Sunday, July 06, 2008

An innkeeper's tizzy

As a rule of thumb, we never write about specific guests, just general incidents. This occasion the folks we are writing about did not actually stay with us so I feel a bit more freedom.

It is the 4th of July weekend and we have two rooms left for this night, both at the Guide Guys Lodge, upstairs. One room is a double bed the other two twin beds and they share a bath. The third room has its own bath. All the guests have access to the living room, dining room, kitchen and wrap around porch. It is quiet and peaceful and while only two miles from the center of Groveland, the lodge is a bit remote.

The lodge is my brother's place and he is establishing a guide business with lodging, fishing and hunting. When not in use for that purpose, we rent it out in to the Yosemite travelers that pass through. This afternoon we got a call, described the room and took the booking. The couple checked in in the late afternoon and were taken to the house. At 10:15 the same night they called and said they were disapointed and would not be staying and wanted their money back. Hmmmm. Had they been disapointed when we took them over in the afternoon we would have had all evening to rent the room to someone else...and there were oodles of inquiries, its a holiday weekend! But no, they went out and did what they did and then decided not to stay and could we rent the room to someone else? Well, 10:15 is an hour and 15 minutes after our front desk closes and we are ready to hop into bed after a long day taking care of folks.

So, unable to say no, I commit to trying for 15 minute to see if we can do it. I am given a phone number to call. I say I will let them know in the morning if I am successful or not. I am asked to call tonight. Why? Because if I don't rent it then they will take it. I should have stopped the conversation at that point. They needed to either take the room or give it up. But no...Instead I say I will try and I will call them.

As luck would have it, I sell the room within a few minutes. Take the folks over and then spend the next hour and a half trying to reach the no avail, I can't even leave a message. This is crazy, some code 1-switch-116 verizon. Perhaps they are out of the service district for their cell phone.

I try to go to bed. No luck with that either. I am imagining them walking in on the new guests that have taken over their reservation. I decide the best answer is to get up, and put a note on the door. I drive the 10 minutes and am in a tizzy when I see another car in the parking....Could it be them or does one of the other rooms have two cars....OH DANG am I too late? I quietly approach the house and stick my note to the door and return quickly to the car.

I try calling again and I have full service, all the bars on my phone are lit, we are both on verizon and I get that 1switch 116 message again. No option to even put a voice mail on the phone. Unbelievable.

People are in the house...I am sitting in the car. I have put my note on the door and am debating what to do next. One of the folks comes out of the house and waves, I wave back. He comes towards me dangling a key. Yes it IS the Canceller...I am prepared for anything except getting out of the car and seeing people. I have my pajammas on and no bra...a sight no doubt! I get out of the car and I confidently pretend I am perfectly presentable. He is very pleasant and hands me the key. They will find somewhere else to stay...Hmmm, yes, of course. I explain that I have been trying to call for an hour and a half. This doesn't phase him much.

They go back into the house. WHY??? I can't figure this out. Now I have to go in to shut the house down. They are not our renters. They do not have a key. They need to leave. Now another guests is up and talking to me about the airconditioning. This I am not prepared for and walk over to the dials. I feel very random about this and start spinning the discs, there are four of them and they mean nothing to me at this point. Ah...There we go, that should do it. He wants me to come in the room and see how cold it is. I do and it is too cold, and I am not at all properly dressed. I put the sham pillow over the floor vent hoping that perhaps this will help for the short term. I find more dials to spin as I am leaving. Hopefully one of these spinnings will reduce the air for them...

The cancellers have left, I lock the door and drive home. It is now 12:52 and I have to be up with a smile tomorrow.... and fairly early at that.

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