42. A Crazy Day
I just came from the craziest shift I have EVER worked in a hotel. That’s an understatement. I work mid-shifts for my hotel. When I went in the morning, my manager notified me that our system was down. I couldn’t check people in or out, give receipts, make reservations, etc. He was already on the phone with IT creating a ticket to get it back up and going.
An hour later, it started working. At that point, I was backpedaling and checking people out, helping the executive housekeeper change room statuses, etc. Out of nowhere, my system shut down again. I was locked out and couldn’t do anything. As this happened, the maintenance guy came to the desk with a bloody hand and said, “I just cut my hand on the roof. I’m going to the hospital to get it stitched up and I’ll be back.”
My whole management team had also gone to our sister property next door for a meeting so it was just me manning the desk. I texted my direct manager and let him know that everything had shut down again and that I’d been calling IT to get it back up. I called IT on the hotel phone so we could get rolling again. As I was on the phone, a guy walked in and said, “I have the meeting space booked, could you let me in?”
I switched to the handheld phone and walked over to the meeting space to open the door with my master key. It didn’t blink. Oh, God. Our maintenance guy was at the hospital. All of our managers were gone. IT was talking my ear off and the next thing I knew, the executive housekeeper called me on the walkie and said, “None of our doors are opening.”
So, at that point, I had: A guest trying to get into the meeting space, a broken system, and no master keys for opening doors. My next move was to call our sister property’s maintenance guy next door for help. He came by and immediately started working on the meeting space door. My managers then came back and also started helping where they could.
After about another hour, we finally got our system back up and in another 30 minutes, our doors were working. Great. I started playing catch up at 2:30 in the afternoon, trying to get everything done before the 3 pm check-in. Here’s where things went CRAZY. I was replenishing the coffee (this is important), then I went to check in a few guests.
This guy walked into the lobby and said, “Hi, I need to check on the status of my application.” I told him to wait a moment and grab the manager. She then explained to me that a homeless man named “Bob” often came in posing as an applicant so he could come in and take our cookies, breakfast cereal, bananas, coffee, etc.
He’d already been removed from the property multiple times and banned from returning, so at that point, he was blatantly trespassing. She came out and asked him to leave while she was on the phone with the authorities. He tried to argue back and forth with her until the officers arrived. They told him that he could not be on the property.
The man flipped out. He threw the coffee I had just made AT A GUEST. There were cookies and bananas all over my lobby floor, and a soda hit the lobby wall. Officers restrained him and took him away. I was about ready to pull out my hair in frustration, so I went outside. Just as I was exiting the door, my other manager came in on the walkie and said there was a man wearing jeans, a grey hoodie, and a grey hat on the property who just tried to attack a housekeeper on the elevator.
She told me to take one flight of stairs up while others were outside checking the parking lot and the first-floor common areas. By the time I made it to the third floor, my manager got on the walkie and said that the man had been restrained and that we could go back to our regular duties.
The maintenance guy and I happened to be on the same floor, so we both got on the elevator to go back down to the first floor. As it was going down, it stopped to let someone on. When I saw him, I nearly gasped. The man was wearing jeans, a grey hoodie, and a grey hat. The maintenance guy and I were looking at each other in disbelief. I just stood there thinking, “This has to be a coincidence.”
I asked the maintenance guy if they were sure they got the right guy and that’s when the worst happened—THE FREAKING ELEVATOR GOT STUCK. Right then and there, the grey hoodie man started chanting: “The United States. Suicide. Suicide. Suicide.” I LITERALLY CANNOT MAKE THIS UP.
So, of course, the maintenance guy grabbed me and pinned me in a corner in case the guy tried to attack. The maintenance guy was tall and well-built, so I knew that if grey hoodie man were to attack, he was going to have to go through him first. I got on the walkie and said the elevator was shut down and that the officers had the wrong guy.
Then, all hell broke loose. The manager was now freaked out and standing outside the door trying to pry it open. We were on the elevator with this guy for 45 MINUTES while the fire department tried to get us out. Grey hoodie man sat there and chanted the same statement over and over again. He never moved, he never looked at us. The man didn’t even know we were there.
I have NEVER been genuinely afraid of a guest. FINALLY, they got us off and I bolted to the back office to have the freaking panic attack I’d been holding in for the last hour. At that point, I had an hour left of my shift to go. I definitely needed the freaking hours, so I collected myself and went back to the desk.
Grey hoodie man was escorted off the property. We all assumed he was going to be taken to a hospital to be checked out because there was genuinely something wrong with him, but nope. I didn’t know this. Neither did the other staff members. We kept working, just trying to wrap things up so we could all go the heck home. Near the end of the night, I went to use the bathroom.
Y’all. I opened the freaking bathroom door and the grey hoodie man was SITTING ON THE BATHROOM SINK chanting the SAME statement. He came in the back door this time so the front desk did not see him. Needless to say, I lost my mind. I walked back to the lobby to find it FULL of high school students who had arrived for a school function.
All I could think of was, “Great, let’s call the authorities and freak out a bunch of teenagers.” I grabbed the maintenance guy again and told him that the grey hoodie man was back in the bathroom. He went to guard it while I called 9-1-e. in the back office. Finally, they came by and took the man to a hospital.
It turned out, grey hoodie man was a veteran who had just undergone a severe PTSD episode. My heart broke for this him. Thankfully, officers were able to take him to get the help he needed. Overall, I am done with today. I will be taking a very hot bath, drinking a full bottle of red, and then getting back up in the morning to go back to a literal dumpster fire.