It had been a busy night...63 check ins that all decided to come in at the end of my shift. Despite the fact that a good quarter of those spoke languages not my own (to the point where I couldn't even tell you what language it was...italian maybe??), there weren't really any trouble spots.
Hotel Fact #1:
When someones room is paid for by a third party, rarely does it cover incidentals, just room and tax. To cover these, we ask for a credit card or $20. This opens the phone lines and covers long distance phone charges as well as some bottled waters in the room that we charge for if drunk. If nothing is charged, the authorization goes away, or they can collect their $20 upon check out.
"Wendy" breezes in at about 10:50pm, 10 minutes before my shift is over. The following happens:
Me: Checking in?
Wendy: Yes (imagine strident tones the entire time verging into argumentative)
Me: Ok, I'll just need your credit card and ID
Wendy: My room is paid for! (pulls out ID and slaps it down; it's and Alaskan Driver's License)
Me: (pulling up her reservation) Yes, your room is paid for, but we authorize a credit card for incidentals
Wendy: I don't have a credit card. (add "triumphant" to the mix or roiling anger and life and...possibly herself?)
Me: (Haha...like the fact that you don't have a credit card means that we aren't going to ask for anything. That's like going to the movie theater and getting tickets. Then, when they tell you the total, just take the tickets and tell them that because you have no money, you shouldn't have to pay.) That's alright, you can just put down a $20 depos-
Wendy: I don't owe you people money!
Me: (Oh, yay! I am a "you people" again! I always love this line. It's never "the hotel", they always try to make it personal...with "you people". The collective mind. There was one time....oops, I'll save that for later. Anyway, I heard the tone in her voice, so...) picks up radio Front desk to Maintenance? Can you take the waters out of room 2*2 please? Thanks. Not a problem ma'am. I'll just need to see your ID.
So I check her in. 5 minutes later....take it away, Wendy!
Wendy: (from room phone) Something's wrong with my phone, it's always doing the busy signal!
Me: That's because the phone line isn't turned on. The deposit is to open the phone lines.
Wendy: (we're up to "yelling" now, folks) I have to pay $20 to turn my f***ing phone on? I'm just calling a 1-800 number!
Me: I'm sorry, the computer won't release the phone lines without a deposit on file.
Wendy: You guys are f***ed up, make me pay twenty f***ing bucks to make a free call.
Me: Like I mentioned ma'am, you'll receive your deposit back upon check out. (when people are yelling and swearing at me, I tend to go ultra polite and words with more syllables. Ie, "receive" instead of "get")
Wendy: (swears a bit more) I guess I'll come ALL the way down and pay to use my free f***ing phone!! (slam!)
At this moment, my relief comes in and I threw him under the f***bus. I just didn't want to deal with it. Plus (the logic side of my reasoning) if I gave her someone different that she didn't have a history with, she might be more calm.
When I told him that he needed to take the next one b/c I couldn't and then went in the back, he got this funny "huh?" look on his face. Apparently all went well though. My plan worked!
But I had not escaped.
The next woman who came in was one of those who can always find something to complain about. Because I happened to be at the desk, I got to share the glare from hell when she informed us that she was to get $84 dollars a night, per a letter from a third party.
Hotel Fact #2:
State and Federal Governments have a per Diem rate that all hotels must give. About 6 months ago, the Fed rate was $84 dollars a night, but they changed it to $100 a night in October. The State rate is still down at $85, but there are NO other rates down that low.
The note she showed was from the nearby college that quoted her $84, and gosh darn it, she was going to get that $84. The price quote wasn't from us, but from this third party, so I don't know why she thought it was binding. Obviously, the person from the University who had drafted the letter had old information. I doubt it would have been a good idea to do what I was initially inclined to do "Take it up with the UC, it's their problem not ours".
Yeah. Probably not.
So even though I escaped from the first evening ruin-er, I got another one instead.
*sigh* At least no f-bombs there.