09 August, 2011

Yesterday's Hostel Incident Report

Note: This incident report is being presented twenty four hours after the fact because the guests involved in this incident were seriously close to getting cold-cocked. Indeed the two men in question had riled Management up enough that he needed a breather period.
Management reports that yesterday, sometime in the neighborhood of 1100CDT, two men, an Aryan and an Amerasian fellow approached the front door and rang the bell. As check in time is strictly from 1300CDT to 2230CDT in the summer, Management answered the door and informed the men that check in would not begin for another two hours.
The two men simply stared in silence at Management who took their silence as the end of the discussion and waved goodbye to them as he closed the door. The men left the premises without delay or argument and Management remarked, out loud, at how astonishingly easy the matter had been resolved; most guests arriving early look to start an argument over check in time as they feel that if they ignore the policy, the policy changes to satisfy their whims. These two guys? They said nothing and left.
As 1300CDT arrived, so did the two men return at which point Management checked them in. It was standard operating procedure: verify that the guest has a reservation, notify them of their outstanding balance, grant a tour of the premises while explaining the house rules, present them their room and the corresponding key, and tell them to have a good one.
The two men had booked a double private with the public bathroom. The double private rooms have one bed meant for two people, ideal for couples.
Now, Management has seen two straight guys share a bed before. It happens. And Management doesn't like to ask same sex travelling partners who book a bed to share if they are in a couples situation; it's invasive, highly personal, and smacks more than a little of homophobia. Short version: It's none of my business and makes me look like an asshole. So when Management witnessed two guys checking into a room with one bed to share, he thought nothing of it.
Upon witnessing the room, however, the Aryan said, "One bed? Cool," in a manner that indicated that he was indeed not cool but feeling rather trepidatious at the prospect.
Cut to twenty minutes later, the two men came to the office asking if there were any rooms with two beds and Management informed them that none of the private rooms had two beds (one does have three but was unavailable for the nights they had booked). This is when the Amerasian said, "Well, we can't sleep in it... We're two guys."
Management detected a hint of homophobia in the Amerasian's voice and remarked that, well, the bed is ideal for couples and (wait for it) guys who are secure in their masculinity (because Management doesn't play any homophobic shit up in his place of business). The two men took offense at the insinuation that they were not secure in their masculinity but nonetheless persisted in asking for other room options during their stay. Management informed them that all that was available was the fifteen bed male dormitory. The Amerasian asked what the price difference was and while Management admitted that the cost for two guys in the dorm was four bucks and some change cheaper, that there was a strict no refund policy in place. The two men saw the dormitory, scoffed a little, and returned to their room.
Twenty minutes later, the Aryan returned to the office asking if there was anything else at all and Management replied that the only thing he had open was the dormitory. Management had to explain to the Aryan that this was the busiest travel season of the year.
The Aryan asked, "Well, what about the five or six bed dorm?"
Management checked. I have one bed left in the six bed dorm.
"Is it possible to get that?"
Yep... For three nights that's going to run you US$100.08.
"We have to pay extra for it!?"
Well, it is an extra bed, yeah.
"And there's nothing else you can do?"
I'm telling you man, this is what I have, I don't have anything else.
"Can't you move an extra mattress into our room or -"
OK, no, I'm not doing that.
"Well we can't both sleep in that bed, not even one person can sleep in that bed, it's barely larger than a twin."
It's a full-sized mattress.
"Look, the issue isn't that we're two guys, it's that we can't fit in there -"
We have two people in those beds all the time and I've never heard anyone say that.
From here, the memory is kind of fuzzy because Management was quickly losing his temper with the pompous, self-righteous, entitled jag off in front of him who now began berating Management and accusing Management of having made homophobic remarks about the man and spouting ridiculous bullshit such as (but not limited to):
  • The encounter at 1100CDT ended with Management slamming the door in the two mens' faces before they could say anything. (Management bid them adieu when they had nothing to say.)
  • That, during the encounter at 1100CDT, they had intended to ask to check their luggage for the US$10 luggage handling fee. (The sign that indicates the price of luggage handling is inside and not viewable from the front door, thus the Aryan's specification of the price being known before entrance proves a falsity.)
  • That Management had "made [them] pay the minute [they] came in". (As everybody does. Management and Assistant Management both greet guests at the door, escort them to the office, verify the reservation, and notify the guest of the outstanding balance and request payment before showing a person to their room.) (And when you think about it, isn't that how it goes fucking everywhere? When the fuck you ever been to a Holiday Inn, a Super 8, a Best Western, or a fucking La Quinta and went and looked at a room before paying for it? No. You pay first. How it works everywhere.)
  • That Management questioned their masculinity. (Management questioned their security in their masculinity after the Amerasian made a homophobic remark. It should also be noted that, at this claim, Management asked, Why bring up that you're both guys then? I can see you're both guys. Stating that you're both guys implies that since you're both guys it makes you uncomfortable.)
  • And that Management was refusing to help them out in any fashion.
To that final claim Management remarked, What can I do? I'm telling you I have nothing but dormitory space available for the night!
Oh, yeah, it should be noted that, by this point, Management and the Aryan were in a full-on shouting match. The Aryan started claiming more erroneous bullshit before Management shouted, Do you want to check out!?
The Aryan shut up.
Management lowered his voice. Because I'll overlook the no refund policy right now and I'll give you your money back and you can go.
The Amerasian came rushing into the office, telling the Aryan, "Forget it, I want that refund." (It was the Amerasian who paid.)
OK, I just need the card.
"It's in the room."
OK.
The Amerasian was visibly annoyed at the prospect of having to grab his credit card to get a refund but retrieved it just the same. While doing that, the Aryan said, "It's a shame it has to come to this."
Yep.
"I mean, we don't know where we're going to stay now."
Well, I asked if you wanted to check out, so this is on you. But, you know, there are plenty of lodging options in Minneapolis and I'm sure if you go out to the burbs you can find something of comparable price to the room you were in. (US$60.31 per night, for the curious.)
The Amerasian came back to the office and handed the Aryan the key so the Aryan could collect his things from the room.
The Aryan asked, "Are you going to wait in here?"
The Amerasian answered, "No. I don't want to be anywhere near this jerk."
The Aryan collected his things and returned the key (but not the linens) and Management held the door open for the two men to leave, at which point the Aryan stopped and turned to Management to make a two minute speech about how he'd read several bad reviews and all the bad reviews were precisely because of incidents exactly like this one* and that he was definitely going to leave a bad review.**
Management told him he would take it under advisement.
The Amerasian felt it appropriate to pipe up with, "You need to be nice to good people, man. There's a thing called karma."
Management just waved goodbye.

* Bullshit. For example: One guest said I was rude because I never asked her where she was from and because she had to "practically beg" me for help up the stairs with her luggage. Last I checked, "Can you give me a hand with this?" didn't qualify as begging, practically or otherwise.
** Like I'm fucking quaking in my boots over the threat of a bad review. I've been threatened with the FBI, the Census Bureau, the Attorney General, physical violence, and the Better Business Bureau. I'm completely serious.

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