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This Just In: This Customer Is Bad News

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Archonet | July 22, 2021

I’m working a night audit shift at a hotel on a Friday night. The first part of the night goes surprisingly well, which is uncommon given that Friday nights at the hotel front desk are rather busy and can, at times, be hectic. But hey, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so on my night goes. I sit on my a**, do crosswords on my tablet, and generally enjoy peace and quiet. Three-thirty am rolls around and I decide I’ve wasted enough time waiting for the last arrivals and begin my audit, and not but thirty minutes later, in comes a guest.

She strolls up to the front desk with a clear sassy attitude.

Guest: “Yeah, uh, the girl who was here earlier said she’d give me a refund for [some issue]. The computers were frozen then, and she told me to come back in a couple of hours.”

Immediately, alarm bells ring in my head. One, I wasn’t told about this. Two, no notes were left about this. Three, she left at 11:00 pm and it is now just about four in the morning. That is not “a couple of hours.” Four, you come in here and the first words out of your mouth are demanding money? You’d best have a pistol tucked somewhere, honey, and a desire for a prison sentence, because there is no way I’m giving you money, at 4:00 am, without any sort of notice from second shift, just on your word, unless you’ve got me at gunpoint.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I wasn’t told about this earlier. I’m afraid I can’t help you; you’ll have to come back at a later time.”

Guest: “What, can’t you call her?”

I make a show of looking at my watch.

Me: “Ma’am, it is four in the morning.”

Guest: “And?”

Me: “Aaaand I’m not going to wake up my coworker at 4:00 am when she has to be back here at 7:00 am to relieve me.”

Guest: *In a very disbelieving tone* “So, who do you call when you have a problem?”

I already know where she’s going with this.

Me: “Ma’am, I have only called my manager when I also had to call the police.”

And apparently, that puts ideas into this woman’s head, because right then and there she says the most entertaining thing she can.

Guest: “Mmm, well, then, you’d best be gettin’ to calling him, because the police are gonna be down hereAND the news.”

Me: “Well, you can go right ahead, then.”

I’m thinking, “Oh, this is gonna be good.”

There is such an explosion of utter amusement inside me that words do not do it justice. They simply don’t. First off, what the f*** does she expect the police to do? I’d love to hear what her explanation to them is. “Uh, yes, officer, this man refused to give me money when I demanded it. No, I was not trying to rob the place. Yes, this is what I called the police for.”

Secondly, what did she think “the news” was going to do about this? I have no idea. “We’re bringing you a story from [Town], as a woman has apparently been refused money from the till when she demanded it firmly. We now go live to the scene.”

This is clearly quite newsworthy, but this is a major city. They’ve got more important things to report on, like flies banging, or the weather on Mars this week, or, you know, actual news, but that’s not nearly as entertaining!

At any rate, I am not about to stand around and piss away yet more time while she prattles away on the phone, so I grab my reports, plop myself at the computer, and resume doing my audit. There is no way I am going to get it done if the police actually show up, which I doubt they will, but regardless, I have no desire to be behind, either way. You would think my dismissive attitude and focus on my work would immediately deflate the ego of any normal human being, but no, not this woman.

This woman begins telling someone (who I suspect is actually nobody and she’s just rattling off random chatter to scare me for reasons that will shortly become apparent) that she needs the local numbers for the news and the police, etc. I’m not really listening because, again, I’ve got things to do, and I don’t care if she claims to call the President, the Pope, and my mother all in a conference call.

Three minutes pass.

Guest: “What’s your name?”

I have been standing in front of her with my name-tag on for a solid five minutes now.

Me: “[My Name].”

Guest: “And what’s your manager’s name?”

Me: “[Manager]. His card is right over there. You’re free to try calling him, but I’m not gonna be the one to wake him up at 4:00 am over this.”

Guest: “Oh, I intend to.”

Here’s what makes me suspect this woman was full of s*** when calling her “friend” and asking for the local news and police: she DOES try calling my boss, and from where I am sitting, I can clearly hear the voicemail message when he, predictably, does not pick up. You know, because it is FOUR IN THE G**D*** MORNING. When she was talking to her friend, I heard no such chatter, leading me to believe she is even more full of s*** than I previously thought.

It is at this point that she realizes that her posturing and threatening are going to do her no good and calling my boss will be fruitless. She takes on a less asinine demeanor, at which point I become less dismissive myself.

Guest: “What time does your manager get in?”

Me: “He’s covering tomorrow night’s shift, so no later than 11:00 pm tomorrow, unfortunately. Actually, let me see when [Aforementioned Coworker] gets back in.”

I double-check, even though I already know she’s relieving me.

Me: “She’ll be back here in the morning. You could always just wait a few hours and get this sorted with her then. But I really just can’t be giving out money from the drawer just on your say-so when she didn’t tell me anything about this and didn’t leave me any notes.”

Guest: “I see. I’ll be back in the morning, then.”

And she turned and strolled on out the front door with all the attitude she’d had coming in.

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