Friday, April 23, 2010

More Life Lessons

The following should quench some thirst until I get my Big Party Weekend notes A) Found and B) Organized:

We'll start off with a few more life lessons with Redgirl. Since I know that all you are running to get pencil and paper for notes, I'll pause for a moment to allow for scurrying.


Gather 'round...

First off:

Ginger, while the same color and beginning with the same letter as Garlic, does not taste the same. In fact, no matter how much you add, it still won't taste the same. Instead of having Savory Lamb with Basil Mushrooms, you will have Funky Tasting Lamb with Ruined Mushrooms. And it will be served with a side of Disappointed Taste Buds.

Next Lesson:

If you put a hood on it and it looks like Ted Kaczynski, don't let it in. Furthermore, green plastic bags should not be opened and rifled with unless the rifler is willing to deal with unsavory content.

Let me explain.

Weird old man with thick glasses and big bushy beard was a "walk in" on Sunday. He seemed agreeable, if odd and a bit verbose. I gave him a room. (Which wisely was NOT the Cursed Room...he didn't look harmless enough to take that chance) A few hours later, my maintenance guy (we'll call him "Juan") found a white plastic bag just inside our street entrance door. He brought it up and we both looked at it.

Similar to how you examine a purse for an ID, I felt we should examine the bag. (...and I'm reeelly nosey. This you know) Contents were:

Large bottle of unopened green antiseptic mouthwash

5 Energizer D Batteries (with no devisable thing to use them in)

Full roll of toilet paper, quilted

Green plastic bag with *literature* of some kind in it

A pea green towel (I don't know if it was clean, I wasn't about to sniff it...not THAT curious, folks)

Mystery remained though.

The Green Bag.

As you've probably guessed, it contained things of an adult nature, with an emphasis on young, ethnic, and pierced.

But moving on.

I caught a glimpse that will be seared in my brain for some time, and then Juan and I tied that entire thing up tight. Then we pulled out the hand sanitizer. Then the Lysol wipes for the counter.

I told Juan "I think I know whose it is, I expect him within the hour."

Sure enough, like leopard returning to drag its half eaten bushbuck to a better location, he came back. "I...uh...left a bag by that door over there..." Me: "One moment sir!"

At least, I consoled myself, he was only staying for one night.

Or so I thought.

This all happened Sunday. When I came in for work on Wednesday, I was met by my boss. The first words out of his mouth "Why did you let crazy people in??" followed by "Everyone here hates you right now" and "We thought he was your uncle, because that's the only way we figured you let him in" as well as other things I don't think I'll repeat.

Apparently, he approached everyone and asked if they were a guest or they worked here. (EVERYone) He inquired about the glasses in the room, a la Pen Girl. He terrorized our poor omelet maker so that she couldn't stay at her station. He repeatedly turned up radios and tvs to the point where someone had to go to his room and knock on his door. He proceeded to yell every vulgar and obscene thing in the book through the door. (and the guy who reported that part is probably listed as a contributing author on that book, so he would know)

My response was that maybe I had let him in, but they didn't have to let him stay. (for three days! Three days people!)

Then my boss gifted me with the Ted Kaczynski blurb, which I will keep in my repertoire and use in any situation that remotely calls for it.

Lesson Three:

If a guest reports to you in a jittery and twitchy manner that he's 46 days (exactly) clean from a drug that "makes lines of coke look like sissy stuff", try to avoid prolonged conversation with them. Especially if upon receiving Advil, they tell you they can't swallow pills and find an area to bend over backwards far enough that the pill can drop down their gullet with no help of a swallowing mechanism.

Lesson Four:

If you're a narcissistic boor with the hotel staff, don't expect any real consolation or sympathy when you lose not only your room key, but your government issued phone. If you see a concerned expression, they are probably laughing themselves silly inside. (They also can't wait to tell the rest of the staff)

Lesson Five:

Always make the reservation beFORE you play the squeaky wheel game. Example: I received an email from a woman who could only find Standard King rates online, but no upgraded ones. She also wanted to know special rates for "June Pride Month" (?). Upon inspection of our schedule, I saw we were completely booked for something unrelated. I checked with my boss, and he hopped online and closed the dates out.

Him: Now you can tell her...whatever you want really"

Me: *Evil laughter*

So I email her that she is welcome to make the reservation (knowing full well she can't), and to feel free to call or email that she wants the upgraded room and I would do it...for no cost!

