Saturday, December 13, 2008
Which brings me to the entry I've been meaning to write about. Granted, I only have a little interaction with the housekeeping department so I have no clue what kind of situations they have encountered when they have walked into a room with too forward guy, but all of the harassment issues I know of come from those dirty minded women to our poor and innocent male bellmen.
One time a woman who was sixty going on twenty two called down to see if we could go across the street and pick her up a pack of smokes. Not trying to take away any one's tips, I asked the doorman if he wants to do it. No problem, easy money. He delivers the cigarettes and comes back down in record time.
"She wants matches. There aint no way I am going back up there."
Apparently she was up there wearing a robe and talking to her friend on speaker phone. Shortly after he entered the room he was flashed and crotch grabbed while the other woman on the phone asked what kind of dirty things they were going to do.
I walked the matches upstairs and found a houseman who was just leaving the room after delivering some sort of amenity. The matches were passed on to him. He had no problem going back in the room.
Another story was when we had a certain film star stay with us. We know this because she informed us she is an actress, a model, and a dancer. The front officer manager tried to confirm this, but for some reason our content browser blocked all of her websites. Anyway, a good friend of mine was working as a bellman that day and went up to check her in.
"Ah, yes. This is a good room. I like the mirror. Me and my husband are definetly going to have sex in front of it tonight. Maybe we'll film it."
She then sat on the bed blocking his way out with her knees.
"Hold on sweetie, let me get you a little tip," she said as she went through her bag. Several minutes later she pulled out a rectangle sheet and started to write on it.
He came back down to the front desk with a red face and showed us his tip. It was an artistic photo of her clutching her enhanced adjustments with the writing, "Hugz and a snuggle" with her signature. My friend loved this photo so much that he left it in his mailbox for everyone to enjoy when he left the hotel for another job. Fortunately, I had the good sense to put it in an envelope and deliver it to him for his birthday last month.
But then someone at the party stole it. Easy come, easy go.
Of course, it is a double standard that if the above two women were guys doing that to a female worker, it would have resulted in more than snickering on our part. Is that wrong? Maybe. But it is pretty funny.
Monday, December 8, 2008
"I see. Would that be from last night when your buddy got drunk and passed out in the bathtub with the water running which resulted in the flooding of the two rooms under yours?"
"I'll have a new key sent up immediately, sir."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
While the two cabbies are fighting, our doorman and concierge try to calm down the pugilists along with the help of a friendly homeless man. Front desk calls the police. While waiting the police to come, Mr. Homeless gets tired of breaking up the fight and walks toward to the cab stand. Concierge recommends that the drivers stop pounding the hell out of each other because someone is getting into one of the cabs. After a few more minutes, they stop duking it out and one of them looks back.
"Hey, where's my cab?"
"Well dummy, remember when I told you to stop fighting because someone was getting into your cab?"
One driver drives away fare less and a little bruised.
One driver pouts as he waits for the police to arrive in our lobby.
One friendly homeless guy drives off in his new taxi which will soon be ditched after being stripped of cash, wallet, and cell phone.
One hotel desk clerk kicks himself for missing the whole thing while eating his burrito in back for lunch.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
As you may have picked up, I long for nice quiet evenings with happy guests and early bedtimes. This seemed not to be the case. After riding the bus downtown with all the drunken costumed revelers (surprisingly, with only two Dark Knight Jokers) I was getting a taste of what to expect. And guess what. Nothing. Dull. Quiet. Boring.
As I removed all the fiberglass cobwebs and clingy plastic spiders, I found that I was empty inside. Maybe I need my drinkers to make my shift go by. This should have been a big blog night, but my boozers have abandoned me. What did I do wrong? My rates were fairly cheap. And I would have listened to you rant about why it's stupid that we don't serve burgers at night. Was it me? You staying at another hotel, aren't you? Well, fine. If you think I can't find another guest to demand that I go across the street to pick up a twelve pack of Heineken at 4:30 in the morning, you're wrong. Dead wrong.
But seriously, come back. I'm bored.
I did have one couple come in late at night dressed like Gomez and Morticia Addams carrying gifts. They had just gotten married at a costume requested wedding and everyone showed dressed up. That's pretty neat.
