Pulling A Fast One
Something all customers should understand is you don’t know more than the employees. You might think you are the first person to try to pull a fast one on an employee but you absolutely are not. There is always some customer who thinks they are the smartest person alive and wants to game the system but employees have seen it all.
As the manager of a hotel, our friend, “Katie,” had seen it all. Whether it was guests trying to sneak pets in, cover up illicit activities in their rooms, or even try to steal the hotel furniture, she had seen it. Thankfully for Katie, what she didn’t see, the hotel cameras typically did.
One afternoon, Katie was working at the front desk when suddenly, she heard a loud crash come from outside. Nothing in her experience of working at a hotel could prepare her for the nonsense a guest was about to try to pull.
The next thing Katie knew, one of the housekeepers, “Carly,” had stormed behind the front desk to point out a housekeeping cart had fallen over on one of the security monitors.
Meanwhile, the housekeeper on the radio, “Maria,” exclaimed, “Some lady knocked the cart down the stairs!”
Katie and Carly rushed outside to help pick up the cart.
When they got outside, Katie asked, “Maria, did you say a lady knocked the cart down the stairs?!”
Maria responded, “Yes! I have no idea who the lady is. I confronted her about it and she refused to identify herself but she went into a room and said she would be coming down to speak to the manager about this so I can only assume she’s a guest.”
Shortly after, the woman came to the front desk playing the victim, of course.
The woman, “Sarah,” said, “The housekeeper was blocking the stairs and I was just trying to get to my room. I barely touched the cart and the next thing I knew, it was falling down the stairs.”
Katie responded, “Just to clarify, what room are you staying in again?”
Sarah responded, “I don’t have to tell you what room I’m staying in.”
Katie thought, “Okay, that’s suspicious. If you really think you’re the one who has been wronged, why wouldn’t you just tell me what room you’re in?”
Just as she was about to respond, the phone rang.
Before Katie could even get a word in, the woman on the phone said, “That housekeeping cart falling was not my daughter’s fault at all!”
Katie responded, “Ma’am, are you staying here too?”
The woman on the phone retorted, “No, my daughter and her boyfriend are staying there.”
Katie said, “Well, your daughter is refusing to identify herself or what room she is staying in which by our policy, is grounds to evict a guest without a refund.”
Sarah’s mom hung up the phone without responding.
Instead of listening to Katie’s warning, Sarah still refused to identify herself and doubled down on her story, “I asked the housekeeper to move her cart but she was in a room cleaning and didn’t acknowledge me.”
Katie responded, “I’m still having a hard time figuring out how the housekeeping cart went from blocking your path to being at the bottom of the stairwell.”
This seemed to anger Sarah, who stormed out of the office and went back to her room.
Katie carefully watched to see what room Sarah went into on the security monitor.
Shortly after, a man around Sarah’s age came from the same room with two dogs, got in a car, and sped out of the parking lot.
Katie thought, “He must smell trouble coming.”
“Are You The Manager?”
Katie decided to check the security footage but unfortunately, the first camera she checked didn’t have a great view of the area where the incident occurred. The only thing Katie could make out on the camera was Sarah walking past the luggage cart, it rolling to the point where it fell down the stairwell, and Maria running out of the room she was cleaning to see what happened.
Katie decided to call the owner for advice because Maria was absolutely livid and she was inclined to take her side of the story over a guest who refused to identify herself.
The owner agreed they should take Maria’s side of the story and told Katie she needed to evict Sarah from her room on the grounds of damaging hotel property and refusing to identify herself to staff.
Katie called Sarah’s room and said, “Hello, this is Katie from the front desk. Because of the incident earlier, the owner has decided you need to leave tonight-“
Sarah cut her off; however, it was by crying to her mom whom she apparently had on the phone. Sarah cried to her mother about how they were making her leave the hotel by tonight.
Sarah shouted, “I’m going to call the police,” then hung up on Katie.
A brief moment later, the phone rang.
It was Sarah’s mom.
She demanded, “Are you the manager?”
Katie responded, “Yes, I’m the manager on duty.”
Sarah’s mom sarcastically responded, “Oh, you’re the manager on duty.”
Katie asked, “Yes?”
Sarah’s mom responded, “I don’t appreciate the way my daughter is being treated there. She accidentally knocked over a housekeeping cart and now she has to leave by the end of the night?”
Katie clarified, “No, she needs to leave in the next half hour.”
Sarah’s mom asked, “Oh so now it’s a half-hour?”
Katie responded, “No, it was always a half hour. She just cut me off.”
Sarah’s mom demanded, “Well, we need a refund because this is unacceptable.”
Katie retorted, “We do not provide refunds when we evict guests.”