The first part is explain that even though there were rooms last time she checked..but there won't be any now is a big difficult, but the latter half was probably a tad gleeful. But see! I was willing to upgrade her! That should make her happy...

Lesson Six:

If you're planning to attend a large event, such as a four year college's graduation, don't call at the last minute and expect to get reservations. I can feel for the people that didn't know there was even a college in town, but the people that are actually coming for the graduation make me a little agog.

Really. Think about the number of people graduating. Their families will have to stay somewhere. Calling anything less than five months ahead means your chance of getting a hotel in a 15 mile radius is less than your spawns chances of getting into the university in the first place. Yeah, so good luck with that.

I've rambled on enough. Mrs. Chatterbox should probably have her own post...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Information Overload Syndrome

Funny clip :)

Hopefully a post this evening when I get to work...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Helpful Note for Friends, Family, and Flatmates Current and Future

The Redgirl Sleep Phenomenon
or, as Em calls it, "Lies, Lies, All Lies!"

Some of you may know what happens when you need to wake me up for some reason. Probably because you have learned through trial and error. Below is a simple (and useful!) how-to guide to avoid confusion, frustration, and missed appointments to do fun things. Also included or things not to do and their possible results.


When attempting to wake the Redgirl, begin the process before you actually NEED her to be awake. Start with a half an hour.


You can start by saying "Redgirl!" By hearing her name, she will rouse, be beware: what you hear is not necessarily what you get. (this part is what Em calls "lies". I simply call it "perseverance needed") Redgirl does talk in her sleep, and this is not much different. She has been known to have entire conversations with people on the subject of getting up and not remember them.

When she was young and her mother had to get her up for school, Redgirl became very good at yelling "Yes? Of course I'm up!" while being asleep. This allowed her to gain precious minutes of slumber.

If you hear phrases like "just one moment!", "I'm getting up!", "I'll be right out!", or anything similar, Redgirl is probably not awake. Ignore anything she says at this time.
Another thing to avoid is, if there is something planned, to believe her when she says "I've decided not to" or "go on without me". She does not mean it. She will be angry with you when she gets up and will not listen to you excuses.


At this point, you may be ready for confrontation. You might even want to try the old "rip off the covers to shock her into alertness" approach. This is Not a Good Idea. As one particular roommate has discovered, this makes Redgirl mean. Redgirlis not usually mean, but if something were to do it, this would be it.


You now have two options. For these, you need tools. Option one is to call her phone. Redgirl sleeps with her phone next to her ear. She uses the phone as an alarm, but when someone calls, she will answer. And when she answers, she can be reasoned with. Even if you're in the next room, try calling.


If you don't have a phone handy or are unable to use the above method, try the following. Be warned, this is a Last Resort. Invest in a squirt bottle. Fill bottle with cold or icy water. Squirt exposed areas.

This will get results.

You can warn first, if you like. If you have to use this method enough, the barest mention will induce an effect similar to Pavlov's dogs.

Her mother only had to use it once. After that, Redgirl knew she would do it and reacted accordingly.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Insane Night. Not Even Kidding.

I sit here cooling my heels...lukewarm decaffeinated coffee in one hand, brandi-new Dresden novel in the other.

A lazy evening at best.

My faithful readers might notice that I've connected my site to my Google Buzz thingy. This is to spread my domination. I also very much appreciate all of my followers.

Being a follower is easy! It makes me happy me warm glow-ee feelings. The result of this is that I tend to post more. So if you're reading, comment! Follow! Subscribe! Show the love!

These complacent fuzzy thoughts were interrupted by some rude people. People who had the nerve to check out at 3:40am instead of waiting for 7 when I got off.


One obese bespeckeled man with propensity for inane jokes and obnoxious chatter. Really. As much as I admire your ability to sustain asinine conversation with your coworkers, you need not ply your trade with me.

Three woman of dubious awareness, evidenced by participating in the first man's conversation and not knowing the room numbers of where they've been staying the past 5 nights. Presumably they slept in their rooms every night, but I am not one to ask questions. (oh, wait. yes I am...)

One nervous Asian woman who for all my body language cajolings, kept herself planted at the handicapped counter area, which sits behind several picture frames. Any time I needed her to sign something, I had to walk over and hand it to her. She then spent time looking for bare surfaces to sign the document instead of plodding 2 feet over to where she should have been standing.

