Welcome to the second in our series of articles looking at the behind-the-scenes comings and goings that people in the arts and hospitality have had to experience. If you’ve had some strange or funny experiences from behind the scenes at work, and you think it should be shared, contact us and we’ll do so.
The holiday industry shares a lot in common with other hospitality industries such as bars or restaurants, in that we see all human life. After a while there is nothing you can do or want that will shock or horrify a seasoned hospitality professional; and even if it does we won’t show it.
I’ve witnessed things that would make a priest in confessional blush, the key is we take it all in our stride and see you off with a cheery wave.
You may think your fetish to suck peanut butter off your partners big toe is a dark degenerate secret; but I’ll let you into an industry secret. As long as you don’t cover the bed sheets in peanut butter we don’t care and we certainly won’t judge. As a simple rule of thumb if you’ve paid, you don’t break anything and you’re not doing anything illegal or disturbing other guests, then you are welcome to do what you like with whomsoever you like.
We’ll discreetly ignore the fact that you’ve booked in with a different name than the one on your credit card, that your ‘wife’ has turned up in a different car and has a name that doesn’t match either of the other two names you’ve used; we may be a bit annoyed that you’re taking up two parking bays if we’re busy, however that’s as far as we go.
We call it the three monkeys principle. We won’t see, hear or mention your transgressions and odd sexual preferences and believe me the public have a lot of both. A recent survey showed a whopping majority of people use holidays for sexual experimentation.
Guests forget a lot of their belongings and leave them behind, either through neglect or embarrassment. The latter are the amusing ones. We do get normal items like t-shirts, children’s toys and dog toys, and any good hospitality business will always try and reunite you with lost property. However, don’t worry, if you forget your vibrator, handcuffs or your submissive’s collar you can rest assured we aren’t going to call you at home or email you at work and ask how would you like to pay for postage. Though after the obligatory 366 days the hand cuffs may find there way into my nephews toy box as long as they aren’t pink and fluffy.
I recall one particular check-in which did strain our three monkeys policy though.
As ever we had our morning meeting to discuss departures and arrivals. On this particular day we had a two person dome checking-in. This in itself was nothing surprising as it was a Friday and it was one of our most popular units.
Come arrival time a car pulled up with three young men inside.
Slightly perturbed but with total professionalism, we hid our confusion by skipping the part where we welcome the guests by name and instead asking what name the reservation was in so we could check their details. Sure enough the three young men were down on our sheets as a couple booked to stay in our two person dome and it only had a double bed to sleep on.
Whilst the site manager gave them a tour we quickly checked their original booking form and there it was again, 2 adults. Yet now we had three.
As we charge by room and not per person the decision was taken to say nothing and just let them all; though we were not sure how they would all fit in the one double bed.
With the booking resolved we all went to assist the little group with their luggage. As usual there were bags and cases. But then there was their very large travel dog cage complete with plastic tray and bedding; but there was no dog anywhere to be seen in their car.
As we provide bowls, toys and treats for our canine guests I snuck back into the office to now triple check we hadn’t missed a dog from the booking. No, just two adults. So I went back to assisting with their luggage. Then came their plastic bag with dog collars, leads and chew toys. At this stage we’d past the point of no return. So abiding by the three monkey principle, we duly helped the now rather giggly lads with their dog cage, handed them their carrier bag of canine accessories and bid them a pleasant stay.
Of course on this occasion I did have to break the ‘say nothing’ rule with in the team for the sake of fire safety regulations. As such I found myself the next morning sat in our office and delicately explaining to the new shift that there were in fact three men in the two man accommodation and that in the event of an emergency we might need to give that unit extra time to evacuate as the third lad may need more time to get out of his cage.
If we can cope with that and still not cause embarrassment to the guests, we can cope with anything.
The first in the series about ‘Things Humping in the Night’ is here.