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 :)


lifeshighway said...

Your chart gave me a headache. I am spacially retarded.

Steve is obviously a very responsible person and does not wish for the lock to be stolen.

Yeah for audits.

Anonymous said...

This is where you could have a side business of renting out YOUR bike, say in a low voice "well, there IS another bike..... but this ones going to cost you extra because it is a stealth bike (no flags)..... of course if you don't get it back before sunset the probability of your door key working when you get back is extremely low, there might even be spiders in your room, I havn't decided yet...."