Archive for June, 2009

the end of an era

Posted in about work, hookers, tweakers on June 27, 2009 by sarafist

When I came in to work on Friday, the lobby computer was gone, desk and all. Adrienne told me that we’d gotten so many complaints about it that it was either fix/replace it or take it out completely—and Mike’s too cheap to fix/replace it. Though it had slowly deteriorated, it was also a major fixture in our lobby. Guests would check their airline reservations on it, or sometimes look up directions. Local guests would look for jobs or apartments, and tweakers would troll Craigslist for free stuff they could pick up, then sell somewhere. And the prostitutes! Oh, how they loved the computer! They would come down every few hours and post ads under Adult Services on Craigslist, and I would sit at my desk spell-checking for them. “How do you spell sensual? Voluptuous? What’s another word for sexy?” On a few memorable occasions, I even had to help the less technologically-advanced ladies upload pictures for their ads. Of course, CL changing their Erotic (now Adult) systems also made an impact on the working girls of SE Portland, but the removal of that bastion of prostitution from our lobby could prove a death knell for some aspects of our business. Then again, everyone and their mother has a laptop these days, and as long as we still have free Wi-Fi ….

But I’m sure I’ll miss the company.


i know

Posted in crazies, tweakers on June 24, 2009 by sarafist

There’s this weird tweaker guy who comes in once in a while to use the phone. As far as I know, he’s never stayed here, but he has a real sense of entitlement going with our lobby phone; he just walks in and starts using it, with a casual, “Mind if I use your phone?” tossed over his shoulder. He’s very polite about it, just in an offhand manner. I was rather bemused once to see him sit down and apparently balance his checkbook on day. He has a much weirder friend who follows him around; this second gentleman rarely speaks other than to say “Hi!”, but he stares at me. A lot.

Today the two came in, Weirder trailing the other by a few minutes. While his friend used the phone, Weirder came up to the desk and struck up a conversation with me.

Hi! Been a while!
How’ve you been?
Are you a Taurus?
I know what you are. [Significant stare and pause.] I know.
You’re a Scorpio! Aren’t you? Are you?
Scorpios are cool. They’re nice.
I always know, I get it on the first try.
Or the second, you know.
On the second or third try, definitely.
You know!
You look like a Taurus. They have a look, you know.
They like water signs. You like Pisces? They’re tight.
Pisces are tight, tight with the money. You know!
Not Leos, man. Leos spend.
My dad was a Leo, and he’s a real spendthrift.
Always staying in fancy hotels and going to California, to Disneyland.
We stay at the lol-iday inn up in Seattle, you know.
When we go to the races.
We go to the lol-iday inn a lot! You know!
You’ve seen us!
We helped with the one out at Troutdale. We did the renovation.
Sean fixed the doors, the ones that’d been kicked in.
I carried mattresses. They had a whole trailer of mattresses.
All on a trailer. A whole trailer or mattresses.
They were heavy, you know.
Lot of work.
But I got stronger!
Okay if we use your phone again?
We might come back to use your phone again.
You see us!
You know!
See you around!
What days do you work?
We’ll see you!
You know we come tot he lol-iday inn! We stay at lol-iday inn!
You know!
See you around!

I thought it would never end.

You know.

there’s some hoz in this house, if you see ’em point ’em out

Posted in co-workers, hookers, logbook on June 18, 2009 by sarafist

Note in our logbook from last night:

Wallace, please keep hoz in their rooms! I had multiple complaints today about girls working out of here around 3am this morning. It’s embarrassing, kick them out if it gets bad.

ingalls redux

Posted in cops, criminals on June 14, 2009 by sarafist

It was a nice, quiet Sunday morning. When I arrived at work, Wallace informed me that the place had been jumping all night, even till 5am. There wasn’t a lot of traffic going in and out, but people were out and about, smoking, walking their dogs, running to the Sevvie for sodas–whatever. As a consequence, my morning started slowly. Then I got a call.

“This is Officer Singer. Are you folk missing a any TVs?”

I thought for a moment. I was sure that we hadn’t been missing any, because if one had disappeared, I would have heard about it. So I told the officer that, and also that if one were missing, it would have happened last night. But I also told him that I’d check with my boss to make sure, got the officer’s number, and promised to call or have someone else call him right back. Predictably, Mike freaked out when I passed the message along, and immediately called the officer back himself.