Two typical and redundant conversations of which the content was roughly "You been on all night? On a Friday? You poor, poor thing! You must want to be out socializing...hitting the clu-ubs, drinking the bo-oze. How do you stay awake?" Do I seriously look like the kind of person that would mind not being able to go out every night and attempt to drown my liver?

And then, Airporter Wars.

Shuttles were coming about every 15 minutes due to the large volume of check outs. The first shuttle had to leave some people behind because obese man forgot to let them know he required 2-3 seats. When the second shuttle left, Asian woman blathered for an excess time that "those peoples flights are later than ours." She pointedly did not voice her conclusion of "so you should take me first". The driver (after she made her statement about four times to nobody in particular) made the casual statement that "We're picking people up in the order of the times that they wanted to be at the airport. You wanted to be there at...5am, so you're fine."

Ha. Take that.

Some random man walked in and gave a name. I pulled it up and began the check out process. Five minutes later (after not really understanding a word of what he was saying due to an extreme accent) I realized that he was not, in fact, Mr. Burrows. And as he was not Mr. Burrows, Mr. Burrows was not therefore checking out. Random man ("Giles")was from the competing shuttle service, Supershuttle there to pick up Mr. Burrows.

One of my pet peeves is when people come up to the desk and just say a name. Example:


I don't know if this is a first or a last name. I don't know if you want to talk to them. If you are them, are you checking out or in? Did you lose your key and want another one? Maybe you're checking to see if they checked in because you're supposed to meet them. In any case, there is a lesson here:

I cannot read your mind.

And honestly, I don't want to...

Giles took up the mantle of the unwanted lobby guest. Seeing as he arrived at the hotel a full 45 minutes before Mr. Burrows was scheduled to leave, he went ahead making himself at home; first asking if I would call up to his room. (Nooo...I can't even begin to tell you how discourteous that would be. He's probably not up at 5am if he doesn't have to leave until 5:40.) Then Giles wants coffee. (There's no coffee made...I have some decaff here in my pot, but it's tepid right now) Giles takes coffee anyway. Giles sits and tries to make small talk with me while I attempt to catch up on blog reading and happy book.

Another local airporter van comes. Mr. Donald isn't in the lobby, and he's scheduled to go. Mr. Donald isn't answering his room phone. Local Driver and Giles get into a conversation about whose company is better to work for. Local Driver keeps asserting that Supershuttle has a bad business plan because they make their drivers lease or buy their vans. Giles continues to try to convince her that she is wrong.

Upon hearing his convoluted explanation, Redgirl is inclined to believe Local Driver, though she is convinced they both have a few bats flapping about in their belfries.

Local Driver leaves because Mr. Donald isn't there, and won't answer his phone. He can catch the next shuttle. Giles attempts to tell me about the traffic, life as a shuttle driver, and his children who attend the local college. Giles then steals more of my coffee.

Next Local Airporter comes. Mr. Donald is still unresponsive. After 4 calls total, the end of one of them sounds like he tried to pick up but fumbled the phone. Redgirl holds conversation with Local Driver (diff than before) and guest about her responsibility in trying to get ahold of someone (who had from reports been "enjoying the local color" or in other words, liquored up). 2 calls later, Mr. Donald says he'll "be right down."

Team "Try to rouse sloshed man" all wonder what his definition of "be right down is." Helpful guest doesn't want to bet with Redgirl that it won't be under 7 minutes.

Mr. Donald comes down and checks out. Doesn't seem to notice that he is not asked for name or room number, as Redgirl trusts to her nose that it is him.

Giles takes more coffee.

Mr. Burrows shows and Giles leaves. Redgirl rejoices.

She also rejoices in 2 things that always cheers her up:

Asking bleary-eyed guests for their room numbers upon check out. Guest can barely remember their own name, much less a room number. Redgirl likes watching them blink and be confused. She waits to tell them she can use last, or even first name as well.

Telling people leaving the lobby "have a nice trip!" Guest's automatic reaction is to say "you too." This is not applicable, but by the time they realize, they are too far through the door to try to fix it. Redgirl can feel the awkwardness in the air.

And it smells good.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bike Wars

Not too many moons ago, the Happy Hotel decided to provide bicycles for its oh-so-happy-guests to borrow. The idea is as follows:

The guest decides they would like to ride a bike around our charming town. We tell them that we require a deposit to cover the bike in case they wreck it or don't bring it back (in a suitably charming manner, that is)

Guest decides (A) Ack! too much! or (B) Sure thing :)

I really need a flow chart to pull this off...

