I'll Find Something Wrong With This Place, Dammit!

Some people have this overwhelming need to complain about something. If there is nothing to complain about, they will find something! One couple stayed with us this week that seemed to be digging for something. Anything!

When they came in for breakfast, there was a table that was empty. A table for two. They immediately asked me, "Where are we supposed to sit?" Well how about this table here? You know, the empty table that you are standing right next to?? "Oh, ok. But this table has no silverware on it." Well the silverware is right next to the dishes. Help yourself to everything, and let us know if you want any waffles. They both ordered waffles. One with cinnamon and strawberries, no powdered sugar, sugar free syrup, the other was chocolate chips and powdered sugar, regular syrup. I felt as though they were trying to confuse me, so I would slip up and whalla, they'd have their complaint! But no, I was determined to get things right!

This particular couple was always looking around. Almost seeming to look for something that they could find that was wrong. But they found nothing. Which seemed very frustrating for them.

They were here for two days and upon check out they finally found something that they just had to complain about. "It was all very nice here, but I do have one complaint. You have a sign in the bathroom to conserve energy and water we should hang our towels up or put them on the floor if we want them replaced. But you only have two hooks on the wall. You should really think of installing more hooks if you'd like us to conserve energy." Well, we do have those two on the wall and another behind the door and another one next to the mirror. So that makes four hooks (for your TWO towels). But even telling him there were four hooks in the bathroom wasn't good enough. "I think you should really consider adding more hooks. It just doesn't seem to be enough."

As I stood there with my deer in the headlights look on my face, George jumped in, "Oh, ok, thank you so much for the suggestion. We will look into installing more hooks," he said with a smile forced upon his face. He's always so much better at these things than me. I think he was afraid that I might have continued asking, Why is four hooks not enough? What are you hanging in there? Your laundry? And how about the towel bar that the bath mat is hung on? That's like another long hook and how about the whole shower curtain rod, I bet three towels can go across that whole rod. 

As he walked out the door, George and I just looked at each other, shaking our heads. He dug and he dug and he found something he needed to tell us about. I am sure he was very pleased with himself. I'm sure at some point these words were spoken on the car ride home, "It was nice, but they needed more hooks." And with that, I'm sure they grinned, nodded their heads in unison... Their job was done.

You Called Us What???

What a fantastic couple of days. So many people were checking in and checking out commenting on our Trip Advisor reviews. "You really lived up to your reviews," "Everything we read about you was right." Etc.  I could listen to praise of our place all day long. But alas, that all came to a screeching halt at about 6 pm.

As they walked in, I felt an icy cold breeze brush across my skin. The husband's first words were the ultimate, all time dreaded words that I hate to hear. "Oh... you're... just a motel," as he looked around the lobby. What do you mean we are just a motel?? Really?? Does a motel feel like you are walking into someones living room?? Does a motel take so much care and effort in trying to make you feel like you are staying with a friend?? Does a motel give you such a nice breakfast??

Of course, I said none of that. I bit my tongue and said absolutely nothing. More afraid of not being able to stop once I started my diatribe.

I checked them in and off they went to their room. Of course, I knew it was only a matter of time before the lobby phone rang with some sort of problem. Oh, there it was. Earlier than expected. They were only in their room 7.6 seconds when the phone rang. "The TV remote doesn't work." I'll be right down. How come I knew that there would be no problem at all with the remote once I got there. As I pressed the buttons, the channels changed. "Oh, I guess I am going to have to stand in the exact spot you are standing in if I want to change channels," he said. No. Look. I can move around the room and be right where you are and it still works. See. Yes, I did say that as I walked around the room changing channels, turning the TV on and off and being a bit more dramatic than I needed to be.

As I gave him back the remote and walked out, he said to me "I hope I don't have to call you again!" Somehow I knew that was not to be. I hadn't even made it back to the lobby when the phone started ringing again. "The TV remote's not working again." Oh... my... God!!! On my way back, I swapped out remotes with another room hoping he would have better luck pressing the buttons with a different remote. As I gave him the new one, he asked me, "Where is your ice machine?" Ahhh... this was going to be a glorious 2 days. 

