Saturday, March 30, 2013

Failure To Follow Rules Will Cause Flooding

The thick-necked traveler ahead of me at the Hyatt was just building up to a crescendo when I walked in to register.

“Why do I need to show a credit card? This makes no sense. None at all.”

The young lady at the front desk had that same painted-on, pained expression I used to wear when I had worked in retail during my college days. She was basically telling him without saying it aloud, “Go to hell, you stupid bastard.”

The man asked to speak to a manager, and the lady obliged by stepping into the back room. I’m sure the young lady asked the manager, “Can you please tell this thick-necked, stupid bastard to go to hell.” At least I'd like to imagine that she got to say it that way.

While she was away, the man turned to me for some form of comfort.

“Unbelievable,” he said as he shook his head.

I raised my eyebrows and shifted my gaze away. Didn’t wanna be a part of his suitcase. Luckily I didn’t have to answer … the manager arrived—a striking, 6’ tall redhead with a plunging neckline and take-no-prisoners hardened look. Poor bastard was outgunned.

Young Lady turned to me and asked, “Sir, may I help you?” I presented my info which Thick Neck seemed to be lacking.

After some back and forth with Thick Neck, Sexy Manager said, “Those are our rules, sir.” Thick Neck began with another lame approach, but by then, I was checked-in and heading down the hall to the elevator to get to my room. As I waited for the elevator, I heard his loud stammers and shift in tone. A “can you do me a favor” change of tune. Watership down!

The word “rule” went through my head. I remember a former boss used to say, “If a rule exists, it’s because someone somewhere screwed up.”

While I unpacked my bags for the umpteenth time over the past few weeks, I glanced around the room. An inviting, clean, cozy room. And then the sign underneath the sprinkler system, which jutted from the wall near the ceiling, caught my eye … it read, “Contact with sprinkler will cause flooding.”

I pondered the words of warning for a moment as I walked to the window and looked out. There was Thick Neck in the parking lot, tossing his suitcase—with great force—into the car trunk, and then he slammed it shut.

It’s for the best he didn’t stay. Guys like him, who can’t follow rules, would’ve flooded his room, causing a false alarm in the middle of the night that’d send the rest of us evacuating the building in our underwear. We’ve all been there, right?

I went to the desk in the corner of my room, sat down in the computer chair, and warmed up the laptop to get back to formatting the latest Hawthorne eBook. But before that, a blog post …


Leah J. Utas said...

Sigh. Plenty of thick necks in the world. Good for you for getting a post out of it, and even better for you that thick neck left.

Unknown said...

I guess he was one of those kids who endlessly tries to shove the square peg into the round hole. Unfortunately, the path of least resistance for a person like that always seems to be shouting louder.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I can only Surmise he has never stayed in a hotel before!

David Cranmer said...

My thoughts exactly, Leah.

Dyer, Quite often the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?

Patti, It would seem that way, doesn't it! I believe his company paid for the room and he wanted to charge incidentals to that card. They asked for his personal card to accompany the business card. Maybe? I missed the start and am kinda glad I did.

Unknown said...

A couple of years ago at Armadillcon, some goober hung his clothes from the sprinkler in his room. You can guess the rest. I wonder if it was your guy.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I guy I know lives in a neighboring complex where they went in and retro fitted all the apartments with this sprinkler deal. They did not tell him not to touch said sprinkler head nor did they tell him not to hang his clothes from it. I did.

He chose not to listen.

He flooded his one bedroom apartment, caused his building to be evacuated, etc.

Amazingly, he has a thin neck.

Randy Johnson said...

Your comment about "someone having screwed up to cause a rule reminds me of the comedian Bill Engval. One routine about the cardboard shield people put over their dashboard to prevent sunlight from fading the upholstery having on it somewhere "Please remove before driving."

David Cranmer said...

Damn, Bill! He had 'Armadillocon or Bust' on a bumper sticker!

Kevin, Isn't it amazing your thin-neck guy wouldn't listen to friendly advice. Hope he felt stupid after everyone had to evacuate because of him.

Randy, I enjoy Bill Engval's humor and, yep, spot on.

Charles Gramlich said...

Indeed, if rules exist it means someone screwed up. So true.

Chris said...

Funny, I was just thinking similar thoughts this morning. I've recently moved much closer to the area where I grew up, and this morning I drove down to where they built a number of ball fields, behind, below, and across a stream (we called it "the slough") from where I went to elementary school. When I was younger, it was just a wild field, but by my later years of little league they had put the ball fields in. ANYWAY, this morning, when I visited, the fields were gated and locked to vehicles. I was disappointed. First came irritation about the constant need to close off and lock so much public space, then I thought of all the jackasses who would take advantage of free rein to vandalize, burn out in their stupid pickups on the lawn, etc. So yeah, unfortunately for those of us who just want to (try and) live kind, peaceful lives, so many rules do indeed exist -- well, I'll update a little what your boss said -- because some people are assholes.

David Cranmer said...

Sadly true, Charles.

Chris, Sometimes (for a brief second) I feel like Harrison Ford in The Mosquito Coast. Just get away from it all. Go somewhere that walls and bridges and fences are not limiting me from living an uncluttered life. Then reality crashes.

Oscar Case said...

Reminds me of the time I went to my bank and tried to cash a check without identification. My neck has thinned some since then, b-u-t you never know??

Ron Scheer said...

Story well told. Rules is rules. I enjoy calling Code Enforcement to get ride of the tagging that shows up in the neighborhood. Here today? Gone tomorrow.

David Cranmer said...

Oscar, For the record: no offense against thick necked people.

Ron, You know I'm usually against most rules except when they benefit me. (<joke. Sorta.)

G. B. Miller said...

This post reminds me of the ongoing bru-ha-ha with voter ID laws that are springing up all over.

It's like, "why should I simply take your word that you are who you say you are?"

Probably a bad analogy, but it was the best I could think of.

I see this all the time in the public sector where the mentality seems to be that rules are for other people, not me, and if I break it, oh well.

David Cranmer said...

G.B., I do subscribe (more often than not) to the mentality that rules are meant to be broken but I can see the flip side. (Is that wishy-washy or what?)

Dave King said...

There is much truth in your former boss's remark, I think.

Your post reminded me of a few similar encounters and of how embarrassing they can be for everyone around - and why do the stupid bone heads ALWAYS appeal to the audience for support?