My first day at the hotel went well. There was a lot to remember and get used to…this isn’t like any job I’ve ever had before, although the Gap did at least teach me how to deal with unhappy and difficult customers. We get those. On the third day I was working, the day Chris let me check in that client all on my own, a very pissed off woman came downstairs to tell us she didn’t like her room because the people in the room next door were playing loud music…and, unfortunately, we were full up so we couldn’t give her another room. We even had someone in the Presidential Suite.
Chris let me help smooth her feathers, and took me along upstairs to check out the situation.
“I’ll never be able to sleep with all that noise. You’d think that a hotel like this would have better clientele and not have people partying all night long.”
It wasn’t even 5:00 at that point. Me, Chris and Jeannette are the day shift. Chris started trying to tell her that…and I coulda told him not to.
“I’m very tired from coming in from the East Coast and I need to sleep. I have a very important breakfast meeting in the morning about coronavirus prevention. It’s an extremely important meeting and I’m one of several very important people attending. . I’m a very highly respected doctor and important research scientist. I can’t afford not to get my sleep. Neither can the population of greater Los Angeles.”
Here’s something y’all may not know: if you want to impress a southerner, just be polite. We don’t take well to people who tell us how important they are. Especially not 4 times in 3 sentences.
“I completely appreciate that, Ms….”
“Doctor Hereford,” she corrected.
“So sorry: Dr. Hereford,” I said, scooping up the ball Chris dropped on the error, and after he gave me a ‘you try with the crazy lady’ look. “We’ll make every effort that you’ll be able to sleep.”
“What time was it you were planning to go to sleep?,” Chris asked.
“8. I have a very important meeting first thing in the morning.”
“I promise we’ll have them quiet by then,” I said. I didn’t check them in, so I didn’t know anything about the people in the next room. That was a shot in the dark. Then I gave Chris a ‘can we give her something to make her feel better?’ look, since I’ve already seen him offer a free drink at the bar to clients who were complaining about shit.
“And let us offer you a complimentary breakfast at the restaurant tomorrow morning before your important meeting. We have a lovely buffet…I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”
We weren’t able to give away free stuff to pissed off customers at the Gap. It’s pretty cool how you can do it in a hotel…and it’s pretty amazing how well it works. The woman actually said ‘thank you’ when we went next door to check out what the deal was with the people in the adjoining room.
“Sound travels through the connecting doors all the time,” Chris explained once we were in the hall. “We’ve tried to fix it several times, and nothing works. Most hotels have that problem; if you can invent a soundproof connecting door you’ll make a fortune.” Chris has a good sense of humor…it’s what you’d call ‘dry’ though, and it makes him seem kinda gay, although I wasn’t sure that he was. If he was gay and he liked athletic pretty boys, he certainly wasn’t letting it on lol.
Loud music was definitely coming through the door into the hallway. It could have been one person who had a speaker attached to their phone or something simple like that…but it turned out to be a bunch of people and, yeah, they were partying. At least I’d call it partying for 4:30 in the afternoon. There were 5 of them, 3 dudes, 2 chicks, and they had a couple bottles going. I was right about the speaker attached to someone’s phone. It may sound like a cliché, but the music was so loud that they didn’t hear Chris when he knocked.
Finally he got out his house cell phone (I hadn’t been issued one yet) and called the room.
“Yes…I’m from the front desk and I’m standing outside your room in the hallway. Could you please let me in?,” he said.
It was kinda like in college when campus police answer a complaint call: the music got shut off right away and it suddenly got a lot quieter inside. That gave me the weird feeling that me and Chris were the cops.
A man came to the door. He had his sleeves rolled up and his tie loosened. He looked like that wasn’t his first drink in the glass he was carrying.
“Yes?,” he asked. He seemed polite enough.
“May we come in?,” Chris asked.
The man stepped aside and we walked into the room. That’s when we saw the bottles and the other people. All the room doors have a latch on the inside that keeps the door open about a foot. We’re supposed to use it when we’re in the room…for our protection as well as the clients’. (I reckon it wasn’t a rule they had to tell me, but they’ll fire your ass instantly if you’re caught…um…being intimate with a client in their room. Both Chris and Jeannette warned me that there are always clients who act like they’d be interested in that.)
So I set the latch (we just call it ‘the latch’) and followed Chris inside.
“Too loud, huh?,” asked the man who’d let us in.
“Sorry, sir,” said Chris, “but yes. There’s been a complaint.”