I'm sorry, we don't have an ice machine. But I can go get you an ice bucket. "Well I don't want it now. I want it right before I go to bed because I need to fill up my ice pack for...  blah, blah, blah," You lost me at "just a motel." 

The next morning as they walked in and I gave them a "Good Morning! Would either of you like a waffle?" I got no response or even a glance my way. They whispered to each other and without looking at me said, "Yes we will both take a waffle." I quickly made them their waffles and walked away knowing there would be no small talk. And after breakfast, no goodbye, no have a nice day, no acknowledgement of our presence.

And this was how it went for two days. Basically no acknowledgement but at least there were no more problems. I don't think they hated it here but who knows. They never officially checked out. Just got in their car and left the key in their room. Hmmm... Maybe they did hate it here. Because you know, we are... just a motel. Ugh!!

Something Is Always Breaking Down!

With 12 rooms at our inn and three rental houses, there is always something that needs to be fixed. George seems to be a master handyman when it comes to fixing any problem. It would get really expensive if we had to hire someone to come in and fix a plumbing, or electrical, or appliance problem all the time. We have even gotten pretty creative with our techniques to fix some of these things.

While George was busy at the inn, we had a appliance repair man meet me at one of the rentals to take a look at a refrigerator that wasn't cooling properly. There was a $65 diagnostic fee, so I knew I was going to have to eat that right away. I leaned against a nearby wall and half watched/half played on my cell phone. Or, that is what it looked like anyway.

The repairman took the refrigerator apart and showed me the part that needed replacing. As a woman (who seemed to be playing Words With Friends the whole time), I guess he didn't think I would be taking notes or paying too much attention to the specifics of what was wrong. "Don'tcha just love Words With Friends," I said. But instead of Words With Friends, what I was actually on was Repairclinic.com.

That part that he showed me that was $85 for the part and $220 for the labor, was only $30 on Repair Clinic. And really! I saw you Mr. Repairman!! It was 4 screws to the back panel and two screws for the defrost heater to be replaced. $220 for labor! Really?? He seemed really disappointed when I told him that I didn't want to spend $305 to fix the refrigerator at this time. He thought it was an easy sale.

I didn't feel bad, though. Sears made $65. AND they tried to screw us by tripling the price of the part and over charging us for 15 minutes of labor. Never underestimate a woman with a cell phone! You may think she is on Facebook or Words With Friends, but any subject is 5 seconds away from a google search.

A Fun Dreams Park Week!

Today's post is a little bit different than my usual curmudgeon complaint fest. Recently we had a wonderful Dreams Park team that stayed with us. Upon check-in several of them told me that they had read my blog. I always feel a little uncomfortable when the guest checks in stating that they have read some of my stories. 

With a hopeful look on my face I said, "Well I guess it didn't scare you away, since you are still checking in." They said they had their fingers crossed and that they would be really good that week. But as the week progressed it became the running joke. "Did that get us in the blog?" or "Uh, oh, come on, that's blog worthy."

We got to know this team very well and very much enjoyed having them as are guests. George even had somewhat of a bromance with one of the fathers. If we ever make it out to Texas, we are sure to look them up.

Thanks for a great week Southlake Dbats and for not making the blog! Oh, wait you just did :).


If you've ever opened the drawer of a nightstand in a hotel, you probably have noticed that there is a bible in there. When we bought the inn 8 years ago, all the nightstands came complete with these bibles. I knew the previous owner was religious so I just assumed that she put them in there. Not wanting to go to hell, I left them there, of course. A couple of years later, a man entered the lobby explaining to me that he was the official "bible guy" in the area. He was here to check and replace worn out bibles that were in the room.

Ohhhh, ok, so that's how they got in there. Every few years this bible guy comes and checks their condition. Complete with hundreds of new bibles in the trunk of his car, he goes hotel to hotel. I can't imagine the person that actually turns this guy down. Having gone to Catholic school as a child, I could only imagine going straight to hell. 

