Memorial Day weekend at the hotel is usually a zoo, and this past weekend was no different.
Families from all over came to spend the weekend with us. When everything works right, this is a great thing. But of course, not everything works right.
We had troubles with the key making machines, with the super microwave, with the proofer, with the A/Cs. In the midst of all this we had to close the pool for “unexpected maintenance” (read kid pooped in the pool). Add to that all the guest requests for extra pillows, blankets, towels and we were running silly all night.
Perfect night for someone to take advantage of us. As our front desk agent was counting off her drawer that evening, she notified me that she was short $180. I asked her to check all the normal shortage possibilities, as I continued to try and keep a handle on the rest of the hotel. When she couldn’t find the cause, I let her know we would try to find it in the morning when things weren’t so chaotic.
The next day, I put my detective skills to work. Having recorded the times of all the cash payments from the night before, I went through the camera footage. Minutes into it, I found the culprit. He had pulled one over on our desk agent, and with the busyness of the day, she didn’t catch it. He signed that he’d given us cash, but never actually handed it over. The footage shows him putting it up on the counter, then taking it away when she looked away.
I brought the other manager in to take a look. “That’s my guy!” He exclaimed.
Turns out, that guy had come down early Sunday morning to get his money back from the night before. Said his A/C wasn’t working, and we weren’t able to fix it. J, the other manager, had tried to offer him a free night certificate to come back, but the guest wanted his money back. So J gave it back to him.
So now, not only did he not pay us the night before, but we gave him money back that he’d never given us! We had paid HIM to stay.
Knowing he was there a second night, I kept my eyes open for him. When I got the chance, I approached him.
“Mr. Guest,” I began. “I know you didn’t pay us for the room Saturday night. I also know you came down Sunday to get money back you never actually gave us. I’m asking you to do the right thing and return that money to us.” I explained we’d still honor the comped night, but we wanted the money he wasn’t owed, back.
He mumbled on and on about how he signed that he gave us cash, and that it was her fault. I didn’t disagree, but reminded him I’d seen video footage and know he didn’t actually give it to her. He kept mumbling. I kept asking him to do the right thing. He finally caved and came down with me to return the money.
It ain’t over yet.
The next morning he came down once again asking for his money back from the second night. Said he didn’t enjoy his stay at all, and didn’t feel he should have to pay.
The same desk agent was working the desk, and our General Manager who knew the whole story was there too.
“Not a chance,” he said.
I can’t believe the nerve of some people. I’ve run into some doozies in my years at the hotel, but have never come across a guy like this.
Never a dull moment.