24 July, 2009

Yesterday's Hostel Incident Reports

  1. At approximately 2120CDT, an unidentified male telephoned the hostel office with an inquiry. What follows is an as-close-to-verbatim-as-memory-allows transcript of the telephone exchange between said unidentified male and the staff on duty.
    [phone rings]
    Minneapolis International Hostel.
    "Hi! I'm actually on my way to your Chicago location and I left my shampoo at your Minneapolis location and I was wondering if you could ship that over to me."
    What?
    "Well, I'm on my way to your Chicago location -"
    Sir, we don't have a Chicago location.
    "It's called Chicago International Hostel."
    Right. We're Minneapolis International Hostel.
    "Yeah and I'm going to your Chicago location."
    Oh, we're not a franchise, sir; you know anybody can put 'international' in their business name, it's just -
    "Yeah, but I made my reservations through the same site."
    Hostelworld.com?
    "Yeah."
    That's just the site we use for our booking, sir.
    "Oh. OK. Well, can you still send the shampoo to me?"
    [pause]
    "I mean -"
    Uh... uh... no.
    "No?"
    That's just not something we do. I mean, you gotta understand that we're not going to take time away from our jobs to go down to the post office with a bottle of shampoo and then have to pay for - I mean, is it a prescription shampoo?
    "No, no."
    No?
    "No, I just feel bad about leaving it behind."
    [pause]
    "You know -"
    And you're in Chicago, sir?
    "Well, I'm on my way there, now."
    I'm fairly certain you can procure more shampoo in Chicago, sir.
    "Right, I mean -"
    You know shipping on the shampoo is going to cost more than just buying a new bottle of shampoo.
    "Oh, I'd pay for shipping, I mean -"
    Right, because we'd expect you to reimburse us, but the cost would outweigh the benefits. I'd recommend you just buy another bottle of shampoo.
    "So, you won't ship me the shampoo?"
    No, that's just not something we do.
    "Oh."
    [pause]
    "Well, thanks, I guess."
    Yeah, have a good night.
    [end communique]
  2. After closing, staff was off duty, outside with "regulars" enjoying alcoholic beverages. At approximately 2220CDT, an unidentified male approached the porch at the rear of the hostel. Displaying a Nordic accent, the man inquired as to how enter the hostel. Staff on duty did not identify himself as an employee, instead telling this man, "Yeah, they close at ten."
    Unidentified man claimed to have made a reservation "a minute ago" and had tried contacting the office on both lines to no avail.
    Staff, still not identifying himself, informed the man that the office closed at ten and that the website mentions this in four places. The man then asked to confirm, "So there's nobody in there who can let me in?"
    He was informed that there was indeed not anybody. Staff repeated, "Because, yeah, they close at ten. They, start checking people in again at one."
    Unidentified man stated, "That doesn't help me," and then left.

  3. At approximately 2250-2255, two unidentified males approached the porch at the rear of the hostel. One of them, displaying a nondescript European accent, asked, "Is there nobody in the hostel?"
    Staff, after two Beck's and a shot of Smirnoff, still not identifying himself, replied, "Hostel's closed."
    The man asked, "For good?" to which the staff clarified that it was only for the night. The man asked, "So there's nobody to check me in?"
    Staff reminded the man that it is mentioned in four places on the website, mentioned repeatedly over the phone, and then stated again in confirmation emails that the office closes at ten.
    The man stated, "But we had a reservation!"
    Staff, still not identifying himself but dangerously close to playing his hand said, "Right, but they close at ten."
    The unidentified men left.
I just want to clarify a few things before anybody goes calling me a dick on this one. Firstly, the owners refuse to pay for any after hours work. Secondly, I was drinking, and I don't know of too many employers that want their employees working with alcohol in their system. (Then consider that there aren't too many employers that want their employees dickin' around the office drunk after hours.) Thirdly, and this is the big'un, when you reserve a table at a restaurant, that does not mean you can arrive at the restaurant after they close and demand your table. A restaurant holds the table that you reserved while they are open. When you reserve a car from a rent-a-car place, that doesn't mean that you can just waltz on to the lot after they're closed and expect to get a car. A rent-a-car place holds the car that you reserved while they are open. It's no different in the lodgings industry. We hold the beds for you that reserved while we are open. We explain multiple times and multiple ways exactly what are our hours and policies. Claiming ignorance or entitlement gets you nowhere with the restaurant or rent-a-car industries, it'll get you no further here.

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