Worlds & Time

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Call For Reservations

So I just got a phone call as part of my job. This is what I have to deal with, day after day. Presented in psuedo-play format.

Her: I'd like to book a room for [Summer month, days, 2008].

Me: Are you with a group or a conference?

Her: Yes, I'm with [Conference]. I must have a room with 2 beds.

Me: Okay, one moment. (I look up the conference.) Alright, ma'am? I'm afraid that I don't have any more rooms available at the conference rate with 2 beds. Let me check to see if I have any outside of the conference block. (I check.) Ma'am, I do have deluxe rooms with 2 queen size beds available for the nights of the conference.

Her: Do any of those rooms face away from the street? I know that you're in downtown Santa Fe.

Me: No.

Her: No?

Me: I'm familiar with all of the rooms of that type, I know where they are in the hotel. All of them face out toward the street.

Her: Well, that's unacceptable. I want a room that doesn't face the street.

Me: Well, ma'am, (I check out the hotel. All of our deluxe rooms, suites with 2 beds, and concierge rooms with 2 beds face toward a street. We are in the middle of a city block, after all. The majority of our rooms do.) I'm sorry ma'am, but the only rooms that we have with two beds have been booked up with the conference. (This is true, all of our "traditional," i.e. cheapest rooms, have been added to the conference block. The conference block is sold out of these types of rooms. Thus, we have no more.) The only rooms that we have available have one bed in them.

Her: What do you mean? You just told me that you have rooms with two beds available? Why would the ones with 2 beds facing inside be booked for the conference?

Me: Because these rooms are deluxe rooms, they're a different type. And all of them face outward.

Her: Well, I want one of the ones that face inward.

Me: Uh, well, all of those are already sold with the conference. I don't have any more. Look, ma'am, we're downtown. It's pretty quiet at night here because there isn't much traffic. I don't think that you would have much trouble with the noise.

Her: Well, what if I wanted to take a nap in the afternoon, huh? I bet it wouldn't be quiet then!

Me: Uh, well, actually . . .

Her: What floor is that room on anyway?

Me: (I check.) They're on the second floor.

Her: Oh no, that's definitely not acceptable. I'm very sensitive to noise.

Me: Ah, okay. Well, let me check. (I do.) Well, ma'am, I don't have any rooms left with 2 beds that aren't going to be facing the street.

Her: You just told me that you did.

Me: No . . . all of those rooms have been booked up by the conference, there aren't any more left.

Her: Well, you just told me that there were rooms with 2 beds that face away from the street. And you said that you have rooms with 2 beds still.

Me: Those are different kinds of rooms, ma'am.

Her: Well, that's ridiculous.

Me: Ma'am, if you need 2 beds . . .

Her: (Interrupting.) I do. We're old friends, but we can't sleep in the same bed together.

Me: . . . Well, you could reserve two rooms, each with one bed in it.

Her: How much would that be?

Me: Well, I have the group rate available for those rooms, so they would be $230 per night . . .

Her: EACH?

Me: . . . Yes. Plus tax.

Her: I thought your rooms were $140.

Me: . . . No . . .

Her: I checked you website, and I wrote it down. Give me a second. (Papers rustle in the background.) Here it is. $160.

Me: We do sometimes have those rates during the winter, based on availability, but the nights that you are looking for are in the summer, our high season, and happen to also fall over our second busiest weekend of the year.

Her: Well, why is it so much?

Me: (Ignoring her question, sort of.) Ma'am, our rooms typically start off at around $320 per night that time of year.

Her: That's just silly. I've stayed all around Santa Fe, and I've never paid that much for a room. How big are those rooms?

Me: I don't know the answer to that question. (I probably should, but it isn't among our material. I've seen our rooms, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about square-footage to make a reasonable sounding guess.)

Her: Jesus. Are you even a real reservations person?

Me: Yes. . . . Well, ma'am, there is one other option. I just checked, and I do have one suite available that would be facing inward. That would have one king size bed and one double size sleeper sofa in the sitting room. That would be . . .

Her: No, I can't sleep on a sofa bed. They're uncomfortable.

Me: Oh. Okay.

Her: How much would that be?

Me: Suites start about $390 per night . . . (She interrupts before I can say that I could offer her the room at $330.)

Her: Well, forget it then. Well, let's just book a room for me, first. You said you have rooms with one bed facing inside, right?

Me: Yes, I could certainly put in a request for that.

Her: How much would that be?

Me: Well, that would still be at the conference rate, so that would be $230 per night, plus tax.

Her: Does that include breakfast?

Me: No, although we do have a full restaurant that serves breakfast in the morning.

Her: Well, that sucks. Do you have a pool?

Me: Yes we do. It's outdoors but it is heated and open year-round.

Her: How big is it?

Me: . . . uh . . . not that big. Not lap sized, if that's your question.

Her: Well, obviously. How big is it, say, compared to the pool at the [Other Hotel].

Me: I've never seen the pool at the [Other Hotel], so I don't know for sure. If I had to guess, I'd probably say that the pool at the [Other Hotel] is slightly bigger (based on their number of rooms compared to ours. I've since been informed that ours is bigger).

Her: You know, none of you ever have enough rooms with 2 beds in them. I'm not just talking about you, I'm talking about [local Hotel], [local Hotel], and [local Hotel] too.

Me: Well, ma'am, we have about fifty rooms with 2 beds in them. That's more than enough for tourist season.

Her: And you don't have one for me?

Me: Ma'am, this group booked 120 rooms. I currently have 93 reservations for it. That means that there are only 27 rooms left, and all of them have one bed.

Her: Well, I'll take one. And I want it to be facing inward, and I want it to be on a high floor.

Me: I'll certainly put a request in for an interior view and for a high floor.

Her: No. If all those other people could guarantee rooms with 2 beds facing in, then I want you to guarantee me a room on an upper floor facing in.

Me: Ma'am, that's not how it works . . .

Her: Obviously it is, because all those other people got promised rooms. What I want to know is why everyone else gets promised this and that, and yet you can't do the same thing for me!

Me: . . . (Waits for her to finish.) Did you want to book that room, ma'am?

Her: You know what, I'm going to have to talk with my friend. I'll call you back.

Me: Alright.

Her: . . . can't believe it, incompetent . . .

[click]

Total time: 12:36 on the phone with a crazy lady and no sale. Uhg.

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