You would think from the title of this post that this was going to be one of my nerdier posts. It’s not. It’s purely work related, and that just makes it even odder.
I’m sitting at my desk, just minding my own business, when my phone rings. It’s one of my agents calling me from reservations. She insists that I have to come up and take over this call, because she’s been on the phone with the same person for nearly 45 minutes and can’t make any headway in finishing the reservation because the lady just keeps babbling about nonsense. I’ll be honest I rolled my eyes in annoyance.
“Really? You’re serious?” I ask.
“Yeah, I can’t take it anymore. You have to take over.”
Reluctant sigh, “Alright. I’ll be right there.”
I drudge up the stairs and come into the office with a hefty glare prepared. All the ladies at the desk are all in a tizzy of laughter and bafflement over this call I’ve been brought in to finish up. I glare them into silence, because this just seems ridiculous to me at this point. I’ve been in this business for 12+ years, and I’ve never had a phone call or guest at the desk so nuts that I couldn’t get my job done. I get on the phone and make some lame excuse about how my agent was called away to assist another guest who needed her personal assistance, but that I’m her manager and happy to assist with completing her reservation.
I can’t really accurately describe the next 25 to 30 minutes that followed, it was that surreal. There’s a certain level of crazy babbling that you can absorb, but the rest just becomes white noise after a while that your brain can’t even begin to try to decode. Trying to absorb it all is useless because you have no common point of reference to start from. Sure we’re both speaking the same language, fluently, but we’re coming from totally different subjective realities.
So here was my strategy. She babbled a lot of nonsense that I couldn’t really understand, but a lot of it was weird magical malarkey. She had concerns that during her bath service in the spa that the attendants were going to be shapeshifters that would work necromancy on her. She babbled about faeries & the fey and King Arthur and Merlin. She used the word shyster and shystery constantly. She changed words using “Blah” at the beginning or “ery” at the end constantly. Every now and then she would say “that’s just a little joke of mine” but never tied to anything that seemed remotely related to a joke. So in between murmuring non-committal agreements, I worked in the questions I needed to get answered to get her reservation made and her off the phone. So gradually over the course of our phone call I got all the information I needed, but could barely keep myself from laughing. And the most awkward part was that she wanted a full description of the agent that was helping her so that she could thank her for all of her help when she arrives later this week. But she also wants me to screen her for being a shapeshifter by looking for 30 to 40 seconds into her eyes to see if I see small crosses in them or the color change. And she has to hold her face very still, but I can’t tell her that’s what I’m checking for. There was also some magic word that I was supposed to say that might make her react if she was a shapeshifter. She’s never seen it happen, but she was told about it when she was in France. Then I got to ear about her trip to “London or Blahndon as I call it, then I fled across the pond to France” and on and on and on. Her conversations with the Taxi driver that drove her over 100 miles from one city to the next on this trip, because she doesn’t drive herself. I pity that driver. She told me about the people at the front desk of the hotel she’s staying at now, and what she thinks about them and their energies. She had a brief commentary on Christianity and the Bible, but “I’m not a Bible thumper mind you” It also might be an ill omen that her reservation needs two confirmation numbers (because she’s changing rooms during her stay and thus has two reservations). I’m supposed to check in a couple of hours to make sure her reservation is still there and that no shystery is taking place. Because if it’s going to happen that’s when it would be. Oh and her groceries from Whole Foods got stolen from outside her hotel room in Monterrey. No really this all just happened.
You’d think I was making all this up. I’m not.
I wonder what her phone bill is like….
I honestly wish that we recorded our calls so that I could share this with more people, because even the people in the office watching me on this call can’t really comprehend what she was saying and I can’t remember enough of it to do the experience any justice. Only one person can even come close to understanding what happened and that’s the initial agent who talked to her. Of course, she’ll be here soon and then they’ll all understand I imagine.
So, she’s arriving in 3 days, and I don’t know whether to look forward to it, for the amazing story that might come out of interacting with this mad woman, or to dread the enormous waste in my time she’s going to cause in my day. I’m going to likely err on the side of enjoying the hilarity she is likely to bring to my day, as long as she stays pleasantly insane and doesn’t become nasty or start causing a scene.
In the end, when I finally got off the phone. I just sat there and laughed with my staff for a good 5 or 10 minutes. There isn’t much else to do in that scenario. And of course accuse them all of being shapeshifters and necromancers!