From alwaysamouse, Tales From The Front Desk
I've been a lurker for a long while here and currently have been working the front desk at my property for 6 months! My motel isn't anything special (people actually call it the "hooker motel" in my city) but it has good hours and decent benefits, so here I am. Although these encounters are starting to make me doubt that none of that is worth it.
It all started around a month or so into my job here. I work three 4-12 shifts and two 12-8 shifts (in that order) every week. The person I'm about to tell you about usually shows up on my 4-12s but has shown up before on my 12-8 (which is even more terrifying when you're barely over 5 feet and alone!)
This wonderful gentleman is homeless and enjoys loitering around either motels or fast food places to charge his phone, get water and use the bathroom. I honestly don't mind helping someone out now and then, I really don't! I would let the odd person come in and use their phone for 5-10 minutes or even let them use the wifi if I was feeling particularly generous.
You know what they say about how no good deed goes unpunished?
So one night on my 4-12 in walks in this guy. He smells terrible, looks like your stereotypical jock/redneck dude and talks like his tongue is too big for his mouth. Let's call this guy Asshole. Because that's what he is.
I'm already not to keen on talking to this guy because he honestly smells SO. BAD. He's barely been in my lobby for 30 seconds and the smell is already everywhere. It's obvious that he hasn't showered in weeks. Right away I'm hoping that this guy, if he's here to rent a room, won't have enough money on him or won't have a credit card for the deposit so I can just turn him away and get on with my night. No such luck.
So Asshole starts going on about how he just needs a place to charge his phone for "10-15 minutes" and how he's so cold and everyone else has turned him away. This should've been my red flag number one, but what can I say, I'm an idiot. I tell him okay, sure, but no longer than 10 minutes. If you aren't a guest you can't loiter around the lobby and I'm already doing him a favor by not turning him away instantly.
Instead of going to charge his phone he hangs around the desk and talks to me. Yay! I can already tell just by talking to him for less than a minute that there's something unhinged about him. Just the way he talks and looks at me. He starts commenting on my appearance, about how tiny I am (I'm 5'3" and 90lbs. I am EXTREMELY tiny), and then asks if I'm anorexic! I reply that no, I'm not, I'm just very tiny.
Asshole then goes on to say that he loves tiny girls! Particularly Asian women! Why, you ask? Well, because Asian women are just so darn obedient and pretty and cultured unlike the women from my country! The women from my country are horrible, they're rude, they're disobedient, they don't listen to men and most of all they (GASP) THINK THEY CAN WEAR WHATEVER THEY WANT!
He rants and rants and rants, and I'm standing there getting more and more freaked out because with every word he says, it just becomes painfully apparent that this guy is two steps away from some kind of psychotic break. He's on a tangent about how he wants to shoot everyone in my country and how he can't wait to move to Asia and find a perfect Asian wife that will cook, clean and watch the kids for him.
Did I mention he's also proposed to me like 5 times by now even though I've declined each and every time and told him, quite firmly, that I have a boyfriend? Yeah, it's great!
During all of this, I have a woman come up to the desk due to her key cards not working and so I remake them for her. This woman just so happens to be black, and the only reason I mention this is because as soon as she leaves and is (hopefully) out of ear shot, this asshole comes back up to the desk, leans in so I can get an even better whiff of just how fucking terrible he really smells, and hits me with this:
"I need to know if you agree with me on this, because some people get all pissed at me when I say it. But do you think it should be legal to rape black women again?"
You guys... what in the ever living FUCK?!
I didn't even know what to say. I didn't even know what to do! I just laughed nervously and backed up away from the desk and didn't say anything at all. I'm still mad at myself over that. My backbone is very much a work in progress and this guy is just an entire clusterfuck that I have no idea how to deal with.
I didn't know who to call, I didn't know if this even warranted a call to the police. And on top of that, I had no idea how I was supposed to call the police anyway without him overhearing and possibly losing his mind!
It was terrible. He's terrible. I hate him so much and every time I see him I get such a sense of panic I doubt I can even hide it. I think he likes seeing me scared, honestly. I don't doubt it.
This guy has been back several times over the months I've worked here, specifically on my shifts because I'm "his best friend"! Yay me!
I've told my managers about it and my coworkers and they've been absolutely no help at all, so that's great. The best they can do for me is hang up a sign that says "NO LOITERING" and tell me to lock the door earlier at night. Gee, thanks guys! Definitely feel so much safer!
I'm only typing this out now because, after 4 months of not seeing him, he's back. He came in today and my heart dropped. Thank God he didn't stay for very long and my backbone has grown a bit since then. I told him he isn't allowed to stay in my lobby if he isn't a guest in my motel, and despite acknowledging this I don't think he really cared because he said he'd be back in tomorrow to come and see me!
What the hell am I supposed to do about that?! I'd rather die than see him again honestly and I know my manager isn't going to do anything for me. Do I call the cops if he shows up? I feel like I'd be wasting their time and just causing a big deal over nothing. I don't even know. I'm at a loss. He just terrifies me!
I'm sorry about the wall of text, but I just needed to get this out so that somebody else can understand how fucking unhinged this guy is and possibly give me some advice on how to deal with him. I'm seriously considering getting another job over this. My motel just attracts too many insane people.
Editor's note: Abso-fucking-lutely call the cops! I would have called the cops for less than what he has done!
First: I acknowledge that I am not someone to take professional legal advice from. HOWEVER, this is all advice that I strongly encourage you to take anyway:
1) Call the non emergency police number for your town (U.S.) They are more than happy to send a patrol or peace officer to check in on you.
Tell the answering service what you said here:
2) His behavior is completely unacceptable and he probably won’t stop until you threaten him with that call. I know it can be hard to make that kind of decision in this field but you DESERVE to feel comfortable at your workplace.
3) Expanding on point 2: Your employers have a legal obligation to keep you in a SAFE working environment, which includes protection from people who make you feel unsafe. THIS MAN FITS THE BILL OF UNSAFE!
4) Remember the Three D's of Retail: Document, Document, Document! Write down what you have told us, write down what (if anything) management has done to ensure your safety.
If you have to, make it known that you are fully aware that they are required to give you a safe environment, and ask them directly what they will be doing to make that happen.
Bring a notebook and pen with you when you ask them, look them straight in the bloody eyes and continue to stare straight at them unless you are actively writing down IN FRONT OF THEM what their plans are. The documentation process is a powerful tool that often makes managers jump before they can even ask "how high".
5) Make sure you have the contact information for the hotel's HR. If there is any, and I mean ANY, NO MATTER HOW FAR FETCHED, retaliation directed at you, document THAT too!
Your well being overrides any and all paycheck you are getting from this job, and if your HR has even two brain cells to rub together, they will know immediately that it is much safer to provide you with safety than to risk you getting hurt on their watch OR the legal blowback that could potentially happen if they fail you at any point.
Use phrases like "I feel unsafe" and "I am being harassed by this person," and "he has used threatening language referring to hotel guests." (that rape comment about black women is indeed threatening language!)
Please please please do these things! DO NOT let him continue to have access to you in this manner!