If I get killed working the night shift at the hotel, I’ll likely be trying to live-tweet about it.

When I’m working an interesting shift at the #paranormalhotel, I try to tweet a full and true account of events, but it’s hard to catch all the details while I’m in the midst of them unfolding. Fortunately, such nights make a deep impression on me so I remember even the things I don’t have time to type. Plus – you know – I’m a fiction writer, so I don’t have an ethical problem with tweaking any fuzzy recollections to smooth out the plot line.

The following is how my twitter should have read on Wednesday night. (The colored entries actually made it to my feed.) While writing it up for the blog, I stayed within the parameters of tweeting – it’s good practice and it distances me from the events a little.

4:00 at the #paranormalhotel: Arrive 1 hr early, as requested. Boss-wife is arguing with guests who say they were quoted a lower price.

4:03 at the #paranormalhotel: Boss-wife stands firm. Guests are stuck; they walked here and are tired. (And drunk?) Girl registers and pays.

4:30 at the #paranormalhotel: I’ve settled. Laundry not bad. Maid still working – 4 rms still dirty. No reservations. Likely a quiet night.

5:35 at the #paranormalhotel: Smoking. Young player I recognize as a regular visitor arrives in cab. Pays from an obscene wad of cash.

5:46 at the #paranormalhotel: Unregistered guy wants to pick up a package. No wallet. Shows me his name tattooed on his chest in lieu of ID.

5:52 at the #paranormalhotel: Guest called to say girl running and screaming in hallway. On my way up in elevator now.

5:55 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt2) Found girl crying in the stairwell. Scraped knee & missing sock. Gave standard “do you need help” spiel.

6:15 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt3) LSS – all just drama. Couple reunited in room. Warned against any further disturbance. 

6:20 at the #paranormalhotel: Maid leaves. On her report, a room that was to be cleaned is instead marked it as a do-not-disturb, stay-over.

6:21 at the #paranormalhotel: Well that ain’t right. I’ll have to find out why this stay-over in room 340 isn’t reflected by the register.

6:22 at the #paranormalhotel: Getting laundry started, I transfer at least 4 calls, and provide hotel info to another 3-4 potential guests.

7:00 at the #paranormalhotel: Phone really busy. Reservations for upcoming summer concerts: Marilyn Manson, ICP, ZZ Top, etc.

7:03 at the #paranormalhotel: I check my schedule. I’ll be working most of those concerts. (Yay.)

7:15 at the #paranormalhotel: Mom of long-term guest sets up a monthly rent payment for him from her account. He’s disrespectful. Also 37.

7:25 at the #paranormalhotel: Autistic 4yo & her father are hanging out in lobby. He reminds me she’ll scream if he makes her go upstairs.

7:26 at the #paranormalhotel: Father of autistic child wants to chat. Tells me he knows the couple that Boss-wife was arguing with.

7:30 at the #paranormalhotel: Long-term, old-lady guest returns from outing. Asks for messages. None, as usual. Tells me she loves me again.

7:40 at the #paranormalhotel: Phone REALLY busy tonight, + lots of check-ins. Can’t stay in laundry room long enough to get anything done.

7:42 at the #paranormalhotel: Boss-mom interrupts a check-in. She needs me in the laundry room NOW. I apologize to guest and follow.

7:43 at the #paranormalhotel: Boss-mom has added a mountain of new shower curtains. Language barrier requires miming of wash instructions.

7:50 at the #paranormalhotel: ASAP, I return to waiting and irritated guest. A short line has formed while I was playing charades.

7:59 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt4) Girl from earlier storms through lobby, out into the rain. Guy chases, barefoot. 

8p at the #paranormalhotel: (pt4.5) Girl crosses busy street, flipping guy off over shoulder. He yells, follows. They disappear into woods.

8:10 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt5) They return. She’s covered in mud. She’s still calling him sweetheart. I tell them they must leave.

8:13 at the #paranormal hotel: (pt6) I escort them to clean out room. He’s MAD. I’m waiting. Must take a call & relate rates and amenities.

8:18 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt7): Still waiting. Transfer 5-6th call of the evening to rm 340. Pretty sure caller hears guy yelling at me.

8:20 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt8) 4 cops arrive. They push guy against the hall wall. Tell him to turn face left, rather than look at me.

8:22 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt8.5) Girl washing off mud. Phone ripped out. 2 discarded, empty vodka pints. Clothes, garbage everywhere.

8:25 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt9) Cops question me briefly, then dismiss me. Don’t say who called them. I return to desk to wait.

8:40 at the #paranormalhotel: Waiting for cops; transfer ANOTHER call to 340. Hold up … that’s the unpaid stay-over, right?

8:42 at the #paranormalhotel: Confirmed – no record of payment for 340. I call. Guest says he thought girlfriend paid before leaving in a.m.

8:43 at the #paranormalhotel: I tell 340 he must pay or leave. He says he doesn’t have any $. Needs to arrange a ride. I give him until 9p.

