Innkeepers tell the real story (Illustration: Ryan McCullah)
Plenty of people dream about quitting their day job, buying that fixer-upper farmhouse, and opening a bed-and-breakfast. Those B&B owners seem so happy. Well, everything isn’t quite as idyllic as it seems. We got one set of innkeepers — “Bob and Emily” — to anonymously spill the beans on what really happens behind those perfectly painted shutters.
This week. Bob and Emliy reveal what they really think of you.
If our guests are any indication, the world is in serious trouble intellectually.
It starts with the stupid phone calls. People no longer speak in complete thoughts: ”Where are you located?” they ask, without providing any further details.
Or, “I’m on Highway 1, where are you?”
In relation to what?
Please wait while I answer this idiot’s questions. (Photo: Thinkstock)
And some of you must think we aren’t a real business because we get quite a lot of calls looking for a free place to have picnics, weddings, birthday parties, and even garage sales. It never hurts to ask for a discount, but a surprisingly large number of people think that there should be a discount for hosting an event “after check-in time.”
And then there are conspiracy theorists who think we lie about our occupancy. ”So you don’t have anything?” the interrogation begins when we first tell them we are full.
"Sorry, nothing," we answer politely, when we really just want to hang up. We make our living filling vacant rooms; do you really think we’d lie?
Then there are the persistent callers who hang in there, first in pondered silence, then with one more stupid attempt, “We only need one bed.” Well how about we just dash off to the furniture store and set one up in the dining room for you?
Don’t dictate our website — we know what it says (Photo: Thinkstock)
The stupidest calls are from people who want to read to us from our own website. The calls go like this: ”I’m on your website. It says room number seven has a kitchenette. Hmm. Ooh, and number four has a Jacuzzi tub. All the rooms have refrigerators and coffee makers and barbeque grills. There’s a swimming pool and shuffleboard… blah, blah, blah.” No question anywhere in sight. Did it ever occur to you that we wrote that stuff? And that we know how to read?
The stupidity continues at check-in. Of course, many of our guests apparently can’t read at all. They ignore confirmation emails, signs, maps, directions, parking instructions, and the guest books we provide in each room filled with important information like office hours, nearby restaurants, and the Wi-Fi passcode. We often wonder how these people get through life. We try to make it easier by speaking v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
You think that’s bad? You should see what some people bring on vacation (Photo: Thinkstock)
People bring enough stupid stuff to fill a U-hail trailer. And it actually does sometimes. It’s comical to watch them unload everything from stacks of blankets, pillows, and towels to big screen TVs, all of which could have been left at home if they only knew how to read or ask intelligent questions over the phone. One family brought a cargo trailer loaded down with two battery-powered ride-on cars, a mini basketball goal, assorted balls, and a plastic swimming pool. They had one small child. Our lawn looked like a day-care center for three days.
People bring too much food, too many vehicles, and frequently, things that don’t even work. Boats and watercraft that never leave their trailers are tops on that list.
Some of you are intelligent (so intelligent it’s stupid!). We have our share super-human guests. These people are so smart that rules designed for idiots simply don’t apply to them. They know more about things like fireworks, electricity, and trailer hitches than the rest of us. Their children are also exceptional, capable of supervising themselves, even in the pool. One genius showed us how to string a plastic tarp a foot above a charcoal grill using stacks of outdoor furniture. It was an impressive balancing act. The chairs stayed stacked even when the big hole melted in the center of the tarp. Probably just a little too much lighter fluid.
Not surprisingly, these same people are full of great business advice for us. We are always grateful for their presence and their departure.
Some stupid stuff earns you a free tour of our town jail. We do our best to handle most situations ourselves, but occasionally we have to call for back-up. We’ve called the law for underage drinking, arson, domestic disturbances, trespassing, and theft of services. We’d appreciate it if you’d leave those stupid behaviors at home.
You’re even stupid about what you leave behind. We’ve had people leave behind as much as a thousand dollars in cash. One couple left behind a pair of guns. (You do know it’s against federal law for those to be mailed back to you, right?) The next time you decide to trash a room, be sure to wipe the stems and seeds off of the coffee table. We’re pretty good at using photos of that stuff as blackmail to charge your credit card for the extra cleaning. And your crack pipe? Our deputy buddy saved it for you with your name and address attached.
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