Travel Story, Continued

I walk into the room… and on the table, is this vase full of gorgeous orange roses!

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And a cake decorated with fresh strawberries and marbled chocolate pieces… inscribed with the message, ‘WITH BEST COMPLIMENTS’.

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On closer look, I’m even more surprised… propped up against the cake is a card bearing my name! So it is not a mistake after all!

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As if on cue, there is a knock on the door. The guy at the door introduces himself as the assistant manager of the hotel. He wants to know whether I liked the flowers and the cake. I assure him on that count. Yes, they are beautiful, but why? Why? He is honest with his answer… ‘Ma’am, the general manager saw your note and he was very angry with me. He has asked me to get your opinion reversed before you leave the hotel in a week. Ma’am, I’ll bring any colour flowers, any cake you want… you have to give me a good service comment before you leave’.

All this came pouring out in a stream. Finally when he stopped for breath, I told him nothing of that sort will be necessary… I’ll be happy to write a note appreciating the good service as long as the service is good. No flowers or cakes will be necessary for that. ‘No ma’am, I have to make sure you are happy. Otherwise, GM will be very annoyed with me. You have to write a note when you leave, ma’am’. It takes much reassurance to finally get rid of him.

And goodies keep appearing in my room on a daily basis. Flowers, fruits, chocolates…

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Gerberas in a bamboo vase…

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Big bunch of red roses…

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Red roses, white asters and yellow sprays…

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Another lovely gerbera…

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A solitary red rose, chocolates, fruits…

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Yellow roses and purple orchids, fruits, chocolates…

The march of the goodies continue through the week, increasing my discomfort with the whole situation. I can’t wait to get away from the place.

Soon, it is the weekend. A close friend of mine is visiting me, to do some sightseeing. She will go back Sunday and I’ll be leaving on Monday night. We spend the whole of Saturday checking out the historical and touristy places of the city and get back to the hotel by late evening. Too bushed to go out for dinner, we decide to go to the hotel dining room. The dinner is good, with live musical entertainment.

And it is Monday and checkout time. I can see the assistant manager hovering in the background, in case he needs to remind me of the good feedback. But he has nothing to fear; there has been no further fiascos on the service front. I’ll be writing that ‘note’ he so much wanted.

Though this is an official trip, I ask the front desk to separate the room and food expenses as I’ll be using my personal card to pay for the expenses for my friend. I get the accounts for food and it doesn’t look right. It’s way more than what I had expected. I do a mental calculation again, and yes, it is almost twice what it should be. I ask to see the individual checks. The man glances through them before handing them over to me and tells me, ‘ma’am, it is the check for the Saturday dinner’.

I zero in on that bill and see that it is a huge one… I mean really huge. A dozen or so beers, big platters of chicken and fish and plenty of desserts. Apparently the check for a large party. I look at the signature at the bottom and of course, it is not mine. I point out this little discrepancy to the front desk man.

He calls for the waiter in charge of the table, there are whispered conferences, of course joined by the assistant manager. The front desk man comes back to me with a sheepish face… ‘ma’am, there was some mistake; it was the check for another table which was accidentally placed under your account. I’ll right away prepare a new one’.

I look around for the assistant manager… he is nowhere around. Happily, I realise… I have seen the last of him! 🙂

~Ria

 

Comment (1)

  1. P K Narendran

    mmmmm, so smooth the feeling, like swimming in olive oil.
    Lovely photos, so refreshing !!!!
    pl keep them coming….
    Naren.
    ps: Since I am a part of this world, I cannot expect it to be perfect !

    Reply

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