The first hotel that hired me was, uh, modest. I mean, to me it was the freaking Plaza, but looking back it wasn’t that fab. Luckily, I knew nothing about hotels at that point, so I was totally convinced that I was selling the best product imaginable. I was like the love child of a crackhead cheerleader and an ADD kid sans Ritalin about that place. In my eagerness and excitement about the (tiny but who knew) bonus I was earning, I volunteered to lead a tour of extremely important people through the hotel. I can’t exactly remember who they were – there were, like, eleven or twelve of them – but I do remember that we planned the tour for weeks. We had meetings involving all the departments, and we staged staff members at every turn of the tour to delight our guests with their cheerful attitudes and helpful happiness. There were special shuttles arranged, delicious foods prepared, and even a champagne toast planned for the end of the experience.
We met them in the lobby and proceeded to our first stop. We saw the restaurant, the lounge, the ballroom, and the five meeting rooms. We visited the pool, the fitness center, the gift shop, and the hair salon. We talked about the jogging trail, the shopping center, and the nearby creek. And finally, finally we headed up to look at guestrooms — our most important commodity, the thing we had planned the best. First we saw a room with two beds – a double/double. Next we looked at a king room. And last, we went to the top floor to our best suite.
I slipped the key card into the lock, chattering all along about the last movie I had seen. I faced the corridor, pushing the door open with my shoulder. My guests were gathered around, hanging on my every word, laughing, thoroughly charmed. I led them in. And there, to our left, with the door wide open, was an Asian man noisily – nay, angrily – dropping every kid in China off at the pool.