Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pet Cemetary. Except NOT.

Another day at the Hotel: my new job. Front desk clerk and proud to be a part of the HGI TEAM. I wear my nametage with self-importance, and wield my all-access key card like a champ. Normally, I am in control of my actions. I take my orders, complete them, and stand waiting in the wings for a phone call, a reservation to make, or a complaint to smooth over.

Except there's something very strange today. Today - I wasn't supposed to be in today until noon, well afetr any morning checkout drama were to occur. I was supposed to be a mid-shift cover, a helping hand, not in charge of all of it. And of course - the schedule changed.

As it so often does.

And here I was, 7 am, standing behind the front desk. And a woman comes up to me and says:

"Did you know that there's a dead cat in your parking lot?"

With horror in her eyes.

I blink, confused and say, "What? No, I had no idea! I am so sorry, I'll call animal control -"

"NO." She insists, leaning against the countertop, a slightly frantic gleam to her wide eyes. "it's a kitten. It's EYES were gouged OUT."

I blink again. I almost don't understand what she wants me to do about it. "Oh no, thats horrible!" I manage, honest disgust on my face for the atrocity at hand.

"I know. You should call someone. Thats animal abuse." She nodds, affirming her own belief.
I nodd too. because I know she wants me to. Then she goes off.

Things progress. I ask if the maintenance guy could check it out, see if it looks like it was actually GOUGED or if it was picked at by birds - knowing full well that the eyes are the first thing to go when you're talking roadkill. The maintenance man assures me - some sicko probably did it. Group of jerk kids maybe. Sure. But of course. It would never JUST be roadkill.

My life isn't that simple. So I report it to the police. they say they will send over an officer to check it out.

Then we hear, (the front desk clerk covering breakfast hosting this weekend,) from the phone line. A bizarre, rappid beeping noise. As I check the digital screen, I see "911 call" pop into view and blink. And of course, while this is going on, a man who barely speaks English is trying to convince me that their breakfasts should be complementary. He and his 'coh-leez'. Or then 'coo-leegz'. Which I translate to Colleagues. Because I am apparently a genius.

I discover, after dishing out coupons for no good reason, that it was room 315 that had called 911. The lady who told us to call the police. Which, being the obedient little front desk clerk, I had already reported. And as the 911 dispatched officer strolls into the place, he gives me a sympathetic smile and goes on up to soothe the nerves of the animal rights activist.

Not to say I had no pity for the creature. It was a kitten, after all. Tiny, and skinny, and without eyes. But there's only so much I can do. And I saw nothing happening out there, so I could provide no insight to the events leading up to the feline's demise. There was no unmarked van squealing from the parking lot, masked villains chucking the battered kitten-corpse out of the sliding door. Trust me. I would have noticed.

It's my job.

So after some more phonecalls, (manager, police, manager, front office manager, manager, police (to cancel police), biohazard removal, front office manager and then manager,) I take a breather. The maintenance man and one of the busboys from breakfast go to clean up the deceased in question, and make use of the biohazard baggies supplied to us through whichever hotel supplier we got them from. Then they put the baggie in a box, and the box next to the dumpster. And there it sits.

And when I think it's all over, 315 calls down.

"Hi... is this the girl that came to talk to me before?"

I think a moment, remembering vaguely that the hostess/front desk clerk had gone up to make sure she was all right and try to reason a testimony out of 315. "No, she's actually back in the breakfast lounge, would you like me to get her?"

"No. Are you the manager? Who is the manager?"

In my mind, something twitches. "I'm afraid our General Manager is off the grounds today, is there something I can help you with, Miss.?"

She sighs. elaborately. Everyone who complains at a hotel sighs elaborately. They can't seem to help themselves. It's disgusting. Then she says, "Listen, I just want you to know... it ... well, I know it's someone in your hotel thats doing this."

As if this happened more then once. I reply with a pointed, "I'm sorry, excuse me?"

"...I mean, it had to be someone that KNEW that there were kittens in the dumpster. Right? I mean, you know what I'm saying?" She persisted.

Another something in my mind twitched. Huh. Sounds like SHE knew there were kittens in the dumpster. Isn't that strange? "...I understand miss. Would you like me to forward you to the General Manager's voicemail?"

"No, no. I'lll call ... um, after I leave."

I wait. I feel like she wants to accuse ME outright, simply because I was there. I felt as if she wanted to accuse ALL of us of participating in some horrific pagan ritual when no one was looking. Where we strapped the kitten to an iron cross, put on white hoods, chanted in latin, and ceremoniously removed the eyes. Of course, just before we put on ski masks, hi-jacked an unmarked van, and tore through the HGI parking lot.

After a moment of silence I allowed her to suffer alone, she threw something else in. Just because she felt she had to, "And don't give that guy my room number."

"...Excuse me? who?" I can't stop myself. Who is this woman talking about? The maintenance man who cleaned up the cat? The kitchen busboy that held the bag? The policeman SHE had called?

"...Just... don't give my room number to anyone else." Then she goes silent again. waiting. As if for a confession.

"...Of COURSE not." The tone is decidedly harsher then it should have been, I admit. It was... rougher. Perhaps the insult leaked in and I couldn't bat it away fast enough. Either way it was out. And then she merely told me to have a good one and got off the line.

And that was that.

Dead cats. Always causing trouble.



  1. AnonymousJune 20, 2009

    I always bring a kitten or two in my suitcase whenever I stay at a hotel. You know, for luck. But then they keep looking at me, like they want something... it goes without saying that I can't let them live.

  2. Poor kitten... :(

    Poor Oru too, for having to deal with nutters at work...