Oh, so you won’t let us solicit your guests for money? “Suckkkk C@ckkkkk B!tchezzzzzzzzz”
Long post ahead, TL:DR at the bottom.
So it all started this past Sunday night. It was technically my Friday night since I had worked the 3-11pm shift for the past 4 nights over an insane weekend that really deserves another post (working solo during an ice storm, dirt track race rednecks filling the hotel and fighting rates/room types, a creepy guy losing his bottle of baby oil and calling the desk when he found it again, etc.) But I'll save those tales for another time.
I had thought since the majority of our ~190 room downtown hotel had checked out in the morning that it would be a relatively smooth evening. That's when two inner city children, about 12 years old, came by the desk.
Now, it's important to note that our lobby is connected to a separate restaurant. Our business center is a walled-off island in the middle of the lobby near our elevators, so it blocks the line of sight to the restaurant entrance and our elevator lobby. Essentially, unless someone comes through the front doors directly in front of the desk, it's hard to tell if anyone coming from the left is a guest or some rando who walked in through the restaurant. This will be important later.
Anyway, these two girls came in from the left and asked me if I could leave their "fliers" at the front desk. The kids seemed innocent enough, however it was their "fliers" that raised an eyebrow. I put "fliers" in quotations because they handed me two sheets of plain white printer paper that had "Would you like to make a donation to the -XXXX- Cheer-leading Team?" typed in size 64 font with "For more information call Coach Weirdofake name at <local number>" in size 12 font at the bottom. Clearly, they looked like a hastily thrown together document they must've made in our business center. Plus, these girls had no adult with them and were in street clothes with no indication they were actually apart of a cheerleading team.
These girls were blissfully unaware of how unprofessional their fliers were, along with the fact they could not solicit guests for money at a hotel in the first place. I decide to humor them and take the fliers, only to toss them in the trash as soon as they walked past the business center and out of my line of sight. Now, it's my own fault for neglecting to ask these children if they were guests, but again, they seemed innocent enough. This is were things get interesting.
About 5 minutes later a guest who had been staying with us for a few days came down to the desk to report that two young girls just knocked on his door soliciting donations for their cheerleading team. The guest didn't give them any money and knew they probably didn't know any better so he wasn't upset in the slightest, but man, I was on high-alert.
I radio my only security guard on duty right away to go investigate while I dig through the trash so I can find that flier and call this Coach Weirdo. The conversation goes roughly as followed.
Me: "Hello, is this Coach Weirdo?"
Me: "Hello Coach, this is Copelandish from <hotel name>. Are you aware that there are members of your cheerleading team soliciting our guests for donations?"
CW: "Uh-uh, We ain't got any kids out there"
Me: "Ma'am, I regret to inform you that there are, in fact, members of your cheerleading team on property soliciting guests for donations. We are a private property, so I will need you to contact the adult in charge of these unaccompanied minors and have them leave our property. If not, I will have to call the authorities."
CW: "Well….I ain't got no kid ovah there but hang on, I'm drivin' ovuh there now."
In the meantime, the search continues for these unaccompanied minors. My security guard saw no trace of them on the 8th floor, and begins to walk all 17 floors to look for these girls. The odds of him finding the girls are pretty slim, so I decide to put out an all-radio call so everyone on duty can keep an eye out for these kids. Just as I'm halfway through describing the situation over the radio, some guests in the lobby who overheard this whole fiasco got my attention and pointed toward the restaurant entrance. Sure enough, it's the two kids headed from the elevator lobby toward the restaurant.
Seeing my chance, I hustle toward the elevator lobby to intercept the children. These kids must've known what they did was wrong to some degree, because one of them froze in fear as I walked up. The other kid seemed not to care for authority because she kept walking and motioned for her friend to keep going. I asked if they were just knocking on our guest room doors. They responded at the same time….the child frozen in fear was honest and said yes, while the child trying to leave said no. Classic
Now, I'm not a monster, and I knew these kids either were put up to this by an adult or genuinely thought it was okay to enter a hotel and randomly knock on guests doors. I explained to these girls that what they were doing could get them into really big trouble or even put themselves in harms way. (Imagine of some creepy pedo happened to be staying at the hotel and two young unaccompanied minors knocked on their door?!) I told them that they needed to find the adult that brought them here and leave the property while advising them not to do this at any other hotel. They exited through the restaurant, I went back to the desk, and proceeded to call the other area hotels warning them of this possible scam. Coach Weirdo never showed and I didn't see the girls again. End of story, right?
Fast forward three days to Wednesday evening. My co-guest service lead is taking over the night shift and is expecting a quiet, boring evening with around 20 check ins. After checking in his first guest, they call down to report an obscene letter was awaiting them under their door. It was a regular piece of printer paper with "SUCKKKKKK COCKKKKKK BITCHEZZZZZZ" in bold and the largest font size possible. Shocked, he apologized profusely and tells the guests to disregard the note. He checks in another guest, same issue. "SUCKKKK COCKKKK BITCHEZZZZZZZ" under their door as well. A stayover guest celebrating their 50th anniversary calls down with the same note under their door as well. Sensing something was very wrong, my partner in crime calls our chief engineer on duty and our security guard to check every vacant room in the hotel for this note. They discover that every room on the 5th, 6th, 16th, and 17th floor of our hotel had these letters under their door.
How on Earth could this happen? Well, we reviewed our security cameras and saw that earlier in the morning three teenaged inner-city girls entered our hotel and sat in the lobby playing our over-sized checkers. This checkerboard is conveniently located right next to our business center, so they sat there and played until a guest swiped their key for entry. The girl asked the guest to hold the door for them, and thinking these girls were fellow guests let them enter. They surfed the web until the other guest left, typed the note, printed off several copies, hid them under the hoodies they were wearing, and got onto the elevator to deliver their special message to our guests. As they left a younger girl entered through the restaurant to meet them at the elevator lobby to leave the hotel…… the same young girl who disregarded my authority and urged the other honest girl to leave back on Sunday.
We were able to remove the letters from all vacant rooms and thankfully all the guests who were affected were able to laugh it off…but still. It's like, two days before X-mas and you were illegally soliciting my guests. I sincerely hope no one falls for their obvious scam. Never a dull moment here.
(TL;DR – Inner City "Cheerleading Team" tries to solicit money from our guests. 3 days after I confront the two girls, another group from the team prints off obscene letters and somehow slips them under the doors of several guest rooms as retaliation.)