“I want to make a complaint!”
The receptionist turned towards the man with an hidden sigh. She’d known that this guest would be trouble from the moment she’d laid eyes on him, and it appeared that she hadn’t been wrong. What a shame.
“I’m sorry to hear that, sir,” she said. “Is something the matter with the room?”
She waited for a continuation, but none seemed forthcoming.
“May I ask what?”
“Everything! It’s too dark, and too warm. The air-conditioning isn’t working properly. There’s a crack in the ceiling, and I found a spider!”
“I’m sorry to hear that, sir. I can move you to a new room immediately, and I will personally inspect it to make sure everything is in order.”
“No? You don’t want a new room?”
The man fidgeted. “I don’t want to be a bother,” he said. “No need for you to have to do more work just because the house keeping didn’t do a proper job.”
The receptionist couldn’t recall the man making any sort of complaints about the cleanliness of the room, but she decided to keep this fact for herself.
“How generous of you, sir. In that case I will immediately send someone up to fix the air-conditioning and the light. Not to mention to kill the spider.”
“No You don’t want your room fixed?”
“Well, yes, of course I do, it’s just…”
“Well, it’s been awfully hard dealing with it all until now. I don’t like to complain, but I just couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s inhuman to ask someone to live in those sorts of conditions after they’ve spent almost two hundred dollars on a room.”
“I apologise, sir, but if you don’t want to switch room or have someone sent up to fix the faults in yours, I don’t know what else I can do.”
“Well, I just thought…”
“Well, it really is the least that this hotel could do… after everything I’ve been through…” The man trailed off, before suddenly continuing in a far more firm tone of voice. “I want some compensation.”
“Of what sort, sir?”
“I shouldn’t have to pay two hundred dollars for a room with that sort of inhuman conditions. I want half off.”
“I apologise sir, but I can’t give you half price for the room you’ve already paid for.”
The man stared at her. “But I’m complaining.”
“And I will be more than happy doing my hardest to fix the things wrong with your room. But I’m afraid I can’t give you half off because the air-conditioning isn’t working.”
“And there’s a crack in the ceiling! And a spider!”
“I understand that sir, and I will send someone up to you in just a few minutes.”
“But I don’t want it to be fixed! I just want… I just want…”
“I just don’t want to pay for that bloody room!”
Her patience finally snapping, the receptionist leaned in closer.
“Well, I’m really afraid you’re going to have to.”
Leaning back she sent him the polite smile of someone who’d spent years in the service industry. “I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused,” she said. “Please have a nice day.”
She turned towards the next costumer with a last parting smile at the complaining man.
“How can I be of assistance,” she asked the elderly lady now standing in front of her.
“I’d like to make a complaint!”
Another hidden sigh.
“I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am,” the receptionist said, her smile firmly in place.
“You certainly should be! My room hasn’t been cleaned since yesterday morning! I demand a discount of some sort!”