If my good hotel stories could spread themselves out over time, I’d probably blog more frequently.
But noooo… they all happen in one weekend. And they’re really not good. I mean, they’re good stories, but not good stories. Well, you’ll see what I mean.
When I arrived early Saturday morning, the lobby was crawling with old people. Saturday was the day their River Boat Cruise was to board, and they were up early to ensure they had enough time to catch the shuttle to the riverfront. (Keep in mind this shuttle does not belong to the hotel. It’s set up through the cruise line.)
One particular gentleman was traveling on his own. He was 90 years old, fairly deaf, and unable to walk long distances. When he arrived at our hotel Friday night, Tei, checked him in. Little did she know she would be his caretaker the rest of the night, and then again the next morning. She retrieved our wheelchair from the closet and wheeled him to his room. That evening, a different staff member, brought him down for the evening drinks and appetizers. Saturday morning, Tei was back at work, fielding phone calls from his daughters. They were quite nervous about him, and asked if we had seen him yet, and how was he doing, and are you able to help him? She took it upon herself to make sure he got breakfast, and was packed up, and ready to board the cruise.
He came down just as the shuttle (bus) pulled up front. I went out and helped him up the bus stairs, then came back to address the rest of the elders, all gathered together with their huge suitcases. A few of them lined up to ask me if that was their shuttle. I replied, “Yes. This is the shuttle. If you don’t mind, we’ll have the ones who have trouble walking load first.” I kid you not – EVERY one of them immediately grabbed their cane, or claimed they’d just had a stroke, or spoke up about their husbands inability to walk without help. I let out a big sigh, and just let them fight it out.
In the midst of it all, I noticed a young couple in line. By young, I mean 60-ish. I sure hope my face didn’t show the concern I was feeling inside that this poor couple would most likely be the caretakers of all their cruise mates.
Once loaded, the bus sat in place for another 20 minutes. I went out to make sure every one on the list was aboard, and then since it was time, I let the bus driver know he could leave.
A half hour later, an elderly lady approached the desk. “Isn’t there a shuttle to the boat?” she asked. I informed her the shuttle left at 10:30, and asked what time she had come down.
“Well, I’ve been sitting in that chair for the past hour and nobody told me the shuttle was here.” She pointed to the place where tons of people just like her had once been.
I looked at Tei who knew exactly what I was thinking. “How could you NOT have noticed the crowd of old people surrounding you, struggling with suitcases and canes while boarding a bus and NOT think you probably should be too!?”
Out loud I said, “Oh! I’m so sorry we didn’t let you know. I’ll have a taxi bring you there, and we’ll gladly cover the charges for it.”
I called Salim and explained the situation. He pulled to the front of the hotel shortly after we hung up, and I directed Miss Oblivious to the front door.
A few minutes later, Salim calls. “Ummm… Row-byn… that wasn’t ME in that taxi. That lady went with someone else.”
OMG. THAT taxi driver, in the same type of cab Salim drives, doesn’t know not to charge her! This was going from bad to worse! I imagine the fight those two must be having, and how Miss Oblivious must now be totally ticked at our obvious ineptness.
So later, when THAT taxi driver plowed in front of other guests, and insisted payment from us, I couldn’t have been happier. I gushed my thanks to him for not charging her and gladly handed over his money to him.
Once the fires were all put out, I looked at the clock feeling like I’d put in an 8 hour day already. It was 10:00. TEN O’CLOCK! I’d only been there three hours!
Luckily, the rest of Saturday went smoothly. Then came Sunday.
I walked into the hotel a few minutes before my 6 AM shift and was immediately greeted by the non-lying Night Auditor with “Hey! Did you see all the blood outside?”
What? NO! What happened?
He proceeded in his rambunctious-I’ve-been-up-all-night manner, that about an hour earlier there had been a family fight, and the nephew had slit the uncle’s throat, who then walked into the hotel with blood gushing everywhere saying he didn’t want to die. The auditor called the police and 911, and then worked to get most of the blood cleaned up before our well-behaved guests woke up for breakfast.
Lovely way to start a Sunday morning.
We soon learned the uncle was going to live, and after two hours of scrubbing, the walk out front no longer looked like a slaughter house. The rest of the day was smooth sailing.
My manager broke the news that they were going to let Tei go. A few weeks ago, this wouldn’t have surprised me – her survey scores were consistently low and she misplaced money two different times. But since her review, it’s been quite obvious that she’s really trying to be more friendly, caring, and helpful (remember the wheelchair guy?), and she’s always been a great task-doer. Yet her survey scores remained low. So the boss said she needs to be pulled off the desk today. With no other viable position for her, the only thing to do was let her go.
My heart’s still breaking, but I’m trying not to worry for her. I really feel she’ll excel at a job that doesn’t involve so much customer service. She’s young, reliable, and a hard worker – I hope she doesn’t let this bring her down.
For not being sold out, this weekend sure had its share of events. I certainly hope we got it all out of the way, because starting tomorrow, we will have a full house every night of the week. We’re hoping not to have any more drama or overly needy guests.
– but I’m sure we’ll miss Tei. She may not have been the friendliest of the bunch, but she could knock out some check-ins like nobody’s business.