Sarah’s mom asked, “Oh, so that’s what this scam is? You just make up reasons to kick people out then keep their money?”
Katie responded, “She knocked over a housekeeping cart, we didn’t make anything up, ma’am. Can you please tell your daughter she has a half-hour to leave the property before we call the police?”
Sarah’s mom said, “No, we’re going to call the police and file a report on you.”
Katie retorted, “Alright, well, I guess I’ll just skip to calling them too.”
While Katie was on the phone, Carly had managed to find a more incriminating camera angle from the security footage.
“Clean That Mess Up”
The security footage clearly showed Sarah pull the cart down the stairs.
Even worse, it picked up clear audio of her shouting, “Clean that mess up,” at Maria.
After doing so, she could clearly be seen laughing and taking a picture of the housecleaning cart at the bottom of the stairs.
Thankfully for Katie, the police officer arrived shortly after Carly showed her the security footage.
Katie explained the situation to the officer and he went down to make sure Sarah was leaving the hotel without a fuss.
Sarah met the officer outside of her room; however, Katie wasn’t able to eavesdrop on their conversation because they were too far from any security cameras. After a short conversation, she left the hotel and the police officer came back up to the desk.
He told Katie she had also refused to identify herself to him, which was within her rights as she wasn’t being detained and the incident was a civil matter. However, he did inform Sarah she would be charged with trespassing if she attempted to come back onto the hotel premises. Of course, Sarah had tried to file a report against Katie and the hotel but the officer wasn’t able to do anything as it was a civil matter.
Katie showed him the security footage and he completely agreed Sarah should have been evicted from her room. He was also very apologetic to Carly and Maria for what they had to deal with.
Once the officer left, Katie, Carly, and Maria all went to inspect Sarah’s room to ensure she hadn’t destroyed it knowing she was being kicked out of the hotel.
Surprisingly, the room wasn’t in bad shape; however, it did smell like smoke and dogs. Their room was non-smoking and they hadn’t paid the pet fee for one dog, let alone the two dogs Katie had seen the man leaving the hotel with. This was cause to evict a guest from their room with no refund without even taking the housekeeping cart incident into account.
After the room was cleaned up and Carly and Maria had gone home for the day, Katie received a phone call.
“Our Mutual Customer”
Katie immediately recognized the beaten-down voice of a customer service agent from a travel agency.
The customer service agent said, “Hi, this is so and so, ‘I know you don’t care,’ from the travel agency calling on behalf of our mutual customer.”
Katie responded, “Hello, how may I help you?”
They asked, “First off, may I know who I’m speaking to?”
Katie answered, “I’m Katie, the manager on duty.”
The customer service agent responded, “Okay, thank you for that. I’m calling because our mutual guest is requesting a refund for the remaining nights on her reservation. Apparently, she was asked to check out early today.”
Katie retorted, “We will not be authorizing a refund. She knocked over a housekeeping cart, had two unauthorized pets in her room, and smoked in a non-smoking room. We had to evict her from the property.”
They said, “I see. I’ll have to call her again and explain the situation to her. She swore up and down her daughter did nothing wrong. Would you mind if I connected her into this call?”
Katie responded, “As a matter of fact, I would mind. I’ve already spoken to her and I don’t believe it will bring us any closer to a resolution.”
They said, “I see. I will put you on hold, give her a call, and get back to you in a moment.”
Shortly after, the customer service agent returned, sounding mentally broken, “She hung up on me and said she would be calling the hotel again. As far as I’m concerned, we won’t need to worry about the refund anymore.”
Katie responded, “Sounds good! I’m sorry you had to deal with her. That lady is a real piece of work.”
The customer service agent responded, “You have no idea. She yelled at me for thirty minutes before I called you. Have a good night, ma’am.”
Thankfully, Katie never heard from Sarah or her mother, who likely just accepted defeat and went on to terrorize the next employee they came in contact with.
Thoughts From The Author
Customers who are rude or obnoxious towards employees are, by all accounts, awful people. With this being said, it takes a special kind of monster to destroy an employee’s equipment because they have somehow slighted you by simply doing their job. Who does Sarah think she is? No one in existence is too good to simply walk around a housekeeping cart in the hallway of their hotel. Judging from the fact she had her mother stand up for her, Sarah was most likely coddled into thinking she is the most important person in the world who does no wrong throughout her entire life.
I absolutely love how the boyfriend saw the writing on the wall and got out of dodge. He had clearly seen the Sarah and her mother show too many times and knew what was about to go down.
I honestly feel bad for Katie, Maria, Carly, and even the customer service agent who barely made an appearance. Work can be difficult enough without some psycho derailing your entire day.