Working at the Front Desk is like standing on the good side of one-way glass wherein the other side houses a bar. The bar-goers can still get to you, but seem oblivious to you in every other capacity.
For some reason, the desk makes me invisible except when people need change to tip the bartender.
I do not have a problem with this.
We have 2 European ladies staying with us…both have good command of the English language (not sure what they speak back across the way). Probably in their 40s, and they were having fun. Lots of fun. Especially getting to know the other people in the bar, ie: men. (I don’t say this with intent, just that it seems that most people traveling alone for business that stay in hotels, and then go down to the bar are men) Fine. Great. But then came the “ick” moment.
They step out of the bar, all in good spirits (heh heh…no pun intended, but I’ll take what I can get :P). From across my desk, the following unfolds:
The ladies are saying “farewell for now” to their companions and will meet later at G Street. One of the guys is skinny and … well … rather oily looking. The other is … um …NOT skinny. So one of the ladies puts out her hand and says “Goodbye”
The skinny oily guy looks at her is, is silent for a moment. Then says in a somber voice. “I don’t shake hands”
She looks at him a little confusedly, he smiles a broad one and says, opening his arms wide “I give hugs. Come ‘ere”
So they hug, and then the not skinny guy, maybe seeing what can be accomplished, hugs the other one. Then they switch.
Ug. I’m sorry, but I know for a fact that none of them knew each other beforehand, and just the phrase “I don’t SHAKE hands” had my mouth dropping open.
Maybe Its just b/c I’m not in the habit of hugging people I’ve barely met.
The one-way glass works fine…except when the bartender foists someone upon you.
The bearded man in #214 had had a few too many.
One of my check-ins had, in a most lovely effort to be sociable (I LOVE it!!) commented that he was (I quote) “pretty far gone”. This was of minor interest to me until I heard that nights bartender say “The girl at the front desk can help you get a cab, go ask her”, in which case he was unceremoniously booted out of the bar. From where he unfortunately managed to find *my* desk 8 feet away. Blech.
Him: (silence, breathing)
Me: Did you want to go somewhere sir? I can call a cab.
Him: I want to go somewhere. Call a cab
# I can call a cab (I dig for a card) Where do you want to go?
% I want to go….to the place
# Where is the place?
% YOU know… the place.
# Sir, I can’t call a cab for you if I don’t know where you are going. The cab won’t come.
% Where do the girls go
# (mental “Huh??”) I don’t know where the girls go
% I want to go where the girls go. Tell me where the girls go.
**(only later did it occur to me that he may *not* have meant where females in typical tended to hang out rather than…um…yeah)**
Bartender (comes back through, sees the problem) Sir, she can’t get a cab if you don’t know where you want to go. She will give you a card, and you can call them from your room. Go to your room.”
% I don’t WANT to go to my room
Bartender “You need to go to your room and call from there” (she leaves)
% Is she your boss? She’s mean
# You need to call from your room sir.
% Ok…but first, give me your hand
**ok now. We are on opposite sides of a 4 foot high, 2 foot across desk. I know that I need to practice saying no….but I wanted him to go away. So….**
% Give me your hand!
# (gingerly stretches out hand)
% (he holds in a handshake sorta way) I just wanted to say thank you, in case I don’t remember any of this later.
**for what? May I ask? No…I DON’T want to ask…never mind…**
And so he went away. WHEW. I promptly wiped my hand on my pants and felt slightly yucky the rest of the night. But hey…every new experience teaches you something.
I’m still figuring it out.
I’m thinking “don’t let strange drunk people touch you”, or maybe “If you have to get drunk, don’t do it in public; do it in private with close friends who will take care of you.”