Sunday, April 22, 2007


(Composed at various points over the last few days, the actual story takes place during the night spanning 4-20-2007 and 4-21-2007)

It's 3:20, and I have some time to write as things spin. It's been a really long night tonight. The mayhem starts at around midnight. I've heavily caffeinated myself because I got up early to go raiding, and the consequence of caffination is urination. I had staved it off for as long as seemed safe, and after finishing a fold I grabbed the phone and headed out.

I remembered that my keys were on the table just in time to slam into the laundry room door just as it closed and locked itself. I spent a few minutes pulling at the door and swearing, but soon regained some measure of composure. I sifted through the housekeeping carts (They're moved outside to free up space in the laundry room) and I found some thirty odd unlabeled card keys soaking in a cocktail of soaps and cleaners. I also found eight cans of miler lite left in a twelve pack. I would love to say this surprised me, but if the things left in the laundry room are any indicator then being a housekeeper has a two drink minimum.

I washed off the keys and tried them all in the laundry room door. I also tried them all in the main office door, the break room door, the vending and guest laundry room door, and the door of room 162 which I knew had nobody in it. I also tried using them to pick the non-card-key door to the main office, but they didn't prove any more effective at that then on the other doors.

For a while I sat and thank. I'm coming in again tomorrow, so worst care scenario I'm stuck outside until 7 and I have to do a lot of laundry tomorrow. As long as I don't freeze to death I should be fine. Time passes and I invent a worse case scenario. What if someone shows up trying to check in. "I'm sorry sir, but the staff has locked themselves out of the office so I can't give solace to you weary traveler arriving in the middle of the night."

Another twenty minutes of fruitless attempts at prying the door and it happens. I greet the tired looking couple and try to be both professional and apologetic. Courtesy quickly yields to action and I call 911 on the guest's cell phone.

I had spent a lot of my locked out time thinking about that. Could you call the police for something this minor? It seems like they'd have better things to do on the night of 420. I decided eventually that it was worth a shot, but I had locked my cell phone in the laundry room, the night phone was either dead or broken, and the courtesy phone can't make out calls. I was completely ex-communicado.

The guests retreat to their car, and I sit by the door profoundly embarrassed waiting for the police. Response time in Bellevue is surprisingly fast. There's a biter witticism in there, but I kind of owe them so for now that's a statement of praise and not economic class injustice. The officer arrives, we talk for a second, and I'm told that he can't do anything about it

Well Damn.

He proposes calling a 24 hour locksmith. I betray my fiscal hesitance by asking about the rate a few times too many, but in the end I know that something has to be done and that it's my fault anyway. The Officer places the call into his shoulder mounted radio, and rolls off. I return to my spot by the door, this time fretting the loss of my money instead of the loss of my dignity.

I spend about twenty minutes in mixed anticipation and dread awaiting the arrival of the locksmith. I'm dumbstruck when a firetruck rolls slowly up the hill. It stops near the office, nobody comes out and for a few moments it's just me and the massive rumbling machine. Two firefighters emerge, they greet me with enthusiasm I'm not used to seeing at this hour of the night, and then use an incredibly intricate key to open a small safe attached to the wall not far from the door. I had wondered what that little black thing was. Out come two master keys and three master card keys. "So that's all you need?" he asks jovially. I offer profuse thanks and quickly shuffle the guests off to their room. After that I waste a few moments pondering. Do you get charged for using the firemen? Taxes pay for firefighters right? I gave them my name and a hotel business card; will they bill me? Should I have tipped them maybe? Nobody tells you the social rules for dealing with firemen.

I snap from my musings and return to business. I file the registration form away, then unlock both doors, grab two master keys, and head back to work some two and one half hours behind schedule.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to thank the cop that called the firemen instead of the locksmith. ($75 to answer the call, then charges begin to add on.)

7:17 AM  

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