Monday, April 20, 2009

Best Shift Ever

When a celebrity VIP is staying at a hotel, it is key for the staff to acknowledge their status without annoying them with typical fan like needs. It is a fine line between not asking for autographs, but making very clear that you know who they are. On the other end, you never want to meet a celeb that doesn't live up to the level that you want them to be. I was lucky. Last week I met one of the few big stars that I was actually star struck to meet. Ace Merill was the tough greaser I was afraid to meet in junior high, David was the vampire that was the the only villain that Joel Schumacher ever made scary, and Jack Bauer is the only conservative hero that I ever cheered for. I am proud to say I have met Kiefer Sutherland.

This is my story.

[phone rings]
Me: Thank you for calling the front desk, how may I help you?
Kiefer: Chloe? Is that you? Thank God you're all right.
Me: What? This is the front desk. Can I help you with something?
Kiefer: Listen to me very carefully. I need a vodka cranberry sent up to my room right away.
Me: I'm sorry, Mr. Sutherland, the bar closed at 12:30.
Kiefer: [shouting] Dammit! You have no idea how far I'm willing to go to acquire your cooperation.
Me: Sorry, sir. You could always try the Irish pub across the street.
Kiefer: Fine. Get a CTU helicopter here in 5 minutes.
Me: Uh, I can turn on the cab light for you.
Kiefer: Do it! [click]

[phone rings]
Me: Front desk, may I help you?
Kiefer: Chloe, I need the access code to get into the adult movies.
Me: My name is not Chloe, sir.
Kiefer: [shouting] I need those codes now!
Me: Ok, Kiefer. It will take me a few seconds to pull them up.
Kiefer: You are going to tell me everything I want to know or I swear to God I will hurt you before I kill you, and no one will be able to stop me.
Me: All right, all right. Geez. [furious typing] Ok, got em. First find the remote.
Kiefer: Got it.
Me: Press power, then the A button. Now press the A button again.
Kiefer: [shouting] Hurry! I'm running out of time!
Me: Now you just scroll down and pick which one you want.
Kiefer: Oh, good. I got one. Thanks! [click]

[phone rings]
Me: Good morning, this is the front desk. How may I help you?
Kiefer: [angry] How long have you been playing me?
Me: What? Is there something wrong?
Kiefer: Someone, not me, has clogged the toilet.
Me: Sorry about that, Mr. Sutherland. I'll have Glen the engineer come up and fix that for you right away.
Kiefer: No! Not Glen. He is no longer to be trusted.
Me: What? I've been working with him for years.
Kiefer: No! He has been undermining our mission from the start. I need you to come up and do it.
Me: [uncomfortable] I'm sorry, I really should stay here and mind the desk. You know, for national security….things.
Kiefer: That's the problem with people like you. You want results, but you never want to get your hands dirty. I'd start rolling up your sleeves.
Me: Not going to happen, Kiefer.
Kiefer: Fine, I'll do it myself.[click]

[phone rings]
Me: Front desk, may I…
Kiefer: [almost whispering] Listen to me, I have a hostile in the room next to mine. I believe it is a terrorist, maybe 14 months old. He is crying loudly and keeping me up. Can you give me identification?
Me: Oh, that must be the Watson's baby. Sorry, there's not much I can do from here.
Kiefer: I used to be in the military. Used to do field work for the CIA. I've been to some horrible places. I've seen some pretty terrible things. I don't think I've ever been this scared in my whole life.
Me: Well, I'm sure Mrs. Watson will quiet him down soon.
Kiefer: [still whispering] I'm going in.
Me: Wait, Kiefer! No!
[gunshots and screaming heard over the dropped phone]
Me: Kiefer? Hello? Kiefer, are you there?

[phone rings]
Me: Yes, Mr. Sutherland?
Kiefer: Tell me where the phone book is or I will kill your son!
Me: Did you check the closet?
Kiefer: The closet? No. Hold on. [brief wait] Never mind. Found it. [click]

[phone rings]
Me: Yes, Mr. Sutherland?
Kiefer: Chloe, I need you to send up a luggage cart and change for a twenty to take a train to Midway.
Me: I'm afraid I can't do that, Mr. Sutherland.
Keifer: What!?
Me: I said I'm afraid I can't do that, Kiefer. I have orders not to send up a bell cart and make change for the train.
Kiefer: [shouting] What? On whose authority!?
Me: [dramatic pause] The White House, sir.

