This Hotel Is For You And Me (But Mostly Me)

, , , , | Right | June 7, 2018

(I work in web design and development for an international hotel company. My actual location of employment is at one of the company’s administrative offices located in the midwestern US. My work assignments are given out to me by the IT department at our east coast headquarters. I’ve never actually worked directly at a hotel. When I go on vacation, I usually stay at our own hotels, since I get nice discount. I take care not to advertise my “corporate-level” employee status; other customers tend to assume that I outrank the hotel’s general managers, or that I have the authority to resolve whatever complaints they might have about their room or their service. I don’t; it’s outside of my particular job description. My particular employer is very frequently — and very incorrectly — associated with the Mormon Church. It’s true we were founded by a Mormon family, and up until about three years ago we were still led by a Mormon CEO, but that’s the extent of our connection. We’ve never been owned directly by the Mormons, and we don’t get our marching orders from Salt Lake City. We are taking a family vacation to another state. On checking in, I have a brief conversation with the front desk clerk about where I work, and what my role in the company is — the normal check that’s required to make sure I actually do qualify for the discount they’re giving me. Unknown to me, that check-in conversation is overheard by a customer reading a newspaper, who noted my appearance and apparently makes plans to track me down later and give me some advice about the company, or the hotel specifically — whatever it is in particular that is concerning him. Later that night he finds me eating dinner in the hotel restaurant, and approaches my table.)

Customer: “Hi. Did I hear correctly earlier that you work for [Company] Headquarters?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “I’ve got to let you know, sir, that I have a prob…”

(Then he notices my table, where I have a glass of beer right next to my plate. Mormons, I’m told, are not allowed to drink alcohol. This gentleman is a Mormon, and he is one of those who assumes I’m Mormon, too, since I work for HQ, and he thinks only “his people” would be allowed that high up in the company.)

Customer: *eyes go big* “Is that a beer you’re drinking? You’re violating the Words of Wisdom.”

(His voice continues to escalate in volume and anger level.)

Customer: “Your behavior is shameful! You’re a pox upon this company; you bring shame to the Prophet! What stake do you belong to? I’m going to make sure you lose your Temple Recommend, you… you…”

(He finally takes a breath and I clarify.)

Me: “Sir, I’m not a Mormon. I understand a lot of people believe we’re a Mormon company, but that’s not the case. I do work for our headquarters, but we have no religious requirement.”

Customer: “You liar!”

(The waitress comes up to try to intervene.)

Customer: *to the waitress* “You! Get the manager of this hotel! This man—” *shoving a finger into my chest* “—needs to be put into his place!”

(As it happens, the restaurant entrance is within line-of-sight to the front desk, and the General Manager had already been informed of an altercation in the restaurant. He walks in right next to us, introduces himself, and offers to take the conversation to a more private area. Judging by the GM’s darker complexion, accented English, and Arabic name on his nametag, he is apparently not Mormon, either.)

Customer: “You’re a Muslim! This is supposed to be a Mormon company! Mormon, you get it? You’ve all been taken over by the heathens! I’m never staying here again!”

(And with that, the angry Mormon stormed off to the elevator, presumably to pack up his stuff and go to another hotel that met his standards better.)

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