room service, it’s the little things that hurt
Good morning sir how are you sir did you have a good trip sir, and they open the taxi door and take your bags away and here’s another of them at the hotel doors – good morning sir – even more at the front desk. Everybody here is your obedient friend. Family almost.
Feel the love.
So happy to see you – overjoyed. Welcome back sir. Such lovely smiles. Here is care for the travelling man, comfort. The lush life.
Five Star. Sydney. A Palace.
Then they give you the plastic for room 1627. A Terrace Suite. $600 a night – no extras, and in the grimy depths of a dripping basement room a small thin man with only one good leg looks up at his wall of room numbers and marks room 1627 for attribution. He then presses a deep one-pitch bell that alerts both kitchen and room staff. His chosen ones.
Maurice is the attributor. Room 1627 his target.
Fifteen years ago, as Bell Captain, he was bumped over by a Bently in the forecourt – the passenger was booked into 1627. Now Maurice lives deep in the bowels of the hotel and runs his network of disaffected employees. He plots. They obey.
You are Mr. James, first name Eddie, and tonight the in-dining menu doesn’t look attractive – perhaps a toasted sandwich and some potato chips. You make the call. It’s been a long day.
‘I’ll have to ask the chef, ‘ the girl on the phone says ! ‘ Off-menu items need executive approval.’
Fifteen minutes later the snack is delivered to 1627, two toasted cheese sandwiches – soft and cold, and one small bowl of warm potato chips coved in a thick layer of salt.
$73.00, including the $8.00 delivery charge charge.
Eddie rings room service and asks that the entire trolly be sent back, then he asks for a club sandwich, $37.50, including an $8.00 delivery charge.
The same girl who departed with the toasted cheese trolley returns with the club sandwich, and only the club sandwich. On a plate.
No knife, no fork, no salt no pepper, no sauce. Nobody has a mouth big enough to bite on one of these babies.
Eddie eats, it’s late – and before retiring for the night he fills in a breakfast order. Toast, butter, jams and a small jug of milk, this he underlines, the milk. Hotels only have aromatic tea blends, Eddie is Ceylon tea drinker. He always brings his own tea- bags.
Delivery between 7.00 and 7.15 precisely please. Underlined again. like this
The phone rings at 6.30 am, precisely, and it startles Eddie awake – ‘ Would you like milk with your order sir? He is asked.
After confirming the matter about the milk Eddie takes his shower, it is 6.47 am.
At 6.48 precisely the doorbell sounds and breakfast is here. Surprise..!!?
Eddie vacates the shower, grabs a towel, forgets his teeth and answers the door – where he greets young Jaasmine, beautiful young Jaasmine – with a big gumbo smile.
– and she has no milk.
Later that evening Eddie returns from the city, tired and ready for a cup of tea before dinner. He has purchased some milk and after boiling the kettle he finds that his tea-bags cannot be found, house-keeping has confiscated them.
Two hours before vacating his room Eddie receives an echoing call from ‘a food and beverage manager’.
The gentleman apologises grandly for the missing milk, the one with the underline – he thought that amusing – and inexplicably in the background, .. the sound of dripping water.