Oh, and one guy was dressed as a giant chicken. Not slutty.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"Ok, let's try calling her room. What was the room number?"
"Well then, what is her last name?"
"How about her first name?"
"Sorry. No idea."
"Well, what do you know?"
"I know she is from LA. She said her flight leaves today at 6pm."
"Awesome. We'll take your name and cell number and let you know if anything turns up."
Around 4pm, the dude comes down to sit in the lobby and wait facing the elevators. Our staff anxiously awaits to see how this love story turns out. About fifteen minutes later she comes down with her friends on the way to the airport! He walks up to her as they both turn red and exchange an awkward hello again kiss. They sneak off to a dark corner away from her friends and the watch is returned. With heads hung low, they go their seperate ways.
I love happy endings.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The other night I had a young couple come to the front desk.
"How old do you have to be to stay at this hotel?" This is never a good sign. After I told them they turned to each other with a conspiring look and then asked for a room for two nights.
"Sigh, ok. The rate is going to be $239 per night. I'll just need a photo id and a credit card?"
"No thanks. I want one of your $40 rooms."
"Oh, are you referring to the sign by the door?"
"Yup. And I don't have a credit card, only cash."
"The sign that says '$40 Overnight'?"
"Yeah, does that include tax?"
"Sorry the room rate is $239. The sign is for the garage's rates. If you finished reading it you will see that $40 will get your car parked for the night."
"Oh. No $40 room?"
"No $40 room."
"Oh. That sucks."
Unsurprisingly, this is not the first time I've had this conversation.
Friday, September 26, 2008
And no. No I don't.
Two hours later a blond in a miniskirt and stiletto heels walked in after telling the valet her driver will be back for her in half an hour. I wonder who she is here for?
Saturday, September 20, 2008
"Hey! What size your your pants?"
"Uh, what? 34 I think."
"Damn. Not 28?"
"Nope. Afraid not."
"Oh well. Goodnight!"
Can't help but wonder how that could have gone.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tipsy McBoozer: Hello. I need a wake up call. Earwy.
Me: Ok sir, how early would you like me to call.
Me: You got it. What time would that be?
TMcB: Uh................. I'll call you back.
Tipsy McBoozer: Hello. Wake me up earwy.
Me: You got it sir. And what time should we call you?
TMcB: Ok. Call me at 7..............
Me: Call you at 7am. Got...
TMcB: 15! 7:15 and 7:30.
Me: You got it sir, 7:15 and 7:30 am.
TMcB: Got it?
Me: I got it sir. Have a good night.
Tipsy McBoozer: I need to wake up earwy.
Me: No problem, sir. We have you down for a wake up call at 7:15 and 7:30am.
Me: Earlier, you got it. What time can I change that too?
TMcB: ................ I'll call you back.
Me: Good morning again.
TMcB: Wake me up earwy.
Me: Not a problem. What time?
TMcB: 7:00 and 7:30.
Me: Ok, 7:00 and 7:30am. You got it.
TMcB: You gonna wake me up?
Me: You bet we are! 7 and 7:30.
TMcB: My man!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
"Hello. We've been drinking." ~ O rly?
"One time I passed out in the lobby at the Marriott and they threw a blanket over me. Would you throw a blanket over me if I passed out in your lobby?" ~ That or a bucket of water.
"We're going to go drink more in our room." ~ Great.
"Hey, would you call my room first if you are going to call the cops about the noise? The Marriott didn't call me before they called the police." ~ Those unscrupulous curs!
"Don't worry. I have a key to the minibar." ~ Double great.
"You guys are nice. You are a nice hotel. That's good because I can't go to the Marriott any more...." ~ Actually, you are starting to grow on me now. You get a blanket.
"Ok sweetie, we're going to go back to drinking now. Have a goodnight and don't call the cops without telling us." ~ Goodnight! Please pass out soon!
Monday, August 18, 2008
They filmed tons of the movie within blocks of the hotel. It is clear that eighty percent of Gotham City is on the river. I didn't get to see the filming of too many scenes, which is sad because all of the best car explodey scenes had to have been filmed so very close. There is a scene from Bruce Wayne's loft where if you look to the bottom left of the screen and squint toward street level, I am near positive you can make out another hero of the night being berated by a random bar slut for not letting her use the private bathrooms.
