Hotel front desk employees see it all. They see us when we stumble in from the airport looking for a bed, or when we wake up in the morning all dressed and ready to go exploring. They especially see us during the midnight hours when everybody is ready for a party. Throughout all this, the front desk staff is supposed to be nearly invisible. But if you cross them—watch out.
1. Godspeed And Good Luck
Who loves bridezilla stories? Because boy, do I have one! Buckle up: it involves shoplifting, the end of at least two relationships, a very long visit from your friendly neighborhood officers, a few evictions, and a ton of overtime for my employees. It was like we were hosting a live version of the Jerry Springer show or something.
Needless to say, there’s going to be an employee appreciation party very soon since none of them walked out on me when all the crazy stuff happened. The hotel I work at has 132 rooms and the wedding party that stayed with us last night had rented out 70 of them. But that’s not all! We also had not one, but two school sports teams in-house that were renting a combined total of 30 rooms.
Our hotel was very much bursting at the seams. Since each group wanted to be as far away from the other as possible, we had to pack regular travelers between them all. Party hardy am I right? Hindsight is 20/20, and we should have realized we were in for a storm two days ago. The bridezilla, her groom King Kong, and the wedding party of monsters all checked in then.
The men asked for one of our largest suites for a bachelor party while the women checked into another for their bachelorette party. We fully expected the men to cause a riot because they were hauling in drinks literally by the keg. We were so, so wrong. In reality, the bridezilla and her bridesmaid minions were the ones that went on a rampage.
Not only did they tally up a total of three noise complaints (the fourth one gets you evicted) and over $100 worth of pantry charges, but they actually paid a group of kids $20 each to run up and down the hallways. I can only suspect it was because they meant to use the kids as a distraction from their own roughhousing.
The employee on duty that night said a guest came down to report that they thought the room was being used to film a Girls Gone Wild video. But the sun eventually set, and I came into work for my morning shift the next day. Stupidly, I didn’t see all the red flags sailing right in front of my face. Less than 15 minutes into my shift, the bridezilla’s maid of honor came down.
She saw me standing behind the desk and wearing a nametag, so naturally, she treated me like I wasn’t a human being. After all, people who work in customer service are just robots in cheap flesh-suits, beep-boop…Anyway, she chewed me out a little bit for my employee’s “despicable behavior” last night towards herself and her friends.
I ran through my programming and said, “We’re sorry if you felt disrespected and insulted,” but I also informed her that her room had multiple noise complaints against it. “We’re very strict on our noise policy ma’am,” I told her. “You aren’t the only guests in the hotel and if you cannot be courteous to our other guests, we will kindly ask that you seek other accommodations.”
The bridezilla’s maid of honor didn’t like when I said that. She responded, “Well, it’s just my opinion, but as someone who’s a part of a wedding that brought your hotel more than 60 rooms worth of business, I think you guys should be a little more lenient with the rules for us.” Unfortunately, my sass module was not installed at the time due to a lack of sleep.
So instead of going “Minnesota nice” on her, I told her, “We’re trying to provide a consistent experience to all guests. I know you guys are throwing a party and it’s a happy time for many of you, but we cannot bend on our noise policy.” After that exchange, she handed me a list of more people who were arriving and she wanted me to assign them to specific rooms. She told me I had to make sure certain people aren’t rooming too close together. Then we got into the dirt.
Some of the incoming guests were previously linked to the existing guests, so there was drama there…but they promised to behave themselves if they didn’t have to look at each other. Now, I may just be a simple robot that cannot consume liquid beverages, but in my opinion, I don’t believe exes and drinks mix well. The maid of honor also asked for housekeeping to come up ASAP to clean their trashed room, because they were going to use it as a prep room for the wedding.
The housekeeping executive didn’t show up for another hour, and I refused to leave the desk to spend time cleaning their room. I told her she’d have to wait a bit until someone came in, to which she responded, “I really think a hotel this big should have someone always on duty for stuff like this.”
By that point, it was 9 am; basically the dawn of the second day. And would you believe it, people for the wedding were already showing up to check-in! It was just wonderful that all these people were so punctual that they came an entire six hours early, just so they wouldn’t be late! Graciously, we were not full the previous night, so I allowed them all to check into rooms as they showed up.
