Saturday, November 13, 2010

Never Ever Land

At check in the clerk was confused. We had booked a wheelchair accessible room, we had the paperwork. The clerk didn't have it in her system. She said, 'We do have one but it is booked by one of our regular customers who doesn't have a disability but likes the bigger toilet.' She pushed a few buttons and then said, 'I've moved you over into that room, I've placed her elsewhere in the hotel.' We said thanks, she shook the thanks away like service people do - even when they richly deserve it. I like people who can think independently and who can problem solve and who can even break a rule or two. Once in the room we forgot about the gesture and set about just relaxing, watching TV, writing blogs, the such.

An hour or so later there was a huge commotion in the hallway. A woman was really, really upset, I heard the desk clerk trying to settle her down with a calm voice. She explained, 'I understand this is your usual room but the gentleman in the room uses a wheelchair and needed an accessible room.' This explanation did not work. The 'regular' guest was quite 'irregular' with her language. She simply exploded. She did't care if I was a wheelchair user or not, this was her room, she liked the larger bathroom and she didn't think it was 'fair' that disabled people got the best bathrooms, and the best parking spaces, and the best treatment at hotels like this one.

Then there was the following ....

I am a regular customer here and I ...

I'm never staying here again unless you ...

I'm going to talk to the manager and you will pay for this ...

I've never been so rudely treated ...

I've taking out all the swearing as it doesn't really add to the story and were simply so frequent that I'd get tired of typing all the 'f's.

We didn't know what to do. The clerk was trying to get her to calm down, she gave her the option of taking the room offered or letting her find another room in another hotel. Seeing that there was no way round the decision and that a damned disabled person was staying in the damned disabled room, she was guided out of the hallway.

I called down to reception an hour or so later and asked if all was OK. The clerk laughed. Laughed. She said that the customer had chosen to go to another hotel and never, ever, ever, will come back. 'Mr. Hingsburger,' she said, suddenly serious, 'I'd really like to thank you for choosing our hotel this evening.'

Then we both howled.

21 comments:

Kristin said...

I absolutely LOVE that the clerk had a sense of humor about the whole incident!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that story! It made me smile :)
-KR

Glee said...

people like her have no idea that they can cause SO much laughter by their extreme self centredness.

ROFLMAO!!!

Moose said...

Wow. What a self-entitled JERK.

However I do often say that the best part of being crippled is getting the best parking spots.

(Except in cases where the "good" spot is next to the only curb cutout, 10 cars down from the door. Because, you know, the only handicapped people are in wheelchairs. People who walk with difficulty don't really count.)

Tamara said...

Love that one - sounds like you did that hotel staff a huge favor -

Leslie said...

Nice. That hotel clerk sounds like a mensch. The entitled jerk - not so much. Sounds like they're delighted to be shut of her self-important presence!

ivanova said...

Whoa. Unbelievable. I bet the clerk was glad to see the back of that person!

Anonymous said...

Some things never cease to amaze me...to say the least that woman was very self centered. For some reason I truly believe that this was not the first "fuss" she had made in that hotel and also that the hotel employees were definately glad to see her leave. Thanks for sharing once again.

Corey said...

HILARIOUS!!

Corey said...

HILARIOUS!!

Jeannette said...

You've done it again -- you've made my day.
Thanks, Dave.

Anonymous said...

I'm wiping away tears of laughter. That was too funny! You probably did the clerk a HUGE favor!

Debbie (NJ)

Kristine said...

Wow... That's the kind of woman you secretly hope gets her wish, and gets to enjoy ALL the perks of life with a disability some day...

Andrea S. said...

Dave,

Loved the story! Shocked (but not to surprised) at how short sighted this woman was. Does she honestly think that people with disabilities are getting *perks*? Does she really not get that it isn't actually a perk if you NEED it? (Putting aside the occasional gray area, like Moose and her favored parking spots :-) ) Unfortunately, I can believe all too easily that this is how she thinks ... I've encountered too many others like her whose narrow conception of "fair" leads them to think that "fairness" is a synonym for "same". Unfortunately, I suspect the only way she will really learn is if, as per Kristine's wish, she herself ever acquires a disability.

Dave, I'm pretty sure that Hilary Kuree's comment is actually from a spam bot. Some spam bots have become amazingly clever in leaving vaguely worded (usually complimentary) comments that could apply to any blog but is really devised just to lure readers to follow the link to their website. You could double check by following the link, though I would be afraid to follow a link labeled "escort service."

Sunshine and Shadows said...

That is just so funny. I'm sure the folks at the hotel are so glad to see her gone. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I would sure *love* to not need those perks. But it's quite amazing how often the handicapped spots are not the closest ones.

Rachel said...

I work at a lovely old resort (which does have a few designated accessible rooms, thanks to remodeling over the years) in the reservations office, but as I know the front desk people, I can promise you that the clerk at that hotel was thrilled to see her leave, as will the rest of the staff that has ever dealt with her if she's this unpleasant. Yes, hotels need business, but some people are so difficult you end up thinking that you don't need THEIR business.

Good on that desk clerk! Seriously, if you can, I would let her bosses know what happened. Yes, giving you the room was her job, but handling the situation with such grace calls for some extra recognition, I think.

Anonymous said...

Good on that clerk, frankly.

Luckily for me, when I was mistakenly given a first floor room in a building without a lift, a guy who had a ground floor room very willingly, sweetly & gracefully swapped rooms. If he'd pulled something like Guest Of Doom I would probably have cried. Of course, because I look Small And Cute I would probably have accidentally created an angry mob to attack her on my behalf, so...

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hey all, I thought of contacting the hotel manager, I was just worried that the manager might not view the leaving of a regular customer in the same way that a front desk clerk might and didn't want to cause her a problem. What do you think?

Andrea, I caught that one and deleted it thanks.

Jessica said...

It's a pity that the disabled person could not go out into the hall and offer to trade - you may have this room right now, if I can have your functional legs - I'll even throw in a wheel chair.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I'm a bit behind in reading but.. I think you should write the manager if only to compliment management on having attentive and accomidating staff. You don't have to give examples.