Daywalker Jamie captures the Gotham flag during filming.
This time around, I only saw a couple GPD cars and having them film for six hours a scene where a cop walks into a building (screen time: 1.3 seconds). For Batman Begins, I was tortured at my old job trying to check people in while the friggin' Batmobile was revving up to race down the wrong way of Jackson Blvd. Totally, not fair. My only other encounter with the filming last year was when one of my guests tried to describe to me in detail all the naughty things she planned to do to the stars at the cast party. I later found out that she was the one who came back looking for the cute night guy in glasses. So in no particular order of studliness; Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and me. Sounds right.
So no surprise, the movie is awesome. I am excited to see at again, this time at IMAX. Though, I am a little concerned about the next one. I am afraid they might be hard pressed for a worthy villain. If you see Mr. Nolan, you may want to suggest another creature of the night who prowls the dark streets of Gotham/Chicago.
Who was that man in purple? Stay tuned for The Night Auditor: Year One.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Nothing to worry about day walker. They are the same age as you.
Another group we have in house is about twenty Chinese gamblers. The Horseshoe Casino in Indiana has put them up for a couple nights, I assume as comp rooms in appreciation of handing over mass amounts of unwanted cash to the card tables. The casino is also paying for $250 per night of restaurant and room service charges for four of the rooms. Those rooms must house the worst of the gamblers.
At first sight, I figured what to expect. Casinos are open all night if not super late, so I figured they would be bouncing around the hotel all night as well. Also, they are coming in from Indiana, never a good sign. And there was a most excellent communication barrier. It can be frustrating for both ends of the conversation, but it's kind of fun too. Like figuring out a crossword puzzle that is in two different languages. At my old job, I took secret pleasure in having my Antiguan coworker who had a very thick island dialect call in to order Thai food. They both always ended up getting very frustrated with each other as the conversation grew louder and louder. Oh, the silent belly laughs I had... But I digress.
We have a very limited room service menu, so on a busy night we might send up maybe five or six sandwiches or salads, each with one pop or water. The fun began when the four rooms with the comped food started ordering room service at 2am. We don't serve booze that late (phew!) so it was all in bottled water, Diet Cokes, cranberry juice, and other nonalcoholic beverages. Fortunately, the restaurant manager was still there and helped us find more goods. I don't think anything ordered was actual food food at all. It was great fun for me to see the look of panic in my night porters eyes, who also has a heavy accent, as he was trying to figure out how he could supply one room with sixteen diet cokes, twenty four bottled waters, and a pack of "oral mints". To those four rooms, I think we sent up fifty bottles of water, thirty Diet Cokes, and I really wish he kept those receipts so I could have copied them. Anyway, this ended up costing over $800. And with gratuity, I think that puts about $150 in tips in my porter's pocket (sorry folks, nothing for our poor hero here).
You may have to trust me that this is all pretty damn funny. Even though things can be pretty unpredictable working late night in a hotel, it's kind of awesome when things like this throw you for a complete loop. Just hope they know not to clean out the mini bar. That's not included in their freebies...
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thursday night was the eve of the three day music fest and given me a glimpse of the check ins that are to come. The hipsters are all back after finding cheap rates on Orbitz, but I can't really complain about them too much. They are for the most part really nice since they are not used to staying in a nice hotel and probably feel intimidated into being calm. I guess hipsters aren't supposed to get worked up very easily anyway. They just go outside every five minutes for smoke breaks and pile on top of eight friends when it is time to squeeze back into their room.
I had one odd conversation with a guest. It was one of those hip dads with breads and ponytails who knows and likes all the same bands as their seventeen year old daughters. One dad came up to me and asked where they could go watch the fireflies.
"Is that a band?" I am not as hip as some dads.
"Nope. The light up bugs."
"Oh. Not too many of those in the metropolitan area. Maybe in the suburbs. We got pigeons?"
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Me: Sorry. For some reason the concierge locks up the phone books at night. What are you looking for?
Guest: Uh. Pizza. I need a pizza.
