Sunday, July 26, 2009

Epic Fails and Stunning Stupidity


One of the perks of my job, other than getting to steal free cereal out of the breakfast room as often as I want, is that I am constantly exposed to the unending stupidity of the unwashed masses.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm no elitist; I think most people are moderately intelligent, polite, easygoing, etc. But then, there are the literally unwashed masses that come through our door. Ninety-eight percent of the people I check-in aren't stupid; they ask politely for a discount, they ask for directions to a nice restaurant, they take their keys and don't smoke in the room, they check out before noon without making a complete ass of themselves.

Ah, but the other two percent. The other two percent make me shudder to think that I share the road, the grocery store, public toilets with that kind of human being.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present for your reading pleasure: the epic stupidity of the XXXXXX Inn.

Not one, but TWO guests in the span of three days came in to the hotel - CLEARLY marked with our chain logo, outside and inside behind where I stand at the front desk (with about a 3 foot wide sign behind me, mind you), and ask: "Is this the Red Roof Inn?" (I realize that this is lost on you, but let me assure you - the chain I work at is NOT RRI, and the Spanish tile roof is more of an orangey red and comprises the roofing of choice for many a-building here in the Southwestern US.)

We are a pet-friendly hotel-motel. But since no one wants to mop up dog shit and cat piss from the atrium floor, we keep all the pet rooms to the outside. One guest by the name of Dagmar requests and indoor room; we kindly explain this policy to her, and put her in an outside room. Five minutes later, she comes in complaining of a strong urine odor, so I move her to ANOTHER outdoor room. She complains again and asks if she can be moved to an indoor room. I'm sorry, but your complaint will not change our pets-in-outdoor-rooms-only policy. Not in five minutes. Not in three hours. Not during your entire stay.

Guest asks the hours that we serve breakfast. I tell him, "Six to ten." He replies, "A.M.?"

Guest does not understand that I cannot rent out our suite rooms without a credit card. He hands me a debit card, clearly marked "DEBIT" right above the big VISA. He then proceeds to debate with me, telling me that it is indeed a credit card, progressively angrier, until he gets so tired of hearing himself yell at me and realizes that no amount of whining is going to change that card into a credit card and thus change my mind.

This one, courtesy of my manager. Guest comes in to our hotel, which is booked that particular night. She - wearing a silver pageboy wig, mini-dress, and six-inch heels, not obviously a member of any notorious profession or anything - refuses to understand that we are BOOKED - meaning, NO ROOMS AVAILABLE. She then proceeds to scream at the desk clerk, "YOU WON'T RENT ME A ROOM 'CAUSE I'M BLACK." My (Black) manager walks around the corner, looks at the woman, and tells her, "We are in the business of renting rooms, not turning people away. We can't rent you a room when someone is already in it. Now the fuck out of here." (Paraphrasing, of course.)

Guest comes in, slams down his cell phone, and says, "I'm looking for a hotel, but not this one." I politely respond, "Which hotel are you trying to find?" He replies, "Well, I don't know." I stare at him blankly for a moment (a move I'm working on calling my signature), and then say, "Sir, I can't give you directions to an unknown destination." He then launches into some whiny story about how his cell phone died, and I tell him that no, despite the fact that there are available electrical outlets behind the front desk, he cannot use them to charge his cell phone unless he is a registered guest.

Adorably cute but stupid teenage guest (I swear he was 18, don't worry) comes in to inform me that the business center computer is too slow to use Facebook. I tell him that I am sorry. He then leans over the counter, brushes his hair out of his eyes, BATS HIS EYELASHES, and says, "Maybe if I come back later, could I use your computer to check it?" I tell him that I can't access anything other than work-related sites. Which is obviously a total lie, especially since there is a window that faces the back of the front desk and guests can see me accessing FB regularly. He falls for it, and leaves me alone.

Guest asks me where we are located. I tell her, "On the corner of Highway XXX and I-XX." She then proceeds to ask more detailed directions; I tell her to take the interstate exit on the highway, and she responds, "You're located on the Interstate?" Duh, lady - what else does I-XX mean? (NB: This would make a lot more sense if you would replace 'I-XX' with an actual interstate number.)

Guests come in to complain that the ice machine isn't working. I tell them that my manager is on her way with 160 pounds of ice. They ask, "Will she bring it to our room?" I kindly explain that she will use that to refill the ice machine, and that no, she will not be delivering the entire 160 pounds of ice to their room.

I will paraphrase the conversation, to make you better understand this epic stupidity.
Me: What can I do for you?
Stupid Guest (SG): Are you aware that there's a dead body in your utility room?
Me: (laughing lightly) Okay.
SG: I'm serious.
Me: (still staving off laughter) Uhm, what gives you that impression, sir?
SG: It smells around that door.
Me: Oh. Well we just exterminated; maybe a rat got in there and died, and we haven't been able to find it yet.
SG: No, this is definitely a human. I've smelled dead bodies before.
Me: No sir, I don't believe that's what it is; with the heat in that room I think the smell would be unbearable.
SG: Well, it's really bad. It hits you like a wall when you walk by.
Me: Sometimes decaying animals smell much worse than it would seem like they should. I'll put in a maintenance report.
SG: No, you need to go check that out right now.
Me: Sir, I really can't leave the front desk.
SG: I'm serious! You're going to open up that door and there's going to be a dead body!
Me: Sir, I'll put in a maintenance report. That's all I can do.

About once per week, I get told that I am not in a guest's GPS. I respond by telling them that there is nothing I can do and that they should contact their GPS provider.

And with that, I bid you all adieu.


  1. Nail on the proverbial head!

    "The other two percent make me shudder to think that I share the road, the grocery store, public toilets with that kind of human being."

    I'm sure you have probably seen this, but Idiocracy really hits the point home.

    I look forward to seeing many more posts from you two! Keep your patience high and your dead bodies fresh smelling!

  2. Heinlein is fond of characters' saying "I played stupid -- my best role -- and ..." Sounds like you've got that routine down pat!