St. Paul, Minnesota
March 26, 2003
As soon as we arrived I had a bad feeling about the place. Nothing concrete, but the building gave me the creeps. It felt deserted and run down. Bravely, we walked into the lobby where a surly man sat behind the desk. Smiling, I told him that we had a reservation and that I was a VIP member. I began to dig through my billfold to find my VIP card. He told me that he had our reservation and that I didn't need my card. As I was paying with cash, I pulled out the $200+ dollars that I knew I needed. He looked confused.
"Do you have a credit card?" he asked?
"I'm sure we can do the deal with cash," I quipped, waving the cash in his face.
"I'm sure you can use one of your eight credit cards," he said nastily.
"I only have two and they don't have enough credit on them," I said, "I have cash." I don't use credit cards much and my one credit card is for emergencies only and the other I had used to pay for the car rental.
"If you are paying with cash, there is a $10 deposit and I would have to total up the bill now. That could take some time."
"If that is what we have to do, OK. I only have cash. I was told that the total was $208 when I made the reservation."
"They don't know what our tax is at the reservation desk," he snarled, "so I have to total it up."
"Fine." I said.
Liz and I waited for 20 minutes for him to total up a four night's hotel stay with tax. I did it myself later in about three minutes. All the time he made snotty comments about our coats (we had just arrived from Minneapolis and it was a little chilly out) and that we wouldn't pay by credit card. I was tired of explaining and apologizing for making him do his job by the time he finally had it totaled.
"$275.85." he said.
"What?!" I exclaimed.
"That includes 16% tax and a $10 deposit for cash."
Liz grabbed me and told him we were leaving. "There's a place across the street for $39.99 a night," she said, "we'll go there. Do you think we're stupid? No way."
From journal A Long Long Weekend in Memphis