"Deal"ing with reality

Just a lil slice of life from a casino dealer's perspective.

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Location: Edgerton, Missouri, United States

I grew up in a small town, and live in small town now. Like to think I have more than a small town mind, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Expensive Habit

Nobody will deny that smoking is an expensive habit. It can be more so if you aren’t careful where you smoke. Especially if you happen to smoke in a hotel room that is non-smoking. Especially if you sign a registration form that states you will be paying a fee if you do smoke in the room. Especially if that particular fee is $100. Having that added to your hotel bill can be expensive indeed. Complaining about the additional fee afterwards is not likely to save you any money either.

I have taken many calls about the “extra charge” a former guest knows nothing about. Some people deny having smoked in the room. This despite the reek of tobacco (or other) smoke after they leave and less obvious signs like water cups full of cigarette butts or ashes on the window sill, toilet, or on one or more pieces of furniture. “But I didn’t smoke in my room, someone else must have.” How oblivious must one be to let someone into their room and miss the blaring evidence that is going to cost them.

The real interesting calls are the ones from people that deny knowing their room was non-smoking. Signs on the front door, front desk, room door, and desk in the room apparently aren’t enough to inform someone blinded by the clouds around their heads. The obvious thing then is to point out the line about not smoking in the rooms on the form the guest signed when they checked in. This is commonly followed by the guest stating they hadn’t read the form and me or another desk clerk stressing the importance of reading things before signing them.

All these discussions are a lot more interesting when it’s face to face instead of over the phone. Guests that pay cash are asked to leave a $100 deposit that is returned after the room is inspected. Keeping that deposit is not fun. Except when the guest becomes a total jerk about having smoked in the room. Then I usually need to resist the urge to smile as I keep the deposit and post new charges to their bill.

One guest tried every line. “I didn’t smoke in the room.” Despite being close to freezing outside the window had been open and an empty six pack box had been used as an ashtray and left sitting on the desk. “I didn’t know it was a non-smoking room.” He was at the right height so that his eyes were at the same level as the sign on the door. He had to move the non-smoking sign on his desk in order to set his beer there. “You didn’t tell me it was non-smoking.” Last time I checked it wasn’t part of my job to get out a bullhorn and neon sign while doing a little tap dance informing the guest that he shouldn’t smoke.


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