Check-Out Time? Whenever!

Fridays are our busiest days. Not only do we normally have a lot of check-out/check-ins, but it is the turn-over day for our rental houses. It was 10 am this past Friday and I was getting ready to leave to check on our rentals. George was cleaning up breakfast and the girls had started the room cleanings. All the guests had either checked out or had gone out for the day. There were no cars in the driveway.

Around 10:45 Emily came in to tell me that I had mistakenly put Room 9 as a full-clean, but it was a refresh since the guest's things were still in the room. Oh, ok, I don't normally mess up like that, but let me just recheck that on the computer. No, that guest was supposed to check out. I went down to the room. Maybe they had packed up and ran out to get gas, were coming right back to check out and get their stuff. Yeah, that's it, I had convinced myself of that on my way down to their room. When I opened their door, nothing was packed. This was a very lived in room. There was a tip for the girls on the bureau and it looked very much like they had gone out for the day. All I could think about was that in 3 hours there would be a family arriving to check into this room. I ran to the front desk to hopefully get their cell phone number off of their reservation. But there was just a home phone - no way to contact them. George and I decided to wait about an hour or so and we would have to start packing their stuff up ourselves.

George started calling around to see if he could find them another hotel to stay at. Obviously they thought they had reserved for two nights, not one. When they got back and found we had evicted them from their room, they were not going to be happy. Oh, damn you TripAdvisor! Hopefully, they never have heard of THAT site. But they reserved their room, got a confirmation, and paid for one night!! How could they think they had two nights booked??? Did they just decide to stay another night and forget to ask if it was available for another night?? WHERE WERE THEY??????

Me, never one to panic (ok, panic is my middle name), started running around like a crazy person. I put a yellow sticky note on their door to come immediately to the office if they came back. We found a place for them to stay that night and decided we would start packing up their things around 1 pm.

Then around 12:30, the wife came walking into the lobby.
"Why did you want me to come down here?"
"Do you think you are staying another night?"
"No, we are checking out today."
Oh thank God! But then it hit me, she was very casual with her, "No, we are checking out today."
No, I didn't say that! But if you were in my head, you heard it loud and clear. What actually came out was, "Check out time was 11 am. We were so worried that you had wanted to stay another day and we had no rooms available."
"Oh no, we went hiking this morning and it was such a beautiful day that we decided to stay out longer. Then we went to the farmer' market. Sorry if we worried you."
"Well, I was more worried that you had no where to stay tonight." And that I was going to have to pack up your stuff, and wait around all day to explain to you that you were staying somewhere else, and change the locks on that door because god forbid you walk into the room that others were staying in. And then you would give us a bad review!
"Oh no, I wasn't worried."

A little while later she walked into the lobby to check-out. "I had a very nice stay, but I do want to inform you that you do not have an updated menu in your binder in the room for The Rose & Kettle restaurant and you should really update that." Are you kidding me! And you should check out on time!!!! You check out 1 1/2 hours late and I should be reprimanded for not keeping up with the changing menus of the restaurants in the area!!!!

I keep adding more and more things in the rooms or in the lobby. Along with that updated menu, you will now see a frame in the room, complete with check out hours.

A Vacation During the Summer - Unheard Of!

When we got the invitation for the Macaluso Family Reunion, at first I thought, George and Aidan would go and I would stay home and watch the inn. We've never left the inn for a long period of time in the seven years we've been open. George really wanted us all to go as a family and after talking to Emily, one of our employees, we decided that not only was she willing to take on the responsibility, she was more than capable. So what started as a one day away family reunion, ended up being a five day glorious all expenses paid Caribbean cruise! Well, not exactly, but that is how I looked at it! It was five days away from the inn. And that's all that mattered. But before we visited friends/family/and the Jersey Shore, we had to make sure everything was taken care of. First we called the local Bed & Biscuit Getaway for our dogs. (What a better name than kennel!) The owner said to George, "Oh, you're trying to get away DURING THE SEASON! That is never going to work!" Ok, that didn't make me feel better!

