Bad guests won't be back - and that's fine by us

COMMENT

Sometimes we know we're in for trouble even before a guest arrives at our motel.

It might be the myriad questions they ask, it might be the tone of their email, it might be the list of special requests - soundproof room, no chemicals, hard/soft bed, no feathers - it goes on.

One guest even requested sunshine then complained when it rained - as though we have some control over the weather.

We don't encourage these people. In fact, we actively discourage them. We can smell them a mile away and really don't want their custom.

One such odorous booking came in earlier this year. The family from overseas booked two rooms - one cheap, one more expensive - on the internet then said they wanted to be adjacent.

I sent an email giving them some options. Emails went back and forth and suddenly I was embroiled in a bidding war with the return emails threatening a bad review unless we made some concessions.

The alarm bells were clanging. Three times I told them they could cancel the booking without penalty, but they would not be deterred. Finally, we came to an arrangement but I knew we were in for a hiding.

Of course, they came, they saw, they found fault and gave us a poor review.

Another guest had curious pretensions of grandeur. He wanted a room with water views but wasn't prepared to pay the price, so he settled for a garden view. On arrival, his girlfriend was unimpressed and he claimed he had been misled.

Fortunately, I had kept an account of our conversations, quickly set him straight and we worked out a compromise.

An hour later, he returned wanting more tea and coffee. A short time later, it was extra towels. This went on all evening, culminating in him knocking on the residence door at 10.30pm claiming his girlfriend was allergic to woollen blankets and required a doona.

When he came to settle the bill, he waved an American Express card at us. We pointed to the surcharge notice, he sighed and dug out a battered alternative.

Then came the piece de resistance: "Is there a Hilton or similar five-star hotel in Nowra where we can have coffee?" he inquired.

Sometimes the kick comes out of left field. I copped one last week.

We had checked in all our guests - a cheerful crowd who were clearly delighted with our beautiful Shoalhaven location - bar one.

Then Thunderclap arrived: a young corporate lass in high heels, sheath dress, purple fingernails and brilliant red lipstick.

She was furious: "This must be the end of the earth," she seethed. "I've just been on the phone to my manager and given her the biggest rev for booking me here. And there is obviously nowhere to eat."

When I explained the options, she dismissed them: "They'll not have suitable food for me," she sniffed.

It transpired that she was on a carb-free diet, which is no big deal.

Then she needed the address to the bowling club - 200 metres away - so she could put it in her GPS, and with a last withering look, she sped off to seek sustenance.

She won't be back and that's fine by us. As they say: you can't please everyone.

We love the happy, relaxed folk who make up the majority of our guests, but the odd bad egg can sour the whole day.

To those uptight, pretentious and manipulative guests planning to come our way, please take your money and spend it elsewhere.

For you, unkind people, there's no room at this inn.

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