Archive for February, 2009

what’s the point in putting up signs when no one reads them?

Posted in stupidity on February 16, 2009 by sarafist

there are double doors to the lobby, but we keep the left one (as I face them) locked. there is a sign at eye level on the door saying, “please use other door.” despite this, I cannot count (though perhaps I should try one day) the number of people who try to walk through that door. they’ll do it on their way in, and again on their way out. sometimes they stand there, repeatedly trying to open it. we had the sign at handle level for a while, figuring that’s where people were looking, but it made no difference.

today they painted the edges of the desk. there is a large sign posted below the paint, and another sign sitting upright on top of the desk. I have already warned off four people who were just leaning on the wet paint, completely oblivious to the signs directly in front of them. the number would probably be higher, but Sunday is a very slow day here.

perhaps I’m just too scintillatingly lovely, and they’re blinded when they come in.


another one bites the dust

Posted in cops, criminals on February 13, 2009 by sarafist

It’s been a pretty quiet winter here at the lol-iday inn. Usually we have scads of people who live on the streets or in their cars all summer checking in to stay somewhere warm where they can shower, but I guess the economy’s been slowing everyone down. Even the cops have little to keep them busy lately, or so they tell me when they drop by, which is rarely.

We did have a little excitement last night, however. Actually, it all started on the first of the month. *doodle-oo doodle-oo doodle-oo* (That’s the Wayne’s World flashback sound, you know.)
A girl came in wanting a room, and she looked familiar, so I figured she’d already have a record in our computer, but none popped up. I knew she’d stayed with us a few times recently, though, so I examined her ID a bit more closely. That’s when I noticed that the font for her name and address was wrong, and there was no expiration date. And that the signature on the back was for a completely different name.

“I can’t rent to you,” I told her, handing the ID back. “This is a fake.”

“Well, that’s what they sent me when I changed from my New York license,” she replied. “I still have my paper one if you want to see.” But she made no move to give me a paper one to back up her story.

“Well, I don’t know who sent it to you, but it’s not from the DMV. It’s not legit and you’re not allowed to rent here.”

“I can’t believe his!” she exclaimed huffily, and then left.

I had a strong feeling she’d be back, however, so I left a note for all my co-workers with her description and the fake name was using. Unfortunately, I could not figure out what name she’d used previously, so I couldn’t note that as well. I also gave some impromptu lessons to a few of my co-workers on recognizing fake Oregon Ids.

Fast-forward to Wednesday night, and I was back on shift after being off since Sunday. I was sitting at the desk, doing some homework, when who should walk in wanting change for a dollar but Miss Fake ID herself! Only she’s dyed her hair this awful orange, the color of a pumpkin. (As a long-time home colorist, I recognized it as what happens when you try to dye bleached blonde hair red or auburn.) I smiled and gave her the change, then watched to see what room she returned to. 235, gotcha! Of course, she was using the name she’d previously used with us, J**** G*****, and had checked in on Sunday when I wasn’t working.

So I called the cops. Non-emergency, actually, and explained the situation, and how since they didn’t come by as often these days, I wanted to make sure someone checked her out since she was clearly not legit. A short while a later an officer I didn’t know arrived and took down all the info I gave her: the J**** G***** name and ID number and DOB, as well as the fake ID name, A***** W***-H*******. After checking things out on her car computer for a bit, she came back in with an air of suppressed excitement. “I’m pretty sure this is a girl in an identity theft case we’ve been working on for a while,” she told me. “So I’ve called the officer on that case, and he’ll be in shortly.”


Sure enough, when the new officer came in, he was soon chomping at the bit to get 235. They went up to her room, but she wasn’t there. Clearly disappointed, they returned in the office to leave their names and cell numbers, and requested that I call them as soon as she arrived back on the property—and asked me to keep it on the down low. Dir! After they left, I went up and changed the lock on 235’s door so that she would have to come into the office when she returned; that way, I could work on my paper without worrying too much about missing her. Unfortunately for me, she didn’t return until just before I went off shift. I called the officers as soon as I saw that she went up to her room and was staying there. I had to leave, so I left K with strict instructions on what to do if she left, and to tell me everything!

Well, they did indeed return to pick her up about a half hour later, and she was the girl they sought. The name she was using to rent 235 wasn’t her real name, either, the officer told me today that when they went in she protested, “But I’m J**** G*****!” but dropped the act immediately, admitting, “I’m really S**** M****,” when they told her they knew everything. They had a mile-long list of names she’d been using, some stolen, others invented. And she’d been passing fake checks and using stolen credit cards all over PDX;’ the officer advised me that she has a “mess of warrants” and would “be away for a really long time” and that she was “really bad news.” They thanked me for being so “on the ball,” too. Awwww.
But as I told A, the best part was how she was totally thinking to herself, “I showed that bitch who wouldn’t let me rent here!”And then she went down. Ha-ha! Vindication!