20 October, 2011

OK, here's why I'm late today.

I haven't even turned the fucking lights on yet. I just realized.
I woke up this morning (dun deh-nun deh-nun) and went about my routine (dun deh-nun deh-nun) before shutting off the lights and the fan and coming upstairs to find the back door propped open with a baseball cap. So I open the door and let the hat fall out and head to the office to open things up. Some South American guy comes pounding on the back door so I about face and open the door up and tell him, Can't prop the door, guy.
"What?"
Don't prop the door.
He says, "OK OK," as he follows me in. I set about opening the office and he follows me in asking if we have any room for the night - he was not already a guest, meaning one of these stupid fucks I have in the building right now let him in despite the fact that we stress not allowing strangers in the building. Just asking them if they're staying here doesn't qualify as establishing them as guests. You know, unless you're comfortable with some of the local miscreants just coming in and out all willy nilly.
I tell him I haven't even logged into the system yet and he says he sent an email and I tell him I haven't logged into the system yet.
And that's when the system decides to tell me that I have an invalid company ID. No. That number is right. I punch it in again and the South American asks, "So do you -"
Hold on. The system keeps telling me the company ID is incorrect. If I try to log in a third time, I'll be blocked out. So I look up at the guy and tell him, Well, look, guy, my system is down right now and I can't -
"Is down?"
Right and if I can't log in, I can't see what I have and check in's not until one, anyhow -
"One?"
Right, one o' clock, I tell him as I usher him toward the front door, so if you want to wait down at the coffee shop, I have to call support and - I open the door for him as he indicates that he wants to wait in the living room. I tell him, No, man, come on. I just opened up and really? I don't know who let you in but they shouldn't have and now I'm going to have to evict them; security is paramount here. (Yes, I actually said that.)
I told him to go to the coffee shop, go to the museum, whatever, but, hey, come on back at one and we'll help him out.
So I come back in the office and call the main office to see if they have the eight hundred number to our booking service in Dublin. (We don't have a long distance or international calling plan here. I know it's a bit fucked up, what with us being part of the travel industry.) While whoever it was at the main office was looking for contact info, I tried logging in from my computer (Chrome running on W7 as opposed to the office's Firefox on Vista). No dice. Just the same error message. I had to explain to the person at the main office that, yeah, I could email these people, but I've got check ins coming in in three hours, I need this fixed a whole lot faster than emailing would permit.
I tried again. It worked.
Whoap! Hold up. I'm in.
"You're in?"
Yeah, must've just been a flub on their end or something. I thanked her for her help and hung up. After that, a check out came in to stow his luggage and took off.
After that, a loud, manish woman came into the office and told me that the heat never kicked on in her room. I immediately grabbed the keys out of the drawer and said I could fix that. She said, "Yeah, let me show you."
Here's what I don't get: Why does everyone want to show me? Do they think I don't believe them? So I said, I believe you, I just have to check the thermostat.
She goes on to tell me that she's had pneumonia before and she'd hate to get pneumonia here and how she slept in socks and sweaters last night and blah blah blah... She asks my name.
Charlie.
"Charlie?"
Charlie.
"Jorry?"
Charlie.
"Charry?"
Charlie.
"Oh."
I got up the stairs to the thermostat for her room and found it set at sixty four. I said, Yeah, there's the problem: Last person to set it, set it at sixty four. I turned it up to seventy.
"Well is it on?"
It's on.
"Well, can you turn it on to 'heat'?"
It's on 'heat'.
"Oh, well, because you see..."
And I just started tuning her out at this point until she asked, "What's twenty one?"
Hmm?
"In Fahrenheit, I don't know it."
Well, I don't know Celsius, so...
"Isn't twenty one the norm?"
The norm?
"Like, isn't that what it's supposed to be set at?"
Couldn't tell you.
"And what do you have it set at?"
Sixty eight, seventy.
"Well, I guess I'll just have to look it up."
OK.
Turns out that twenty one Celsius is seventy Fahrenheit.
Then an old lady was checking out and wanted to see what some of the other rooms looked like.
Then the mail shows up... More packages for a guest.
Then the manish woman has another question.
Then between the old lady and the manish woman, one of the two cranked on some Bob Dylan. At this point, I was not concerned with time and if it was indeed changing. I have eighteen check ins on the docket today and those are just the reservations, no accounting for what my walk-in traffic may be; I need to prep some dorms. I heard one say to the other, "I know, they have coffee, they have tea, but they don't have milk!" (As of right now, I have all three female dorms prepped and I just need to get the two co-ed dorms prepped.)
Then one of the two Indian guys wanted a receipt.
Then the manish woman has a question about printing out her travel insurance and I tell them that there's a FedEx/Kinko's at the convention center.
"Oh... and they have computers there?"
Yep.
Then an Asian woman from last week with intermediate English skills called up and wanted a receipt faxed over.
I'm on the phone with her trying to get her to spell her fucking name so I can look her up when the second Indian guy comes in and wants a receipt for him and his buddy. I tell him to come back in a minute.
I get off the phone with the Asian lady and begin compiling her receipts from three separate bookings when both Indian guys come in and begin asking me for their receipt. I tell them to give me five minutes to finish up what I'm on. They say, "OK."
I email the Asian lady her receipts - and I swear to fuck that if she calls back with a complaint about the formatting... and I print off the Indian guys' receipt when the phone rings.
Minneapolis International Hostel.
"Yeah, I was wondering what your room rates are."
What nights are you interested in?
"Tonight."
Tonight I can put you up in the fifteen bed male dorm; that's going to run you twenty eight dollars, and we require all of our guests to present state issued ID and a valid credit or debit card.
"I can't pay cash?"
You can pay cash but you have to have a valid credit or debit card.
"What if I don't have any money on my credit card."
Then it's no good to me.
"How much money should I have on my credit card?"
Look, man, I've got a full docket today and I'm not prepared to have this conversation so have a good one.
And I hung up. Remarking to myself, out loud, This is supposed to be the slow season!
I got up and handed the Indian guys their receipt. I came back to the office when the manish woman came to the office, "Can you help me turn the sound up on the computer?"
It should be noted that nobody, at the time, had taken initiative in turning down the folk radio station. But, still, that's irrelevant because, Oh, there's no sound card on the computer.
"What?"
There's no sound card.
"But there are little earphones next to the computer."
I don't know why; there's no sound card.
And then I try to start up on this when the doofus I checked in on Tuesday comes in asking for the new code. That he didn't get yesterday.
And then the manish woman leaves. And then she returns. "Can you help me with the door code? I can't get it to work..."
I look at the code Georgie wrote down and I look at the master copy on the office 'puter and verify that it is correct. ####*, yeah, that's it.
"I tried star, I tried pound..."
Nope. It's star.
So we get outside and I punch in the four digits and the star and the door opens up.
Again with the same question everybody asks: "How come it opened for you?"
I closed the door and told her, Give it a try.
She did. It worked. I came back to the office.
Things have slowed a bit, thankfully and I'm about to prep two dorms. But you know who called just now? The Asian lady. She called to tell me that she couldn't open the attached MSWord document her receipt is formatted in. I told her that if she can't open a word document, then I can't help her any further.

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