This story was originally posted on December 01, 2009
I have been working in the hotel field for almost 4 years now (The first two years I was in college, the past two I blame on the economy).
While working at my first hotel we underwent construction. We knew months in advance and would tell anyone who made reservations that we would be undergoing construction and the pool would be closed during their stay.
I should note that one of the reasons people chose to stay with us over competitors, is that our pool was open 24 hours.
I'm working the afternoon shift one of those days during construction. We have signs posted all over the entrance doors notifying customers we are under construction, which I thought were somewhat pointless as the moment you enter the building you walk through a 3 foot wide tunnel of plastic while a jackhammer (no joke) tears up the lobby floor.
There are also signs posted at the desk saying the pool is closed and we're under construction.
We also verbally tell all check ins that we're under construction and the pool is closed and have them sign a document saying they were told of this.
Towards the end of my shift, around 9pm, this grandpa comes up to me asking where they can get pool towels.
I apologize and say that I am sorry but the pool is not open due to the construction.
He glares at me for a second and says that the only reason they stayed with us is because they wanted to take their granddaughter swimming.
He glares some more and walks away.
About five minutes later he comes back carrying what looks to be a 2 year old child. He points to me and says to his granddaughter "see her, she's the reason you can't go swimming tonight."
He glares at me again as she begins to tear up and her lip begins to quiver.
I just watch, mouth agape, as they walk away.
The little girl didn't take her eyes off me as they went down the hallway.
A few months later, at the same hotel, we are having a few traveling hockey teams stay with us. It was my first (but unfortunately not my last) experience with the hell that is child hockey teams.
There were about 3 teams total staying with us, and they filled up about 50 rooms (out of the 102 the hotel had) and we were sold out that weekend.
As soon as I saw the first greyhound bus pull up, I cringed because I was the only employee in the entire hotel.
The first people off the bus are the kids that just spent an entire day on the bus eating candy and soda.
Then the parents stumbled off, they spent the entire day drinking on the bus and brought their coolers into the lobby to continue the party.
After the hellish 30 minutes in took to check them in the kids scattered, spotted the pool, asked their parents if they could go swimming and then ran away (presumably to get out their swim trunks, but it may have been to go get high on speed for all I know).
I yell to the parents in the lobby that all children must have a parent guardian in the pool with them.
They took this to mean, send the one sober-ish parent to the pool to watch 30 kids.
The camera I have behind the desk is pointed directly at the kids and I can see them running and jumping in, a direct violation of the posted rules. I seize this golden opportunity to kick them out of the pool and head down there.
The parent there, argues that he kept a solid eye on the kids and that not one of them jumped in.
I pointed out that his beer was also not allowed in the pool area as food and beverage are prohibited. as I'm "discussing" this with him other parents (alerted by one of the kids) come in saying they'll keep an eye on them.
Outnumbered and needing to get back to the desk I tell them if I see one more violation on camera the pool is getting locked down.
As soon as I get back to the desk I see the kids at it again, the parents drinking beer, and not doing anything.
I march my ass back down there, announce that the pool is not closed and they need to vacate immediately.
The parents try to argue their way out of it saying they've been watching the kids and didn't see anything, etc., etc.
It's then that the smart ass of the kids decides to jump in while I'm there and the parents begrudgingly agree to leave.
I lock the pool, thinking I've won one battle,I can manage to make it another 5 hours until my shift ends. How naive I was. I spend the rest of the night trolling the hallways with my mean face on, sending kids who were playing mini-stick hockey in the hallways fleeing into their rooms. The parents have decided they are on vacation and are getting obnoxiously drunk in the lobby (and I worked in a college town, the frat parties were quieter) or going down the street to the casino.
At one point I approach the parents informing them that if I find the kids playing hockey in the hallways or rooms again I will kick the team out without refund. They then asked me if I had any board games they could play.
When I said no they said, "Well how the hell are we supposed to entertain our kids if you don't have an arcade or any games for them to play?"
I was about to tell him off when out of the corner of my eye I see kids running outside in the parking lot.
It's winter, about 25 degrees, and there's ice everywhere and none of the kids are wearing anything more than shirts and pants.
We had a big snowfall recently and I knew the kids were running for the giant pile of snow at the end of the plowed lot.
I bolt outside and spot at least 5 kids on top of the 12 foot high snow pile playing king of the mountain. I ran over yelling "get the fuck of that mountain!" and they scattered. A parent had followed and slurred at me "don't talk to our kids that way!"
I informed the parents there that if all the kids were not in rooms in 5 minutes I was calling the police to haul them all off.
The parents grumbled but the kids disappeared.
At least for a bit.
I heard the distinctive sounds of children running on the floor above me and literally sprinted out of the office and up the stairs, taking 3 at a time.
I burst into the hallway and spotted a group of kids playing tag in the hallway.
I (out of breath) yelled "get in your rooms!" one of the brats replied that their mom told them to leave the room so she could watch tv. I snarled "get in your rooms NOW!" and they scattered.
I calmly walked to the end of the hall and went down the stairs.
I was hanging out in the bottom of the stairwell to catch my breath and slow my pulse when I heard the 2nd floor door open.
I over head an adult female say to a group of kids "She's not in charge of you, you do what I say, and I say you are allowed to play in the hall-..."
right then she stepped off the stairs, turned, and saw me standing there, hand clasped demurely in front of me, smiling as sugary sweetly as possible at her.
She turned pale, shut her mouth, and walked silently right past me with the kids.
I followed them to the lobby, still smiling.
They walked right over to the elevator and went back up to their rooms.
I stood outside the elevator and as it was closing said in my most sincere voice "have a good night!"
The best part?
I was working the morning shift the next day and when the parents came to complain my manager told them they were never allowed to stay in our hotel again and she would be notifying the rest of the hotels in the city of their behavior and good luck next year finding a room for the tournament.
No one acts up in my Hotel Hell and gets away with it.
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