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Blackballed…

April 6th, 2007 · 3 Comments

A few weeks back I traveled to Florida to watch some spring-training baseball. I arrived in Orlando, where I’d rented a motel room for two nights to act as “home-base.” Essentially, it just needed to be a place for me to hang my hat and night and get some sleep, as I planned to be outside for the whole day the day after I arrived. For that reason, I went cheap. I booked a room at a Super 8 motel near the airport in Orlando.

Arriving at the motel, I was decidedly unimpressed. But what more could I ask for for $40 a night? Right? Checking in was an exercise in restraint, as I was treated rather rudely by the front desk clerk. Opening the door to the room, I was greeted by a rather dank, musty smell and a run-down room. The bed was hideously uncomfortable, the television had bad reception, and the air-conditioner was extremely loud. All-in-all, it was a rather depressing place to be. But, again, $40 per night…just going to sleep here.

Since I was only going to sleep there, I decided that I would spend as little time there as possible. I rapidly changed out of my non-rev-traveling clothes and into a more-comfortable (and customary for me) shorts, t-shirt, and Tevas to go out and find a nice bite to eat. Bear with me for a bit. The following bit of information really is important to the story. Before I walked out the door, I headed to the bathroom to quickly do the #1. After flushing, I walked out the door and down to my rental car.

TGI Friday’s. Not a place I eat very often, and especially not the kind of place I eat since changing the way I eat in January (20 pounds down, btw). But since I was on a little “mini-vacation” of my own, I decided to treat myself. I had some of their fried mac-n-cheese appetizers and a nice steak-salad. More than I needed, but oh well. I followed it up with a trip to the Cold Stone Creamery that was next door. Vanilla with a peanut-butter cup crushed up in it. Yum. Calories.

I’d been out of the room for about an hour-and-a-half, and it was getting on 9:00 pm, so I started back towards the motel, stopping a convenience store to pick up a bottle of water for my room. I didn’t know there was already some water waiting for me in my room.

I opened the door and stepped into the room…onto the carpet.

SQUOOOOSH!!

Weird. Where’d the wet carpet come from? Wait, is that the toilet running? HOLY CRAP!

The toilet had overflowed into the bathroom and never shut off. After running into the bathroom to turn off the water valve under the toilet, I ran downstairs to the front desk.

“Hey. My toilet overflowed while I was out at dinner. The floor’s soaked,” I said to the attendant.

“Really? Wow. Another one. That’s more than usual for a night,” he replied as he turned back to what he was doing before I bothered him.

“Well, if you’ve got another room for me, I’d like it. The room I’m in isn’t fit for habitation at the moment.”

“We’re sold out.”

“Oh. Well how about refunding my money and I’ll head out and try to find another place to stay?” I asked politely.

“Let me send engineering up there to see if he can fix it.”

Engineering consisted of a grungy young man speaking broken English who arrived at the room as I was packing up my stuff to take it down to my car.

“Aieeee!!” he said when he saw the mess. “I feex! I feex!” he assured me as he walked out the door again, presumably to get tools and a large hair-dryer.

The next thing I know, my phone is ringing. I picked it up, figuring it’d be the front-desk clerk with details about my refund.

Nope.

“This is the hotel manager. I understand you flooded my hotel room by plugging up the toilet?”

“Excuse me?” I said, confused.

“My maintenance guy tells me the toilet is clogged and the pipe is broken underneath.” Of course, that was patently untrue.

“Well that’s incorrect. All that happened was…” I started. He interrupted me.

“Well my maintenance man said you broke the toilet and flooded the room. I want you to pack your things and vacate my motel.”

“What?? Wait just a minute!” I exclaimed. “How about you let me tell you what happened?”

“I’m not interested in being lied to. Get out of my hotel.”

“Lied to?? I haven’t lied to anyone!” He interrupted me again.

“I’m not disussing this any further with you,” he said.

“Like hell you’re not! I’m coming down to the front desk right now!” I said.

“I’m not on the hotel property.”

“Well then you’d better head this direction, because we’re going to have a discussion,” I explained.

Round and round we went on the phone. It escalated to him claiming I did some rather unusual things to my mother as he called me things like “white trash” and “scumbag” as he accused me repeatedly of vandalizing his hotel room. I maintained a very firm stance while not stooping to his level of name-calling. He threatened to call the police and have me arrested for trespassing, which would have been tough (I imagine) as I had a receipt for two paid-in-full nights. I would have welcomed a police-officer’s common-sense, actually, because attempting to discuss anything sensibly with the 400-pound motel manager with the facial-tick was going nowhere fast.

It was really almost “Seinfeldian” in the way it was playing out. “NO REFUND FOR YOU!” was essentially what he was telling me. He finally relented when I threatened to sleep on the front desk counter since I’d paid for the room and the room I paid for was unuseable.

“Fine. If it will get you out of my motel, I’ll refund your measley $80. I don’t need your low-rate rental anyhow,” he said.

Ouch. That hurt my feelings. Waah.

As he called the hotline for the travel site where I booked the stay, I overheard him telling them his side of the story. He told them that I’d vandalized his hotel room and that he was kicking me out of his motel for “insubordination.” I thought that was funny. He was talking as though his motel was an Army barracks. Or perhaps he thought of his place in the same way Captain Bligh thought of the HMS Bounty. Clearly, he didn’t understand that I’d actually have to be his subordinate for me to be insubordinate of him.

“Here’s your refund. Get out. Good luck finding another hotel room in town at 10:30 at night. They’re all full. By the way, I’ve flagged your name in the Super 8 reservation system. You’ll never stay at a Super 8 again.”

Oooooh. Blackballed from the Super 8. I feel so like a criminal now!

Half-an-hour later, I was snuggled into my clean bed at the nearly-new Quality Inn down the street. They had three rooms left for the night, and were kind enough to extend a very significant travel-industry discount when I flashed my airline I.D. Two nights for a total of $60, in a room in a newer hotel that was much cleaner with friendlier employees.

Up yours, Motel-Nazi.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aviatrix // Apr 6, 2007 at 4:42 am

    Damn, now I can’t stay at the Super-8 while pretending to be you.

  • 2 GC // Apr 8, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Clint wrote: “It’s a good thing COMPANY X doesn’t use Super 8 for overnights.”

    (Had to edit the company name out of your comment, Clint.)

  • 3 Nicolas // Jun 15, 2007 at 2:56 am

    Try motel 6:)

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