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.
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.