But do you want to know what I honestly thought? They all looked like clones of that woman from the “That’s my OPINION” gif, and I did not want to test how well my eardrums could stand up to a whole choir of sirens. The small highlight to the busy morning is that there was a professional who came in to do hair and makeup for all the kids involved in the wedding party.
She did up flowers in all the girls’ hair and they all looked freaking adorable running through the breakfast area. They were so excited to show off their new dresses to anyone who walked past them. I hoped the bridezilla wouldn’t influence those kids’ behavior too much. The rest of the morning passed by in a flash, and I’d checked in at least 40 of the 75 arrivals we had for the day.
The worker taking over the evening shift arrived and I caught her up to speed on the state of things. I even offered to stay late and help her, as I expected it to get even crazier once the wedding started. She declined and said she’d be fine. She would come to regret it—big time. At 5 o’clock, she had a line of people out the door, all of them a part of the wedding group, screaming at her because they were late for the wedding.
More than five women were demanding that she give them keys so they could change in the rooms without having to bother with trivial things like payment or signatures. She was a trooper and stood her ground, asking all of them to wait their turn to check-in. My houseman on duty even offered to help her if she signed into the second computer for him, but that small ray of hope was quickly squashed.
A mother on the third floor came down to inform us that her son had swallowed a large quantity of pool water. The pool water upset his stomach and he ended up vomiting all over the elevator and third floor. That was the very same floor that the wedding party was assigned to, so he had to go deal with that. Once that rush was over, all was quiet for a few, peaceful hours.
Then, it was time for the shuttle to pick them up. Weddings usually all follow the same pattern: they ask for shuttle service from 8 pm until 1 am and are happy to pay our outlandish fee for the private use of the shuttle. Then, no one bothers to use it until 11 pm; at which point the drinks make them view the shuttle as a clown car and they all believe they’ve joined the circus.
Tonight followed that same pattern with only one exception. At 8:30, the driver had a single woman ride it back to the hotel, sobbing her eyes out. She told him that she saw her fiancé making out with her cousin behind the reception hall and she couldn’t believe it. He tried to offer her comforting words on the way back, but I was told it was an all-around awkward 15-minute ride.
When she got back to the hotel, she demanded the front desk employee take her car off the file and make her ex-fiancé pay. We didn’t do what she asked because we needed him to come down himself and slide his card. The chances of that happening were slim to none. As my shuttle driver was busy acting as the Ronald McDonald clown bus, stuffing close to triple the proper capacity into it (since not a single one of them bothered listening to him), a whole other nightmare was happening in the hotel.
Remember those sports teams that I mentioned earlier? One of the two teams had rented out a conference room to have a pizza party in. They were informed several times that they only had the room from 5 pm until 9 pm, so after the children stuffed themselves full of pizza, they ran off to use the swimming pool.
As I’m sure you’re all aware, global law states that if you’re at a hotel for your kids’ sporting event, you are allowed to get completely wasted. And I mean absolutely gone. At that point, the hotel staff is supposed to babysit your gremlins so you can party like you’re 21 again. Isn’t that swell? Our houseman was trying to get the kids to behave themselves and stay quiet in the pool, while the front desk was threatening to evict the parents.
It was 10:30 pm at that point and “Party in The USA” by Miley Cyrus was being blasted from the conference room, so we had to kick them out. Meanwhile, the one, singular mother who was actually being responsible stopped by the desk with about 20 bottles of Diet Coke and her son. Apparently, our vending machine had broken on the second floor.
She said that her son put in the money, and then proceeded to press the button a hundred times while waiting for his soda. He must have had the strategy guide for that vending machine downloaded to his phone because he knew just the right amount of times to push the buttons so that the machine would continue spitting out pops.
The son did it about two more times before the mother realized he shouldn’t have been able to buy 20 pops with only $5. She forced him to bring them all down to the desk and apologize for taking them. In the meanwhile, the other parents back in the conference room had been waving off the front desk’s threats until we finally get a lucky break. The night audit came in a half-hour early because the weather was bad and she didn’t want to be late.
My night auditor has plenty of years under her belt and has seen far worse. She called the authorities within seconds of walking in and informed the sports parents that she was doing so. When officers arrived, the parents had all belligerently returned to their rooms, and the evening shift was able to go home after that stressful day of work. But that’s when the real fun started!
The officers got called away only a few minutes after arriving, but we knew exactly where they went after that. They actually got called to the reception hall where the wedding was being held! Apparently, they needed to shut down the bar because the parents were buying drinks for the kids who were underage. Plus, one of the kids who was drinking became heavily intoxicated, took the keys to his mother’s car from her purse, and crashed it into another car in the parking lot.