“It’s still daytime,” said one of the women. I don’t want to sound judgy based on how people look at first glance, but the vibe I got is that the three men were businessmen…and that the two chicks were too. (If you didn’t get it from that, let me put it this way: both chicks would have been exactly Keaton’s type…if they’d spoken less English.) “Tell whoever it is to chill.”
“Unfortunately we have all our guests to look after,” said Chris.
“I bet it’s an old ugly bitch next door who says she needs her beauty sleep,” said the other woman.
We couldn’t exactly say ‘yes’ to that lol…even if it was kinda close to the truth. After meeting the loud people, though, I have to admit that my sympathy was with the ugly bitch next door lol.
The woman went to the connecting door and knocked on it.
“Get over it, chicky” she said into the door, pretty dang loud. “It’s 4 in the afternoon. You can’t make us be quiet.”
“Whoa!,” said one of the men who hadn’t said anything thus far. He had his tie loosened and his sleeves rolled up too. “Let’s not get all of us in trouble.” He led the woman away from the connecting door.
“Your neighbor,” I said, after Chris gave me a ‘go for it’ look, “has a very important meeting in the morning and has jet lag. She needs it to be quiet enough to sleep by…7:30. We’d all appreciate it if you could keep it down then.”
“Oh…sure,” said the man who’d opened the door for us. When he realized we were being what I thought was reasonable, he stopped looking like he was about to get on the defensive.
“You might want to visit the lounge downstairs,” Chris said. “It’s very comfortable…great place to enjoy a few drinks. We even allow cigar smoking on the patio.”
“A cigar sounds good,” said the second man. “Downstairs sounds like a good idea.”
“The lounge is open until midnight,” I contributed.
“Sorry about the noise,” said the first man. “We’ll try and keep it down.” Then he slipped Chris a couple bills.
“Thanks,” said both me and Chris at the same time as we made our way to the door. Luckily the two chicks didn’t say anything else and we got out of the room without any further incident.
We knocked on the first woman’s door on our way downstairs and told her that the neighbors had promised to be quiet by 7:30…and that we suggested they take the party downstairs to the lounge. She thanked us.
“One of these is for you,” Chris said, handing me one of the bills the dude had slipped him. It was a $20.
The last tip I got was way back when I was tending bar, so it felt a little funny. But, hey, it was 20 bucks.
“Do we get tipped often?,” I asked Chris.
“No, not really. So enjoy it while you can. You’ll learn to recognize the kind of dude who likes throwing $20s around.”
“The kind that wears a Rolex,” I said. I’d noticed both dudes with their sleeves rolled up had Rolexes on.
“Exactly,” said Chris with a smile.
So I reckon I’m learning. I think they also like me, since Ms. Robson came to find me on Thursday and said the tailor wanted to see me. He had a little room next to the one with the racks of uniforms. I was expecting a little dude, maybe an Asian…instead it was a tall young guy my age, 6’2 and 190, with brown hair that you gotta call ‘great’ lol, and eyes Joyce told me to call ‘hazel’…although they’re not the same hazel as Cody’s hazel.
“I’m Hunter Block,” I said to him. “Ms. Robson said you wanted to see me.”
“Ah yes. I’m Craig Stevens, the tailor.” He had a little bit of a British accent. “Front desk, yes?”
“Yes,” I said.
“We need to get you a jacket that fits properly,” he said, looking at the one I had on and how it was hanging around my middle. “You are an odd fit,” he said, looking at me.
I smiled. “Yes. XL shoulders on a L body.”
“What size trousers do you wear?”
“Let me get you a pair. 44” coat?”
“Around the shoulders, yes.”
Craig got up and went outside to the room with the racks and came back with one of the grey jackets with the black piping and a pair of pants. Or I guess a ‘coat’ and ‘trousers’ according to Craig. He soon had me pinned and fitted, and said that he’d have them ready by the next day.
So it’s all going ok. So far. There’s no one I don’t like…although Ms. Robson does come out and check on us a lot. I’m used to being the supervisor, remember, not the supervisee…so I have to get used to that. But everyone else is nice, Chris and Jeannette especially…and I think I’m even past thinking Jeannette is hot. So that’s especially good. Craig the tailor had my uniform ready the next day, as he promised, and I gotta admit that it makes a difference when you see yourself wearing a jacket that fits you instead of one they pulled off the rack that could hold two of you. When I tried the uniform on in front of Craig’s 3-way mirror I gotta admit that I thought I looked dang sharp.
So maybe Keaton was right and I am gonna look good behind a luxury hotel’s front desk lol.