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?