Me: Well, you are in luck my friend. I am well versed in late night Chicago pizza deliveries. Perhaps I can send you up a couple menus.
Guest: Uh. No thanks. Phone book.
Me: Sorry sir, no phone book. Would you like me to google something for you?
Guest: Girls, damn it! Escort!
At this point, I leave the guest to his own devices. This has little to do with morals, but these situations can be a hassle for me. I do not want to be involved. At all. Also, I'm not getting lucky tonight, so why should you?
I have some of my own stories about guests and the ladies of the night, but there was a most excellent situation all read wrapped up in my fellow night managers night report.
- (Guest) came in around 4:30am with 2 working ladies. They left about 10 minutes later, and he went running after them, saying they robbed him. He brought back the ladies and 2 officers, to search the room for his wallet. They found his wallet, but the money was missing. The police said if they book the ladies & have them searched they would also have to arrest him for solicitation, so he declined to press charges.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
(five noise complaints, five minutes, and a elevator ride later)
Hello again! I am truly sorry, but we cant have you sitting in the hallway screaming and pounding on your door. So, what's wrong? Ok, so your mother fucking bitch of a roommate has dead bolted the mother fucking door and now you cant get into your mother fucking room? Ok, let's calm down a bit and try to call her. Oh sorry, I guess you don't want to be mother fucking calm. You already mentioned that you want to get into your mother fucking room. Believe me, I want you in that room more than you do.
So you two were out drinking, she left early and is now not answering the door? And you weren't fighting? Ok ok, you weren't mother fucking fighting. Let's just try to get this situation resolved. You don't want to get this mother fucking situation resolved? Oh, you do. Phew! Ok, first step is to stop pounding on the door and stop screaming at the top of your smoke scorched lungs. Second, it's very kind of you to be entertaining our guests with your screeching and banging, but you may want to close your legs a bit because, between you and me, they aren't great tippers. That's better. What? How much mother fucking money do I want to get you into that mother fucking room? Believe me, getting you out of this hallway is payment enough. You will pay me six hundred mother fucking dollars to get you into the room? Ma'am, at this point I don't want any of your mother fucking money. Besides, that's only maybe $35.
Anyway, the engineer is on his way to help us out. Now, we're not going to start screaming at your mother fucking bitch of a roommate are we? Your neighbors have not really enjoyed the show so far and this maybe one of those times where a cat fight isn't appreciated. Of course you don't care about the mother fucking neighbors. My mistake. Ok, here we go. Oh good, at least your mother fucking bitch of a roommate was the only one on your floor passed out enough not to hear your screaming hissy fit. You have a great night and thank you for staying with us! Mother fucker.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
But I do have a very deep different kind of prejudice. Oh yes I do. If I find out what city or state you live in, believe me, I will have some deeply scornful perceived notions about you. And lots of the time you don't have to tell me where you are from. I can just taste it. And it's nasty.
Here are a few examples.
- I know you are from New York. You are loud, obnoxious, and seem to think everyone wants to talk to you. I don't care if you can get an saber tooth tiger sandwich at four am in New York. Go to bed.
- I know you are from Detroit. You are shifty and untrustworthy. Within thirty seconds of this conversation, I have checked my pocket to make sure my wallet is still there and my sides to check on my kidneys. And I am going to call my mom and make sure she is all right. I don't care if you once sold crack to the whole Pistons line up. Go to bed.
- You are from New Jersey. You. Ugg. Go to bed.
- I know you are from Toronto. You talk alot yet are unnervingly polite. You are an odd mixture of major American city people and with just enough smugness about not being an actual American. I do feel bad that you had to drive through Detroit to get here. Go to bed.
- I know you are from Los Angeles. You hair is too complicated for Chicago. And you dress like a douche bag. You are either here to film an interview or shoot a porno in your room. You are also likely to answer the door naked and scare the housekeepers. Go to bed.
- I know you are from Indiana. You don't want to be here, but your boss made you come. You miss your strip clubs and are afraid of Chicago drivers. You have Chicago envy, but aren't going to admit it. At least your favorite baseball team is here. Take off your trucker hat and go to bed.