8:55 at the #paranormalhotel: Checking register, I stumble on (censored to protect guest identity) this | ow.ly/x/xxxxx  

offender id  by Renae Rude

8:56 at the #paranormalhotel: Hmm. Turns out this guest has been staying in in one of our rooms for weeks. Never seen him. Nice to know.

8:59 at the #paranormalhotel: 340 appears, reeks of pot. Ride will arrive in 2 1/2 hours. Wants to wait in his room. Lobby will have to do.

9p at the #paranormalhotel: (pt10) Cops take in guy AND girl. They don’t talk to me. As usual, will never know the whole story.

9:05 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt10.5) I check evicted girl out of her room, flag her as a bad guest.

9:10 at the #paranormalhotel: Long-term, old-lady guest calls  – needs a plunger: she ate ice cream. (Eww.) New check-in enters. (Damn.) BRB

9:15 at the #paranormalhotel: Hunted up a plunger. delivered it to guest. She doesn’t know how to use it. (Argg.) BRB

9:17 at the #paranormalhotel: Run down stairs (It’s faster.) Check-in guest.

9:22 at the #paranormalhotel: Run back up. Father of autistic child is plunging toilet. (?!?) Child is leaping from bed to chair & back.

9:23 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt11) Plunging, he asks about couple & cops. I demur. He shakes head. Says, “They were just in the paper.”

9:30 at the #paranormalhotel: Back at desk. More calls. More arrivals. Assorted guests need assorted things. 340 is hanging out in lobby.

9:45 at the #paranormalhotel: 340’s girlfriend appears. Laughs at him. Reminds him she left $ in the car to pay for room. They pay. (Phew.)

10:05 at the #paranormalhotel: Player from earlier comes to desk. Left key in room, needs one. I call & quiz registered guest to confirm.

10:05 at the #paranormalhotel: Due diligence done, I make key – then ask if I can photo his roll of $ for blog. He laughs. | ow.ly/i/24vxj 

cash by Renae Rude

10:07 at the #paranormalhotel: This kid is maybe 20. I have never held that much cash at one time. I am 45.

10:10 at the #paranormalhotel: Smoking. Find this on top of trash can. Any idea what it is? ow.ly/x/xxxxx

what's this? by Renae Rude

10:30 at the #paranormalhotel: I write summary of night’s events for my boss. I have to tape multiple sticky notes together.

11p at the #paranormalhotel: I tackle the laundry, now that it’s quiet. Going to be leaving a lot for the overnight guy, I’m afraid.

11:30 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt12) On laundry room monitor, I see cop enter lobby. I go to desk. He says, “Good, you’re still here.”

11:50 at the #paranormalhotel: (pt13) Cop interviewed me, took my contact info. He’s not sure If I’ll need to do an official statement.

midnight at the #paranormalhotel: My replacement arrives. I apologize for laundry. He scans my note to boss and says, “Not a problem.”

12:15 at home: (pt14) Internet investigation turns up newspaper stories, mug shots and this |  ow.ly/x/xxxxx

a certain couple

12:16 at home: (pt15) Both are on parole for severe child neglect. Both have multiple DUIs. He also has multiple assaults.

12:30 at home: I am haunted by how many times I stepped between them to protect her. Either one could have turned on me.

12:50 at home: I call the night guy to tell him to enter and flag the guy-half of this train-wreak couple.

1a at home: I crawl into bed with my husband.

Because, sometimes, it’s exhausting to work at:


10 Comments on “If I get killed working the night shift at the hotel, I’ll likely be trying to live-tweet about it.”

  1. craft fear says:

    I work in customer service, but I do not envy those who work in the hotel business. You’ve got to have some kind of totem with you for at least peace of mind.

    • And by totem, you mean pepper spray or a tazer, right? I’m kidding. I’m actually intrigued. Hadn’t thought of such a thing, though I suppose my cell is a security blanket of sorts – I’ve got my big, hulking men-folk on speed dial and they are only minutes away. Truth is, though, I’d not want to bring either of them into most of these situations. The presense of protective men can escalate things, in my experience.

  2. Hunter Shea says:

    First, best blog post titlle – EVER! Second, I need to quit my job and work in a hotel. This is like striking gold for a writer!

  3. Too much action for an hour episode of Twilight Zone. You deserve combat pay, Renae.

    • Well, in fairness, these events unfolded over 8 hours. Somewhere in the middle of all this, I did become uncomfortably aware that I would make less than $64 for the evening. (Probably right about the time I saw Player-Kid tuck that roll back into his pocket.)

  4. kat says:

    That is such a classy picture. My first thought was, Ah, a cut scene from American History X.

    • I wish I didn’t feel I had to blur and black-bar the pic. You ought to see the genuinely tender / gentle expression in his eyes. It’s weirdly beautiful. Stil a terrible guy in a twisted relationship, but I think he actually loves her.

      Though the clips didn’t specify, I doubt if any of his assault charges were on women. He came across as more of a brawler drunk than a wife beater. The wife didn’t have any marks on her that I couldn’t contribute to her own dramatic running away and falling down hills.

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