Ok, maybe that isn't exactly what happened. Maybe that was a modified blog that I posted a few years ago before Kiefer and I became best friends. The real story is almost nearly amusing which I may tell you if you email me at The full story includes Jesse James Dupree, the lead singer of Jackyl. Yes, with a Y.

Bottom line, Kiefer Sutherland and Jesse James Dupree were awesome. I may never forget when Kiefer Sutherland said I was a cool guy and Jesse James Dupree made a Groundhog Day joke. Best shift ever.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


One of the cool things about working in a hotel is meeting the occasional celebrity. Most are really cool, some are snobs, and a few smell like mustard. I rarely get starstruck, but I just met one of my favorites tonight and couldn't help being a little awed. I'll write about that experience after he checks out in about 24 hours from now. In this post I am going to talk about a celebrity who didn't like me. Shocking, I know. If it matters, this story didn't happen at the property I currently work for.

Aside from the Rocky movies, I'm not a huge boxing fan and Tommy "Hitman" Hearns was not a fan of me. If you look up his wikipedia page, you will see that he was quite the celebrated fighter during his time. I think he was there for a charity event or something. Everything was going well when I checked him and his entourage in until he asked me, "Are these rooms ahjurmin?"

".... I'm sorry, what?"

"Are these rooms ahjurmin?"

"... Again, I'm sorry. Can you repeat the question?"

"I said 'Are these rooms ahjurmin!'"

"Are the rooms a germy? No, we cleaned them before you got here."

His assistant quickly jumped in and asked, "No. He wants to know if the rooms adjoining."

"Ah! Adjoining. Yes, there is a door between the two rooms."

"What's amatta? You don't speak english or somethin?" he asked getting a few nervous chuckles from his crowd.

I am an expert mumbler myself, but I guess I don't have the excuse of getting hit in the head for a living. My buddy who was the bellman took him up to the rooms and told me that not only did he get tipped well, but they spent the elevator ride talking about punching me in the stomach. Thanks, bro.

Friday, April 10, 2009

What Made Me Think: Part II

What made me think you were committing identity theft to get a room tonight:

  1. You didn't look right. You were wearing sweatpants and have no purse or bags. You smelt and appeared not to have washed in days. I don't like to discriminate, but I have to in order to protect my place of business and my job.
  2. The guy you were with was hanging back by the revolving door. He looked like he was ready to bolt at any time.
  3. You asked me if we accept credit cards. This is a really dumb and suspicious question.
  4. You didn't ask me what the room rate is. When I offered it anyway, you could care less. You may be eccentric tycoons, but I have my doubts.
  5. You handed me a debit card and a driver's license. Normally a good sign since most shady people want to pay cash, but you didn't pull them out of a purse or wallet. You had them floating around in your sweatpants pocket.
  6. The picture on the license is close, but not close enough. If it wasn't for everything else that made me suspicious, I might not have noticed.
  7. I mentioned this and you were not offended. I asked for another form of identification and you said you don't have anything without bothering to check or even think about it. You said you just got a haircut.
  8. I said I am sorry, but I can't help you and you were OK with that. The fact that you left so quietly and without argument made me happy. It told me that you were up to no good and I am glad that I don't have to argue with you for a half hour.

I decided to call a hotel around the block to warn them you might be showing up there. The desk clerk is amused because you are standing in front of him. He is less discriminating than I am and has tried to check you in.

Unfortunately, the card has been declined.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Conditions and Opportunities

Last week we had a charming elderly French couple check in. Well, charming if not a bit racist.

The gentleman went to the concierge and requested for him to arrange a manicure for his wife. But they had a couple conditions.

1) She must not be Asian
2) She must be polite
3) She must speak English

"Sorry sir, I don't think we can arrange that. How does one out of three sound?"

Also, I have a tip for people looking for more gainful employment in these hard economic times. When you are drunkenly escorted out of a hotel at 4:30 in the morning due to noise complaints from a room party, it is not the best time to try to stop and apply for a job. Feel free to call us later at a more decent hour so we cant smell the vodka on your breath.