Friday, May 27, 2011

Luggage Dilemma

Over the past two days, Mackinac Island has been besieged by Catholics. The Knights of Columbus group has been holding a convention at the Grand Hotel and consequently nearly every hotel, including The Orchid, is booked almost to capacity with members of the brotherhood. Tomorrow, all of these people leave after a 10am meeting at the Grand. Because of this, and I am sorry if this sounds like I'm generalizing too much, my night has been plagued with very picky and very anal old women.

Since about 10:30pm, the wife of every couple to walk through the front door has inquired as to the check-out process in the morning and what they are supposed to do with their bags. Most of these inquiries have been short and painless, but more than half have been very detailed with the women acting as though they may never see their belongings again.

First of all, The Orchid is so bloody regimented and "machine-like" that there is almost no way that a guest's bag will be misplaced/forgotten. Secondly, our two porters have both worked at The Orchid for several years and therefore have this down to a science and one porter is even related to the owner of the hotel. To all guests of The Orchid: your bags could not be in better hands. However, some people simply thrive on worrying, as with the case of Mrs. 205:

A short wile ago the woman from Room 205 called down to the desk to ask about the proper procedure for their luggage tomorrow. I explained that if they leave the bags packed and ready in their room then the porter will come up to the room, take their bags down to the lobby and then to the ferry dock whenever they are ready to depart the island. Mrs. 205 seemed very taken aback by this for some reason and said that her husband would rather take his own luggage "down" (but the porter could take her suitcases). I asked if she meant down to the ferry dock or the lobby. She said, "Down to the first floor." I told her that her husband was more than welcome to bring his own luggage down and that our porters would store it in the lobby. Mrs. 205 asked brusquely, "Well what's the lobby?" In as unpatronizing a tone as possible I said, "It's the entrance to the hotel where you checked in." This is not the Bellagio, lady. There are not multiple entrances and lobbies. There is only one lobby/guest entrance into the hotel unless you come through the dining room and even then you have to walk through a short hallway of rooms until you arrive at what is very clearly a "lobby" or "lounge."

Mrs. 205 then asked where her husband should place his luggage in the lobby. I explained that our porters would take care of sorting it. Big mistake. I should not have used the word "sort" (I'll add it to the list) because Mrs. 205 then said, "WHAT do you mean by "sort"?!" I explained that we are booked to capacity tomorrow and that we would be storing the luggage of the arrivals as well as the departures and that the porters had a "system" so as not to get any bags confused. Mrs. 205 still seemed put-off by all of this, but she decided to give up the fight for the night.

I sincerely pity the morning clerks who will get to deal with all this mayhem tomorrow.

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