try and get her a refund from the third party, but since she screamed at me, I left her and her luggage on the roof. She insisted she had stayed on the fourth floor, so that’s what she got.

There was an option at the bottom of the stairs to go straight outside instead of coming by the front desk. I didn’t see her again, and she wasn’t there when I went to lock the roof back up on my midnight rounds.

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