Which brings me to this morning. A very friendly gentlemen walked into the lobby asking about our place. After about 5 minutes of conversation, he pulled out a pamphlet. Ohhhh, of course! This is why you are here. As he hands me the pamphlet, he says, "I'd like to invite you to our group, although I know that most people will never come." I felt a little sorry about that, and I didn't even know what it was yet. He thanks me for my time and bids me a good day. I glance down at the cover, "Would you like to wake up every morning with happy, positive thoughts?" Well, yes I would, thank you! Where do I sign up? Turning the pamphlet over, I see the words Jehovah's Witness. Ohhh. Ok. I'm not really interested, so I toss the paper into the garbage. 

Maybe I should have checked that this guy was gone. He walks back into the lobby half a minute later to say, "Can I have that pamphlet back for a moment, I'd like to write our number down on it." Note to self, make sure Jehovah's Witness guy is gone before tossing literature. The heat that came over my body as I was scrambling for excuses made my menapause hot flashes feel like I was skiing in the Alps eating a York Peppermint Patty. I awkwardly glanced over to the garbage where it sat on top, and as my mind searched for possible responses, I said quickly, "My son took it in the other room, can you just write the number on this paper?" pushing the garbage slowly out of sight with my foot.

Just when I thought I was covered - with the 12 bibles on my property.
Yes, I am going to hell!


So this year's "bad" guests have been few and far between. Seems besides that one crazy guy everyone has been really nice. Early this morning after George put out breakfast he poured himself some coffee and sat down. He saw a couple of our guests walking around the property. He hadn't recognized them, but figured I was the one that checked them in. It was a beautiful morning and he thought he would tell them about a great farm road right around the corner if they wanted to continue their walk. So leaving his first cup of coffee to cool, he jumped up and went outside to greet them.

"Good Morning guys. How are you this morning?"
"Great, good morning."
"If you are looking for a place to walk, one block up, there is a beautiful farm road."
"Oh, great, that sounds nice."

They didn't seem as interested in walking as they did in engaging in conversation.
"So how long have you had this place? It's beautiful."

George went on to talk to this couple for about 15 minutes. The usual stuff... how long have we been here, what have we done to the place, what months are we open, what do we do off season, etc. Nice people. They seemed to like it here very much. 

When they were finished with their conversation. George said, "See you later" and walked away. This couple promptly walked back across the street to the neighboring motel where they were staying. While George stood there with his mouth open. 

Still mouth wide open, he walked upstairs to tell me about his WTF moment. Lol! Thank God he hadn't asked them if they were coming in for breakfast, I think they might have taken him up on it. 

One Bad Apple Doesn't Spoil The Whole Bunch!

I'm Back.....We've been open for a few weeks and I've had nothing to write about. Which is a good thing! Unless you write a blog and your readers like to hear about the crazy stuff (and not the flowers or breakfast or beautiful sunsets, you know the typical "boring" stuff). 

Here we were, on a winning streak. Almost 4 weeks and nothing but great guests. Until recently. We had a big group check in and they all were wonderful. Until one of their teammates, Mr.Wrong showed up. Right from check-in, it was one thing after another. First, the location wasn't exactly where this guest wanted to be, and made sure I knew it when he entered the lobby. After hesitantly checking in, he wanted to know where he can get some dinner. At 9:38 pm! Since 99% of the restaurants around here close at 9 pm, I thought, Oh boy, this isn't going too well. A disappointed 'hungry' guest. I've got to find this guy a restaurant. Luckily the nearest restaurant, The Rose and Kettle, serves a late night menu. Thank God! By the way, a fantastic place if you are in the area.

So off he goes to fill his belly. Things will be better with a full stomach. Right? No. Wrong! When he comes back, it is now 11 pm. I'm still at the front desk when he walks in and asks, "Was my luggage delivered?" No, I'm sorry, it wasn't. "Well, the airport said it was!" Well let me ask my husband and see if he put it away. No, I am sorry, but it wasn't delivered yet. "The airport said it was signed for!" Well maybe they delivered it to the wrong hotel. Why don't you call them. "I would, but my charger is in my suitcase and my phone is dead. Could you call the airport for me." How about you use our phone to call them, as I slowly pushed the phone towards him. Afraid to make any sudden movements around him. While he was talking to the people at the airport, I went upstairs and got an extra charger. As I was checking to see if it would fit his phone, he yelled at me "You can't keep my phone in here overnight!" No, I was giving the charger to you to take back to your room, you're welcome very much.