The kid was fine but he probably suffered a wicked hangover this morning. The reception hall had called the officers to kick them all out, and that’s when they became our problem again. See, the driver, who should have still had pick-ups at 12, 12:30, and 1, now had to pick them all up at 12. There were at least 35 people cramming into the bus.
Each of them was holding a glass with at least half a pint of liquid in it. That’s when the driver put his foot down. He turned off the shuttle and told them they weren’t allowed to have open beverages while in the vehicle and that he would not drive them back until they all disposed of them. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well. None of them listened to him and just berated him to bring them back because it was cold.
One of the officers on site came over and told the driver that they’d be willing to escort him back and would overlook the many passengers and their drinks, just so they could get the people inside. When the shuttle and the entourage showed up at the hotel a half-hour later, it was like unleashing Pandora’s Box upon the building.
Four officers even stayed around to help the night audit deal with all of the disorderly people because there were a lot of complaints. The first complaint came from someone on the first floor—apparently, someone was attempting to do an amateur remake of 50 Shades of Grey and was not being subtle about it.
Then there was the screaming, yelling, and breaking of lamps. Remember that cousin who broke up someone’s relationship earlier? Well, she apparently had a fiancé of her own. And while she was doing the nasty with that other man, her fiancé walked in on them. It didn’t end well, and we had to evict all three of them. Keep reading…
Meanwhile on the third floor, Girls Gone Wild had resumed in full force. The night audit went up with one of the officers to tell the group that they were receiving their final warning before their eviction. While she was doing so, a man in the room across the hall opened his door to yell at the night audit.
His exact words were: “Why are you dragging me out of bed? Do something about this noise!” Before the officer could say anything, the night audit spun on him and said, “You got out of the bed of your own volition, sir! We’re dealing with the situation.” It was all the same song and dance for the next few hours.
When more people called in to complain, the audit and officers dealt with it. Apparently, the officers were having a slow night and two of them stayed until the night audit was done since she didn’t feel safe on her own. My houseman stayed until 3 am to clean the hallways because they were trashed with a capital ‘T.’
We don’t know what 310 was doing in their room at 4 in the morning, but 210 swore all the way to Sunday that they were practicing an Irish gig. But the crazy thing is that when the audit got up to the room, the entire floor was silent. Towards the end of the evening, a man came down to our pantry, took an arm full of random items, and started walking away.
The officers watched him bewilderingly and the night audit called out, asking the man if he would like to charge his items to his room. The man must have actually been three deer in a trench coat because he sprinted off the second she asked. An officer caught him, but he was so out of it that our night audit took pity and said that we wouldn’t press charges. She asked the officer to just escort him back to his room.
Today, I came in at 7 am and was brought the speed. I gotta say, seeing an officer standing around at the front desk did not do my heart any good. The morning was quiet…too quiet. And then, I heard it—the heavy stomps down the staircase; the screaming agony of a stomach demanding food; the bridezilla descending into the lobby with a hunger.
A hunger that could only be satiated by screaming at me. So I just took it, listening to her scream and demand that everyone in her party be refunded. All 70 rooms. She couldn’t believe that we had the audacity to call the authorities on her friends and family. “It’s a wedding!” She shouted over and over. “We’re supposed to have fun, not be treated like a bunch of dogs!”
I really didn’t want to deal with her, so I told her: “Ma’am, you must keep it down, or else I will have to call the officers back. Our employees were verbally threatened by some of your guests last night and did not feel safe.” I wanted to say that if they didn’t want to be treated like dogs, they shouldn’t act like dogs, but I felt that may be a little too unprofessional.
Finally, the wedding party began to check out…but not before they trashed breakfast. There was food dropped, coffee spilled, and my two breakfast attendants swear it was done on purpose. When they were cleaning up some spilled coffee, a bridesmaid knocked over another cup of coffee, and they all snickered at them. What is this, Mean Girls 2?
And that is my tale of the bridezilla. I’ve already gotten two emails from our guest relations department saying that there have been complaints opened up against us, but they’re both from members of the wedding party, so all I have to do is submit a copy of the police report and I think we’ll be good.
I pray that all of you will never have to deal with bridezillas of your own. And if you do, Godspeed and good luck.