It was 9:30 pm on Friday and we were leaving Emily in charge Saturday morning. I was packing and writing 175 yellow sticky notes to be left around the inn. Then we got a phone call from one of our rental house guests. Now this particular rental house guest had already been stressed to the max. In all of the years that we have had rental houses, we have never, not once double booked. But this time, well, something went awry and I found out several weeks ago, that I had done it. Two separate renters/one house. Not good! 

Thank god we had our own house to fall back on because we were able to put one of the renters into our own house. Ok, good, they were happy. It wasn't a nightmare anymore. Until they arrived at the house to check in! On our property we have two houses. One is ours, a one family house and the other is our Pottery House, a two family rental house. Both have separate driveways. So here it was 9:30 pm and the couple who had originally been double booked show up at our house to check in. 

9:30 pm/Phonecall:
"Hi, Tina, we are at the house to check in. What house is it? There are two houses on the property."
"The one on the right."
"The lights are on in that one."
Did I leave the lights on when I was there earlier. I guess.
"That's ok, I must of just left them on."
"But the TV is on too."
Now I know I didn't leave that on. Oh crap!
"Can you hold on a minute?"
George, there is someone in our house. WTF! Why would there be someone in our house!!!

"Hi, I'm back again, are you sure you are at the right house? Maybe you're at our neighbors."
"There is a red wall in the living room. And the TV is on and stuff is in the living room."
Oh this is bad.
"Can you hold on a minute more?"
George what are we going to do??? You have to go over there!!! Who is in there??? 

George, always the calm in my tropical storm, says, maybe it's the other renters. Maybe they went to the wrong house. I called the renters up on their cell phone. Because of course, there was no one at our house, even though all the lights and two TV's were on! Why yes, they did move into our house, along with moving into the other house!!! After renting a 5-bedroom 2-family house, imagine their luck when they showed up at the house and found a "bonus" house on the property. The Pottery House renter said they thought, "well, now this is too good to be true. This is more space than we even need."

Even though I want so very much to be that calm, even keeled person - the crazy came out in me.
How can anyone think that they get a "bonus" house!!!
George went over there and took care of everything. But the people who had mistakenly moved in, REALLY MOVED IN. George had to reclean the entire house, while the poor double-booked couple waited in the driveway for 2 hours. 

George finally came home after midnight. Oh this was going to be a rough week. The following morning, Emily showed up at 6:30 to start taking care of things. While we packed and finished getting things ready for her, one of our guests came up to me and asked to book a room for next year. The weekend she wanted already had 11 rooms booked with the last room on hold. I told her I would let her know as soon as I found out if that room was being taken. Five minutes later her husband went up to George and asked to book that last room. George told him I had already told his wife that I would be in touch with her as soon as I found out about the room. About 20 minutes later, Emily came up to me and said that the wife had gone up to her and told her that I had said it was ok to book that last room but to talk to Emily about the booking. Are you kidding me? They were trying to sneak-book that last room! 

The following morning while we were gone, Emily called me to tell me that while she was making waffles for the guests, that particular woman came up to her to tell her that the Raisin Bran container was low. Emily looked up at it and saw that it still had 1/3 cereal in it and that it could wait. But I guess the woman was insulted that Emily did not immediately take action because she then went over to the cereal dispenser, put a bowl under it and turned the dial until all the cereal was emptied. Even though it overflowed out of the bowl and onto the table and floor. This is one of those times that I wish I was at the inn, but probably best that I wasn't. Emily's response: cleaned up the mess; George's response would have been: Excuse me, what is wrong? Can I help you with something; My response: What the F@$K! is wrong with you?? Why the hell would you do that???. Yeah, probably best I was getting my tan on at the time. Boy do I need this vacation! 

So aside from some minor repairs that our girls all took care of, everything actually went smoothly at the inn. Between phone calls and texting, we were kept abreast of all that was going on. And we felt confident that everyone was happy. And no more phone calls from any of the rental houses. It was a wonderful five days away. Maybe we can do this every month!