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The Lady At Check-In Has Checked Out

, , , , | Working | October 7, 2021

It is late December. I am a big New Orleans Saints NFL fan. My wife gets me tickets to a Saints game. We live too far from New Orleans to go to a home game and the closest away game for us to see the Saints is at the Carolina Panthers.

We are checking into our hotel. Check-in is at three and I am ten minutes early. Most of the time, hotels let you check in a few minutes early, but the lady at the front desk won’t let me.

Employee #1: “Check-in isn’t until three.”

Me: “Okay. No worries. I can wait. I’ll wait in the car for a few minutes and come back in.”

I go back to the car with my wife and I wait until the clock says 3:00 pm. I go back in to check in.

Employee #1: “Oh, your room’s not ready yet.”

I’m a little annoyed, but it is what it is.

Me: “Umm, okay. I will wait.”

The front desk lady tells other customers the same thing. Clearly, they are running behind, most likely shorthanded. I used to work retail before I began teaching, so I know what that’s like.

I sit at a table in the lobby. Thirty or forty-five minutes later, [Employee #1] begins checking in other guests who came in after me. I am a little annoyed but I wait my turn in line. [Employee #2] comes in and waits on me.

Employee #2: “May I have your name and ID, please?”

I tell her my name and hand over my ID.

Employee #1: “Umm, his room isn’t ready yet!”

Me: “Still?” *Sigh*

Employee #2: “Actually, I can get him into this room. This is the type of room he booked.”

Me: “Thank you!”

Employee #2: “May I have a card for payment and incidentals?”

I hand her my debit card. My debit card is one of those printed instantly at the bank when you open your checking account. Some readers will decline it the first time you swipe; you just have to run it again. This is exactly what happens.

Already annoyed, I sigh.

Employee #1: “Umm, do you wanna stay here or not?!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Employee #1: “Do you want to stay here or not?! Because I can cancel your stay if you don’t calm down! She is doing the best she can!”

Me: “I wasn’t even doing or saying anything! I know it’s not her fault and I am not frustrated with her!”

Employee #1: “It’s in your body language!”

Me: “Yeah. I have been waiting for about forty-five minutes, so I’m already annoyed. I have been patiently waiting. I would just like to check into my room. I am sorry if I took it out on anyone because I didn’t mean to.”

Employee #1: “You’ve been rude this whole time.”

Me: “Can I talk to a manager?”

Employee #1: “Our manager will be here tomorrow morning! Her name is [Manager]!”

Me: “Well, I will be sure to report you to her for this. You were looking for an argument with me the whole time and didn’t acknowledge my wait or attempt to defuse the situation.”

I get my room keys and my wife and I go to the room. I tell her what happened and then I contact headquarters to report what happened.

The next morning, we get ready to go to the stadium. We eat a continental breakfast before we call a rideshare company. I see someone in management.

Me: “May I speak to [Manager]? A lady at the front desk told me that this was the manager’s name.”

Management: “I’m sorry, but nobody here with that name works here. I am the manager, so how can I help you?”

I look at his name tag and see “Hotel General Manager” as his title. I tell him the story. He sighs and shakes his head. 

Management: “Sir, I am very sorry about what happened. This is not the first complaint I have had like this. I will certainly take care of it, and I will certainly give you something complimentary as an apology.”

Me: “I don’t really need anything complimentary. I just want to know for my sake and others that this is not the norm and you seem like you’ll take care of it.”