- I know you are from the South Suburbs. You are here for a wedding. Afterwards you get drunk you will go to a bar in your grooms men's suit and get into a fight about whether the Sox or Cubs are better. Then you will come back here, buy two cases of MGD across the street and slur at me something about "where the ladies at?" You will drink one half of those beers and pass out on a bell cart. Go to bed.
- I know you are from the North Suburbs. You want to tell me how wonderful the musical or opera you just saw was and how crazy your cab ride was. Go to bed.
- I know you are from anywhere else in Illinois. See Indiana.
- I know you are from Chicago. You have lived here all your life and still complain about the weather. And you are still shocked about how much parking costs in the loop. You know Chicago is better than LA and New York even though you've never visited either. Finish your blog and go to bed.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Greasy black hair tied in a pony tail? Check
Food stained Microsoft sweatshirt? Check
Thick glasses? Of course
Nasally voice? Yup
Talks about his dietary restrictions? Thank you sir, that's good to know
Flirts with foreign employees by using the wrong language? Check
Busts out an accordion in the lobby and plays for about a minute? Check Mate
Tell me you are not impressed.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Working the night weekend shift gives me plenty of opportunities to see happy attractive couples leave the hotel for a night on the town, have them come back four hours later still happy, but less attractive, and then have them neither attractive or happy after they hit the mini bar and a bathroom mirror.
Fortunately, it rarely gets violent, but it can present uncomfortable situations. Sometimes funny, but uncomfortable. But it happens, so don't feel too embarrassed. Just know that everything you do will be logged down for all of the staff to read and enjoy. And some asshole might even post a blog about it. Nothing to be embarrassed about.
So anyway, last weekend I overheard a intoxicated dude come in from a night out and immediately buddy up with the night bellman. The gems of the conversation were that he was ranked slightly higher than FBI and would show his gun if you wanted. No thanks. He also invited my coworker up to the room for some booze and the promise of some girls. Sorry sir, I'm on duty!
The guy goes up to his room and calls down an hour later saying that he doesn't want any girls to come up to the room. This is a new one for me. I asked if he was expecting any to come and he confirmed that he did, but not to let them go up to his room for any reason. Uhm, ok.
At 4:30am a leggy blond comes to the front desk wearing a dress that appeared to be a thin shiny dishrag. My night audit sense tingled. I stopped her and asked what room she was going up to. Surprise! I asked to see her id and regretfully informed her that I could not send her up the room since she was not on the account. Turns out the formally happy attractive couple went out clubbing, got drunk, he talked to girls, she talked to dudes, he leaves, she stays, he texts explicits, she texts explicits, he locks the door. All of her clothes, money, and two little dogs are locked in the room as well. I knew she was telling the truth, but my hands were tied. Aside from calling the room several times, there was not much I could do since her name wasn't on the room. So she pulls out a cell phone and says she will call the cops. Good idea, just call 311. Now, I should say that the girl was upset and drunk, but surprisingly respectfully and never raised her voice (well, anymore than normal drunk conversation). She was a nice enough of a person which I found odd since she was dating such an asshole and was from Detroit.
Two cops come, listen to her story, and ask if the four of us can go up to the room with a pass key to retrieve her belongings. The bellman quietly asked me if he should mention to the cops that the guy said he has a gun. Good idea. The cops were less concerned about the gun, but made the girl promise she would stand back and not start yelling if we got the door open. I knock. No answer except the yipping of tiny dogs. I try the pass key. No dice, he dead bolted the door. Sorry, ma'am, nothing else we can do here. We go back to the lobby and the girl tries to call someone, anyone to put her up for the night while one of the cops told me an awesome story about the time he took his wife to Acapulco, got in an argument in a restaurant which lead to thrown food, tailing his wife back to the hotel room, and a mad dash for the room key. That's some good police work, Lou.
So eventually, she calls mom in Detroit, promises her that she made this mistake for the last time and will break up with him for real, I talk to mom in Detroit, and we arrange a room for the night on her credit card.
Long story long, mom and dad pick her up the next day, the cops are called three more times to get her stuff back, and the dude threatens to sue since we disturbed him all night.
In the end, this situation was the least of my hassles for the night.
So again, this stuff happens. It's embarrassing, but it happens. Just be warned that very little is secret. Just think before you drink. For the dogs sake.