Friday, April 13, 2007

Room #1002

"Oh no. This won't work," she said.

I wasn't too surprised. When she told me which room number was hers, I knew that it was a room with one king sized bed. There was another woman traveling with her who was parking the car while I escorted this lady and her luggage to room number 1002.* Maybe her friend was just driving her and not actually staying though, so I kept quiet and let her tell me when we entered that the room wasn't what she needed.

She politely told me that this wouldn't work and I assured her that I would find two doubles for her; no problem. I moved to her telephone and called down to the front desk to make the necessary room change. The change was made in the computer and I carried one of her bags back to the brass bellcart, telling her that all was fine. I apologized for the mix-up and told her that we could wait for her friend before moving to the new room.

She stood alone in the middle of #1002 and watched me as I worked. "I'm not going to cry," she told me (or maybe she was telling herself). I paused and looked into her eyes as she continued speaking. Some people are overly dramatic about such things and treat wrongly assigned rooms as terribly offensive matters. She didn't have that tone in her voice though and I anxiously and respectfully awaited her further words.

"I'm not going to cry," she told me. "My husband was supposed to come on this trip with me but he died two weeks ago. I don't need this king anymore. Joyce was kind enough to come with me." She wasn't crying, but her voice was shaky and it cracked a bit while she stood there, probably telling that heartbreaking news to one more stranger than she wanted to. She appeared to be in her sixties. I admired her overall strength as she gave me the small speech. A friend was supposed to change the reservation to a room with two double beds, but obviously either the call or change hadn't been made.

Joyce arrived and we moved to another room. I completed my assistance to her and offered her my name in case there was anything else I could do for her during her stay. She thanked me for my help and I thanked her as well, again giving her my condolences.

Off to another room and another guest with the knowledge that I'd be remembering the guest in #1002 for a good while. I wish her well.

*Not her actual room number. Neither is Joyce the name of her friend. The rest is true.

11 comments:

Lynnster said...

OK, that made me cry.

Wonderfully well written, friend.

Momo said...

Ah, that made me tear up! Poor woman! We all know that will be us someday...

Nice of you to help her out.

'Coma said...

Michael,
That was lovely and just wonderfully written, to mimic my friend Lynn's words.
Thank you for sharing.

Rae said...

Aw! How sad. I just want to take her out to dinner or something.

Leesa said...

Wow..neat story :)

Rob said...

My mum died not so long ago.

I never realised grieving hurt so much

But, like the dentist, it's just something that will go away in time, although perhaps never completely.

Writing about it helps a bit ...

greekchickie said...

Wow... that brought tears to my eyes...

M~

john h said...

Wow, Michael. Bravo. Great story, told by a wonderful storyteller.

Ms. Tabitha said...

If every staff member of every hotel were like you, trips would be a loooot more easy to deal with, and more enjoyable.

You have a good heart, she's very lucky that it was you and not some a-hole helping her who wouldn't have thought twice about her sadness.

Katherine Coble said...

I read this yesterday, but I've waited until today to respond because I wasn't sure what to write.

My husband is my life. If I were to lose him I'd be destroyed beyond belief.

I couldn't help but feel volumes of heartbreak for this lady.

Thanks for your kindness to her.

chez béz said...

Ten comments? I'm humbled. Thanks for reading and liking. I was moved by the story itself and it's nice to know that others were moved as well.