If (A), All is Good. If (B), guest fills out waiver (if I kill myself, my family won't sue you) and give their credit card. Guest sees bike. Guest says: (C) "Do I have to ride with those flags promoting your hotel sticking out of the back?" or (D) "Oh yay!! Flags! How exciting!"

If (C), the answer is "yes". Then, (E) guest declines bike, (F) guest accepts bike unhappily or (G) they beg to remove flag. If (E), all is good. If (F), it is good and bad. (how happy, knowing they feel so conspicuous! what revenge!). If (G), we grudgingly let them. After all, the entire point is to promote the hotel.

If (D), (F), or (G), they take the bike out. Then, either (H) they return on time or (I) they do not return, in which case we try their cell phones.

I'm going to stop now because I think you've gotten a feel for the process.

Two amusing anecdotes from today:

"Steve" doesn't seem to be from another country, a country where no one lies, steals or commits low level white collar embezzlement. His English is good with hardly an identifiable accent.

That's why, when I saw him bike off (with difficulty), it was a surprise to myself and the rest of the staff that after unlocking his bike from its u-lock with the key provided, he proceeded to bike off, having securely locked the the hand railing.

He took the key with him, so one doesn't know what to presume. Maybe he didn't intend on stopping, or put more trust than I do in the local inhabitants.


"Brian" saw people merrily tromping around in helmets with happy grins on their faces. He just knew that soon those white shining teeth would be plastered with squashed gnats while traveling at speeds up to 15 mph on the local bike trails.
He wanted a piece of that action.

In his mid 60's and reasonably hale, he figured he could handle one of those wheeled broncos.

Brian: "I'd like to see about one of those bikes"

Me: "Ok. While they are complementary, we do ask for a $$$ deposit to cover the cost of the bike if you keep riding into the sunset *cheerful laugh*" (nicer way of saying "to cover your possible theft or if you end up wrecking b/c you have no earthly clue how to ride")

Brian: *tries to stare me down* "$$$!!! That's quite a bit...."

Me: *smiles* "It's just an authorization that will be released upon the bike's return."

Brian: *glares* "That's too much." *leaves*

(In the interim, 3 ladies came and wanted bikes. Out of my six, I had three left. I happily and gleefully gave them to them. I had a hunch that...)

Brian comes back up. "I'd like to go ahead and get a bike."

Me: *respectfully apologetic* "I'm so sorry sir, but the remaining 3 bikes were just taken out. They'll be back in two to four hours...?"

Brian: *gives unhappy snort and walks away*

Audit for the rest of the week!

And you know what that means....more odd posts that have nothing to do with reality :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Onward Into the Fray

Hotel full tonight with a combo of a Finnish Choir (try pronouncing anything it that language) and (I think) Ultimate Frisbee competitors.

"Ultimate" competitors rather. Frisbee got upset at the "copyright violation".

Last year, it was bad. Writhing masses of people screaming and yelling and getting drunk and falling into the pool and throwing up (and making lots of noise). This year? Better, in that all these things happened at about an 8 rather than a 10.

Point is; it's loud, but we keep an eye on it. When it gets to a certain time, or we feel it has gone out of control, we shoo them out. At that point, they're usually so drunk that they docilely respond like sheep and tromple off in a shambling herd to the streets in search of more booze, pizza, and booze.

This year, we did drink tickets. This altered the mood sufficiently that Miss. I Love Tequila Sunrises found her way to the bathroom beFORE fertilizing the potted palm.

Mr. I'm Not Staying At the Hotel came to buy drink tickets and attempted to chat me up.

Or rather, he did chat me up. The fact that I didn't buy into it did not mean that he did the deed.

It started with the clique:

Dude: "Redgirl? What a nice name..."

Me: (smiles)

Dude: (more inane stuff) "So...when do you get off?"

Me: "Eleven" (knows that by the time 11 hits, he'll be well on his way to being drunk and won't know Christopher Eccleston from David Tennant)

Dude: (knows this too, but still trying to be coy) "Aah, but the real question is, what are you doing for Easter?" (tomorrow)

Me: (sad, fake smile) "Working..."

What did he think I was going to say?

"Gosh golly! I'm off! We should, like, TOTally do something! What's your name, by the way? We could, you know, hunt eggs or something together *wink*"

(and I'm going to stop there, b/c you know I could take that too far for a reasonably PG-13 rated blog...)

Probably another post tonight; I just *know* this won't end quietly...