Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fires, Dawgs, and Journalists - oh my!

What is with my guests and fires tonight? A few hours ago a man called the front desk saying that when he turned on his TV it began to "smoke and sizzle" and emit a burning smell. I went upstairs to check it and the entire 2nd floor was encased in this smell so I moved his room, made sure the TV was unplugged and then just left it at that. About twenty minutes ago another room called saying that they had turned on their heater and were immediately hit with a burning smell that actually set their fire alarm off. Now, I'm not sure if that last part was true because if any alarm goes off in the building then the unit at the front desk should sound as well and pinpoint the source. Either the front desk unit is faulty or these people are exaggerating, but I went upstairs and was once again met with a fire aroma. What the crap. I moved them, checked the unit and couldn't get it to smoke again, but nonetheless I think I'll close off that room for tonight. Ironically, it is directly across the hall from the room with the burning TV!

Our ice machine is also broken, which is leading to some hilarious incidences of guests getting to watch me struggle to lift a three foot high bag of ice and slam it against a chair to break it apart (I'm using the chair because I have now dented both the wall and the fridge...opps). This has led to both the bag breaking and ice flying everywhere and a few curse words being shouted every now and then when ice either hits me in the face or miraculously finds its way down my shirt.

These events have been made even more dramatic and chaotic by the fact that a man from corporate is currently staying in the hotel and somehow manages to walk by the desk every time something inane happens or someone is complaining of "burning smells." The man seems nice enough, but I'm just waiting to be called into my manager's office tomorrow and told how unprofessional I am.

Oh! Which reminds me -- last weekend marked one of the hotel's epic annual weekends: the Georgia/Florida game. For those of you from up North, the GA/FL game is comparable to the UofM vs Ohio State rivalry, only a bit more intense because now we've got a surplus of rednecks drinking and shouting all in one relatively tiny area (at least compared to when they're all more spread-out). Anywhere within a 200 mile radius of Jacksonville, FL (where the game is played) treats this weekend as if it were a holiday. Hotel rates sky-rocket, everything is decked out in either red and black or orange and blue depending what state you're in (or how brave of a rebel you are) and the entire coastal region becomes one giant frat party. Sounds kind of entertaining until you're part of one of the businesses that will be hosting the tailgaters. Out of our sixty rooms at the Inn we had about five left. There was a 4ft X 3ft football suspended from the ceiling in front of the main desk (oh yeah, that wasn't annoying ), GO DAWGS signs at every corner, DAWG gift bags, and red and black streamers and balloons hung all over the lobby (including the fans!). I'm not quite sure if this overzealous team support is sincere or if it is a way to keep the hotel from getting torched.

Anyways, I digress -- the reason I mention this is because during all the GA/FL weekend preparation madness a man called and began asking me detailed questions about rooms for that weekend: were we all booked up, what were our rates, were we planning any events, is this weekend always looked upon with trepidation or excitement, etc etc. I didn't think anything of it because - as stated in my last post - the phone calls we get here are very odd and people wants to know everything from the type of mattresses we supply to when the hotel was built. Before hanging up (and not making a reservation!) the man asked me for my name and then said, "Thanks for all your help, Georgia! I'm so-and-so from the Georgia Times Union. Good talking to you," and hung-up. Right away I knew that was going to come back and bite me in the ass and sure enough the next day my boss called to ask why I had given a blurb about the weekend without her permission. My god. It's not like it's a secret! And since people ask such detailed questions anyways I never even thought to ask why he was so curious (we even had one woman ask for us to give her the distance from the parking lot to the 1st floor rooms in feet...why?).

Sadly I missed the rest of the GA/FL weekend due to other commitments, but I hear it was quite the show, which included fire alarms being set off due to "certain substances" in non-smoking rooms. My manager told them, "If you're going to smoke at LEAST do it in a smoking room." Ha!

Okie, that's all for tonight! I'll try to write more regularly from now on.

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