May 31, 2006

Uh, Front Desk? There's A Dead Woman In My Room

When visiting America’s finest city, San Diego, I stay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, for my money the best hotel in town. Sure some would argue that the Hotel del Coronado is superior but that opinion is misguided, unless you like hoards of snotty-nosed kids in sandy bathing suits or pretentious yuppie types. As you may recall from the previous post the Sneeds found themselves enjoying the sights and sounds of San Diego this past weekend. We had booked two rooms for Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Manchester. Our daughter, who at 35 thinks she’s old enough for her own room, took 674 and Mrs. Sneed and I stayed in the other, 673, with our 2 ½ year-old grandson. We left the hotel Sunday morning at about 9:00 am and were gone until 10:30 pm. We spent the day visiting Sea World and trying to provoke an international incident (see previous post). When we arrived back at the hotel we retired to our rooms, dog-tired. About 30 seconds after the door closed my daughter knocked on our door and said, “There is a woman in my room and I think she is dead.” For a few seconds we looked at one another, me waiting for her to break out laughing and her waiting for me to respond. My wife grabbed the phone and called for help and I went across the hall to see if she was in fact in there and really dead. There was indeed a body wedged between the beds in an awkward pose, head under one bed and torso twisted sideways. This couldn’t be good. I wanted to touch her but seeing as how I have seen almost every episode of CSI, Las Vegas, (the only authentic CSI), I knew not to disturb the scene or touch anything. I did the only thing I could think of which was to get face-to-face with the presumed deceased and shout at her in hope of raising the dead. Meanwhile the 911 operator had called the room to get further information. While my daughter talked to her I continued to shout at the body. At some point during the shouting an eye fluttered. My daughter told the operator that the victim was alive. Then the hotel security arrived, four burly guys in matching blazers, all wearing latex gloves. The head security guy began to gather the facts. By gathering facts I mean he asked questions designed to exonerate the hotel from any in complicity in this mess. Did my daughter have a roommate? Were we expecting guests? Did we know her? Did we let her in? Had we made sure the door was closed when we left, that sort of thing. Satisfied that we could be ruled out as perps he began to ask the now semi-conscious woman questions like “How did you get in here?” “Was the door open or did you have a key?” Her one and only response, repeated over and over was, “Why are we having this conversation?” She seemed completely unpreturbed by the dozen or so men now crammed into her room. I finally got tired of this exercise and reached down to where her belongings were piled on the bed and handed her convention ID to the head security guy. Now armed with her name, one of the security guys called the front desk and discoveded that she was supposed to be on the 28th floor. The Director of Security triumphantly announced, "So, she is in the wrong room." Well, yeah, but we already knew that. After the one of the policemen searched her purse and found a room key with room 674 written on the jacket, it became clear that the front desk had screwed the pooch. The old gal snuck into the room using a key provided to her by the hotel staff. It turns out that Dead Woman was in town for a convention and had opted to be assigned a roommate by the convention staff in order to save money, so she wasn’t troubled by someone else’s stuff in the room. She evidently had mixed alcohol with some prescription meds and never quite made it into the bed, instead winding up in a heap, face down on the floor. The roommate had been calling the front destk to inquire as to the whereabouts of our gal. After the paramedics took her vitals, examined her meds and asked some questions they determined that she was not in need of medical transport and they left. The hotel security man told his guys to pack her up and move her to the correct room. The cops gingerly suggested that they ought not disturb her (she had passed out again) and ought to move my daughter instead, which they did, leaving the “dead woman” to sleep it off. The staff was very apologetic and told me to call the next time we were in town and that they would "take care of us". A nice gesture, if you ask me. We left two days later and the “Do Not Disturb” sign was still in Dead Woman's door. I suggested to the clerk at checkout that the hotel might want to do a welfare check. She said that they would. I still love the Manchester. Tag:


Kurt said...

That always happens to me at The Manchester.

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