I was reading the Hotel Chick the other day, by a nice housekeeper in the States who writes really well about how shitty the industry can be sometimes. She reminded me about an incident that occurred in the summer.
A beautiful day, sunshine, perfect day for a wedding. Bride in white, bridesmaids in black (!) well, each to their own...snotty page boys with gameboys in their pockets.
The brides' mother was erm, happy, thanks to a few Dubonneys and all was going fine, they seemed to be enjoying themselves, and they were happy with the arrangements, even though the band they had booked, thinking they were going to be a Van Morrison tribute turned out to be a Jim Morrison tribute!!
When the 'best man' started singing 'c'mon baby light my fire' I made my excuses and left for home.
Next morning they were in no state to check out. The bride and groom were staying an extra night, but their family were supposed to be leaving.
By one o'clock, (and many phone calls to hung over morons later), the 'best man' his wife and a few others decided they were going to stay too.
When they finally vacated the room,and headed in the direction of the bar, one of the housekeepers on that floor came to my office, obviously very upset about something, and, as she had no English, my deputy translated to me that she had gone to service their room, only to find that the bed was wet.
I went to have a look myself, and the only way I can describe it is that it looked like someone had poured a bucket of water on the bed..........I had flashbacks of my Japanese guests a few years previously, I have never before seen so much fluid on an Hotel bed!!
It was obviously pee..........strangely enough though, there was no smell, none, just very wet, in the middle of a zip and link bed, (which is two single mattresses joined together). We did the usual routine, remove the bed, and base as it had gone right through, to an outside area, and called the chem-dry guy to come and steam clean them.
I passed on the information to the front office manager and she was to contact the guest for payment etc.
A while later, I was behind the front desk, covering yet again for my 'weakest link' receptionist friend, who had been on her feet since seven that morning, without a break,thanks to the ineptitude of her line manager.
As she came back from her well earned coffee, a woman approached the desk, and enquired about booking a room for that night,I handed her over to the receptionist and after she was allocated a room, she went back to join her laughing, drinking,shouting, party on the terrace of the bar.
I mentioned to the receptionist what had happened with the pissy room......she then told me that the woman that had just been at the desk was the guest that had stayed in the room, she was one of the bridesmaids, and her husband was the 'best man'. She had just booked her into a different room, as the one she had last night was out of order for 'maintenance'!!
I suppose if she hadn't been so fucking arrogant, maybe even said something about the fact that they had left the room looking like a swimming pool, or just said 'oops, sorry', I wouldn't have been so annoyed.
Before I had a chance to put my professional hat on, I could see myself, like in one of those 'out of body' experiences, marching towards this group of pissed up knackers, my hovering self was shouting,
'Don't do it...they'll kill you, they don't care, they're hard, they arrived in Hiace vans with white ribbons.....'
My accommodation manager self was saying,
'Bastards......bastards......bastards......bastards......how dare they put my girls at risk of infection, how dare they not say a fucking word about leaving urine in one of my rooms, then laugh about it, the shits.
When it comes to guest relations, I like to think that I am a true professional, I have always put the customer first, and I literally bend over backwards to make sure the guest is catered for, but sometimes, just sometimes..they really make me want to commit murder.
I thought I was quite diplomatic.
I approached the baying crowd, and asked if 'she' was Mrs F. When she confirmed that she was,I asked her if I could have a word.....she snorted and said,
'Ok, what do you want?'
I asked her if she wouldn't mind following me somewhere private.
'Jesus, it's like being told to come to the fucking headmasters office' she laughed to her friends, and strutted after me, mimicking my walk.
I should have just shown her up there and then and told them all that her husband or indeed herself, had pissed the bed and they would have to pay for the damage, but I chose not to embarrass her in front of her fans, and be nice about it.
We went into the function room, where, the previous night she had half stripped and belted out her version of 'I will survive' and I outlined the problem.
Suppressing my anger, I asked her if she was the guest in 115......she confirmed this......so looking her in the eyes I asked,
'Would you mind telling me what happened to the bed? Is it urine?
All her bravado and arrogance melted away from her, she looked mortified,crushed.
Removed from her supporters, and in the presence of someone who had seen it all before, she made the split decision to tell the truth.
'I am soooo sorry, my husband had an accident,he drank too much last night'
She was like a little girl caught smoking.
'Can I ask you why you felt it unnecessary to mention it to the receptionist?
All right, sarcastic, but professional!
'I'm sorry, I'm sorry' was all she could say.....I banged on a bit about the hazard of having to deal with and handle bodily fluids without prior warning, and she was suitably chastened.
Anyway, they didn't return for the extra night, she called on her mobile phone later in the day to say they had changed their minds!
A few days later we received a cheque to cover the cleaning....and a note to say she was too embarrassed to come back.......
There is a God after all.