After about 15 more minutes of arguing with the airport, it was discovered that after losing his bag, they didn't actually deliver it anywhere yet. It was supposedly en route and they weren't sure when it would be here. I have been in this situation of lost luggage hell and sympathized with this man. I told him I would leave a note on our front door for the delivery man to bring it directly to his room. All was well, or so I thought. 

The next morning after coming into the lobby, I noticed a bag in front of one of the rooms. They had delivered the piece of luggage and left it outside his door. I went and got it and brought it inside the lobby, so as not to have people walking around it. When he walked into the lobby, I said, Great news, your bag is here. He took it, with barely a mumble, and walked out.

About an hour later, he came back in. "I'm going to need to cancel the rest of my reservation. I would like to get something closer to where my son is playing baseball." Well, I'm sorry, but we have a two week cancellation policy. And considering we are booked and we have been holding your room since November. We can try and rerent your room for you though, if you would like to leave. "Are you kidding? But I want to leave now and I need better cell phone coverage." I'm sorry, all I can do is try and rerent your room. If we hadn't held your room for the past 7 months, we could have rented it to someone else. This was not what he wanted to hear and after some pretty harsh words he stormed out. A few minutes later, he stormed back in with some last minute harsher words and drove off in a fury.

Ugh, did I really want this guy staying 6 more days? I should just give him back his money and say sayonara. About a 1/2 hour later, we got a phone call from this nice gentlemen. "You ruined my laptop! You left it out in the rain and now its ruined." What? all we did was take a DRY suitcase that was left under a roof inside the 10 ft. to the lobby, where you picked it up and brought it back to your room a 1/2 hr later. "But it's destroyed. It's broken and wet and it's your fault. What are you going to do about it?" WHAT??? you mean you don't think that if your laptop is broken, it could have been damaged by the fact that you put it in a SOFT carry-on and checked it onto an airplane. Then it was on two airplanes, then lost, then brought in the middle of the night by god knows who to be left outside your door? You don't think that maybe, just maybe, they damaged your laptop? You are blaming us for having carried it the 10 ft into our lobby. Trying to stay calm, my husband told him that it wasn't our fault and maybe he should call the airport. "I need YOU to call the airport and tell them that my laptop is damaged." What? You want us to call the airport? We don't know your flight info, etc. You should be the one calling to make the report of damage. With that he abruptly hung up. 

Three days went by and we never had to deal with Mr. Not So Nice. He never came in for breakfast or stepped foot near the lobby. Until the night of the storm. It was around 11 pm and George was asleep. I heard horrible banging on the front door. I walked downstairs in my pajamas through the dark lobby to see him standing outside the lobby door. Noooooo! What do I do? Do I run upstairs and wake up George? No. I can handle this. I knew why he was here. The cable went out with the storm.  I had called the cable company and it was out in the entire area. I opened the door a couple of inches and said, The cable is out, the company is working on it. "But I need cable and internet!!" Well, there is nothing I can do, they are working on it. "But I need it now and so does everyone else here!!!" With that, I opened the door all the way and stepped out. Why are you so mean? You are the nastiest guest we have ever had here! You can't say anything without yelling at us! Another one of our guests opened their door to see what was going on. I am shaking and my voice is raised and to be honest, looking a little crazy. Mr. Wonderful, turns to this guest and rolls his eyes, and says "Honey, all I was asking is what was going on with the cable," in his nicest voice. He smiles, shakes his head and goes back to his room and leaves me there looking like a maniac!

I go upstairs and wake George up crying, "That's it, I'm throwing him out," he says. You can't throw him out. Maybe he will just leave us alone for the rest of the stay. And even as I say it, I hope and pray that it's true. All the other rooms, his friends, were wonderful, friendly people. Even asking us to come out to their barbeque. Which my husband nicely declined. There was no way he could socialize anywhere near this guy. And none of his teammates knew what was going on. He was putting on a nice friendly face in front of them.

Well, I am a true believer in karma and someday, somewhere this guy will run into someone just like himself. In the meantime, I can only hope that the rest of our season will be made up of wonderful nice people like all the other families that were here.

Oh yeah, and he did come back one more time. But only to check out. Doesn't this guy know you can just leave the key in the room!!