Mike called me back a few minutes later, and told me to have the head housekeeper check all the empty rooms in the back building to make sure that no TVs were missing, and that they were all the right kind. You see, lol-iday inn corporate wants us all to follow a new model, and is having us slowly upgrade. One of the first changes was to install flatscreen TVs in the back building–and that’s the kind of TV the officer was inquiring about.All our TVs are marked in several places with our name and phone number, making them hard to pawn.

I returned to the desk to do my duty, and Mike arrived a few minutes later, then called from the back building to tell me that someone had broken into 131, used it, trashed it, and taken the TV. Officer Singer pulled in a few minutes later, and then Mike called me to come talk to the officer. While we waited for the officer to finish taking notes in the room, Mike nudged me toward the cruiser. “Go on,” he urged. “Look, and see if you know him.”

“Uh, no,” I replied uneasily, vaguely creeped out at looking into the cruiser’s occupied backseat. We joined the officer at 131’s door, and he asked me a few questions about the room, then asked whether I recognized the name John Ingalls. My mind went momentarily blank, and then it came to me. “That’s the dude who stole our mail!”

“O rly?” said the officer.

“Yeah, we kicked them out of here a couple of times. I kicked his wife out with a fake ID, too.”

“Can you verify that that’s him in the car?” the officer asked me.

I hemmed and hawed for a minute. “It’s creepy!”

“It’s cool,” he told me. “You’re fine.”

I edged over to the cruiser and peeped over the lowered rear window at the occupant. There sat John Ingalls, sullen and bleary-eyed. “Hey there,” I said, and turned back to the officer. “Yeah. That’s him.”

“Do you think you could find those incidents on your video?” the officer inquired.

“Sure, I’ll go look that up now,” I said, and returned to the office. I tracked down the dates and times for the video, and handed them off to the officer. Apparently, I then missed some excitement, as a guest came in and informed me that the officer was yelling at someone in the parking lot. Damn.

Eventually, the officer drove off, and Mike gave me some information for calling the DA Monday morning in order to press charges. A very polite gentleman from Forensics came by a little while later to check the scene, and the excitement was over.

Well played, Ingalls.

a new record

Posted in dirty needles, junkies on June 13, 2009 by sarafist

When I went in this morning, Wallace said he was sticking around for a few minutes to fix 206’s toilet. Apparently, they had checked in at 1am, and then had to move a little later because the toilet wasn’t flushing, and there was something in the tank.

When Wallace returned to the desk a little while later, he reported that he had found a couple of plastic bags filled with dirty needles; he counted thirty-two before giving up in disgust.

Very classy.

one i hadn’t heard before

Posted in nice people on June 12, 2009 by sarafist

“If I had a swing like that in my backyard, I’d never leave home!”  — a gentleman guest to me while following me to the laundry room for the iron and ironing board.

Thank you!

help ME to help YOU

Posted in calls, phone calls, stupidity on June 5, 2009 by sarafist

I got a call asking whether we had any vacancies (not uncommon during the Rose Festival, even in this dreadful economy). I told them we did, the phonse was passed around, and then I set up a reservation for  a young woman. Since it was 9:45pm, I told her that I could only hold it for fifteen minutes unless she used a credit or debit card to guarantee the reservation, and then asked how long it would be before she arrived.

Caller: I don’t know.
Schatzi: Are you coming now?
Caller: Yes.
Schatzi: And how long will it take you to get here?
Caller: I don’t know.
Schatzi: Where are you coming from?
Caller: Portland.
Schatzi: Where in Portland?
Caller: The lol-iday inn in Portland. They’re sold out. [A-ha! Something slightly useful!]
Schatzi: There are like, six lol-iday inns in Portland; which one are you at? [Hint: Ask the clerk, since you’re there.]
Caller: Southeast.
Schatzi: There are three in SE, can you ask the clerk what street you’re on? [Had to throw her a bone since she was not picking up on this herself.]
Caller: Uh, Powell.
Schatzi: Great, you’ll be here in about fifteen minutes. Do you need directions?

Really, if she had tried to be helpful or active in the least, that would have been a two sentence conversation.