It had been a long, long and very fraught day. A little after 8pm, I said to myself, ‘Enough. The rest can wait until tomorrow.’
I shut down my computer and left my office making sure I double locked the door behind me and headed downstairs.
The place was quiet. Well it was a Monday night in January so that was par for the course. I nodded to Georgina who was manning reception until her shift ended at 10.
I walked the few paces into the bar. I nodded at Harry who was doing what bartender do when they have nothing urgent to do namely, polishing a glass.
Harry nodded back at me and after putting the glass down, he began to pour me my usual, a large glass of Merlot.
I went and sat at one the booths. My choice was easy as they were all empty. After the day I’d had, I really didn’t want to talk to anyone.
Harry bought me my drink over with his usual smile.
“Thanks Harry. Can you get Chef to rustle up a BLT for me? Tell him politely that I do not want the back done to a charred crisp.”
“Yes Miss Jackson. Will there be anything else?”
I thought for a second.
“Yes, yes there is. Can you call housekeeping and get me a room for the night? I don’t feel like driving home tonight.”
“Will do Miss. Is everything cleared up after the weekend?”
“Yes Harry, it is. That lot won’t be back again though. They will be getting a bill for just over a grand for damages and cleaning. A fine start for married life eh?”
“It won’t last Miss. I saw the bride snogging the best man a couple of times during the evening.”
I just sighed.
“When will they learn eh? Never choose a man that is hotter than the groom for best man.”
Harry sloped off chuckling to himself.
I’d just finished my BLT that thankfully didn’t have crispy bacon when I noticed another customer in the bar.
I recognised him in an instant. The words immortalised by Humphrey Bogart came to mind in a flash. “Of all the joints, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into mine.”
I really wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone after the day I’d had and especially someone from a long, long time ago. I kept my head down and took another hefty swig of my wine. There was too much in the glass for me to down in one go.
I didn’t need to see him to know that he was watching me.
I was trying to decide if I should make a run for it when ‘he’ slid into the booth opposite me.
He smiled and said, “Hey doll.”
I thought that it was a pretty crude greeting.
We weren’t in America and neither of us was American.
“I’m not your doll. If you don’t mind, I’d like to finish my drink in peace. There are plenty of other booths where you can sit and enjoy your drink.”
“I get sent to this out of the way end of the world place and that’s the welcome I get? Do you know what the weather was like and how hard it was to get here today?”
“That is not my concern. Now If you don’t mind, I want to finish my drink in peace and alone.”
I heard Harry chink a couple of glasses together three times. I lifted my hand to stop him from doing anything for the moment. I knew that he’d come to my rescue if needed.
“Come on Doll. I just need some company and as there is no one else in sight with two legs and wearing such a cute outfit, it looks like you are it. So what about it then?”
“Au contraire. I am not your company tonight or any night.”
That didn’t deter him in the slightest.
“Say, don’t I know you from somewhere?”
Here it comes, I thought to myself. Yes, we do know each other but not on happy terms.
“I don’t think so. If I we did, I would have remembered you using that worn out chatup line. Now if you don’t mind I would like to be alone.”
Without a word, he slid out of the booth but the glare he gave me, said everything.
I sat there for another 10 minutes trying to calm down. Why did my past keep coming back to haunt me and nearly always when I was just getting on so well. There was nothing for it, this time instead of running, I had the power to act.
I downed the remains of my wine and slid out of the booth. After straightening my skirt, I picked up the empty glass and took it over to Harry.
“Thanks Harry,” I said gratefully.
“What are you going to do to him?”
“Nothing much. But he won’t be staying here again.”
“Good. We don’t need customers like that, this place has proper standards.”
“Well put Harry. Don’t forget, just let me know of any other bar creeps in future so that I can blacklist them too.”
“My pleasure Miss.”
I walked out of the bar and into reception.
“Georgina, can I see the guest list for tonight?”
“Sure thing Boss,” replied the receptionist as she handed me the list.
I quickly scanned it. It didn’t take me long to find the name I was looking for.
I handed the list back to Georgina.
“Could you make up the bill for Mr Taylor in 243? He will be leaving in the morning.”
“But he’s booked in for the week?”
“Not anymore he’s not. He was harassing me in the bar and didn’t want to take no for an answer.”
Georgina grinned back.
“Does he know who he was tangling with?”
A couple of minutes later I had the bill in my hands. I was going to deliver it myself along with an official note of his banning from this and every other hotel in the group.
I headed up to the first floor and my office. It didn’t take me long to compose and print the letter. I carefully cited the rules of the hotel in the letter. I then emailed his details and a copy of the letter to all the hotels in the group.
I signed and dated it before putting it into an envelope.
I afforded myself a wry smile as I slid the two envelopes under the door of Room 243. Job done so I went to bed.
The following morning came far too soon for my liking but came it did so I prepared for the day ahead.
I walked out of the lift and headed for the restaurant to get some breakfast. What I didn’t expect was to be accosted by the man from the night before.
“Hey you! I never touched you. Why did you get the manager to ban me?”
I turned to face him.
“Mr Taylor, did you read the full text of the letter?”
“What the fuck has that got to do with it?”
“I asked you to leave me alone. You didn’t and under the rules of this Hotel Chain, that constitutes harassment of a customer. It also means that you also harassed a member of staff.”
“You? You work here?”
“Yes I do.”
“I demand to see the manager!”
I smiled at him.
“Mr Taylor. You are speaking to the manager. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to get some breakfast. You have until I’ve finished to leave quietly. If you don’t then I will have to call the Police. With your record, I’m sure that you don’t want that to happen.”
“Eh? How the fuck did you know that?”
Then he glared at me. As it was daylight, he got a far better view of me than the night before.
“Oh fuck. It’s you again! I though I was done with you after the last time? I always knew that you were a fairy and here you are wearing a skirt? Still got that one ball left?”
“Mr Taylor! One more word from you and I will get my staff to call the Police.”
“Yeah, just like last time. No one believed you then did they?”
“Well this time I have witnesses. Look around you.”
He looked around and saw five members of my staff standing within a couple of yards.
“Don’t you know that your Boss is a really man wearing a Dress?”
One of my staff stepped forward and said
“Same here. I was once called Barry. Now my name is Belinda and I’m proud to work here.”
Katie and Leonora did the same.
His already red face went even redder.
“This isn’t over!” he said loudly as he stormed out of reception.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Then I realized that I was shaking.
My assistant manager, Samantha came over to comfort me.
“Did you know him from before? He seemed to know you?” she asked quietly.
“Yes, yes I did know him. He and his cronies made my life hell at school. In the end, they went too far and he spent 18 months in a Young Offenders Institution where apparently he was ‘the fairy’. Still, he’s gone now and won’t be back. We don’t need customers like him here. Are we not proud of our service standards and how we treat everyone?”
“Yes boss. Service first and with a smile, always with a smile.”
“Good. I can see that you understand what we are all about here.”
“What about that threat he made? Won’t he come back?”
“Don’t worry about that. He won’t do anything. He did once and was made to pay for it.”
I looked at my watch and said to her,
“Isn’t it time for your self defense class?”
“Well off you go.”
I smiled as she and three other members of staff headed off towards the gym. That was just one of the initiatives I’d brought in for all members of staff since I’d taken over a little over a year before.
I composed myself before walking calmly into the restaurant for breakfast. As I did so, the classic music radio we had piped into the public areas of the hotel started playing ‘Hotel California’. I afforded myself a little smile as I said to myself, ‘welcome to hotel tranny’. Well, as almost all my staff, myself included were transgendered it seemed rather appropriate did it not?
I know the idea of a Hotel staffed almost entirely by LGBT (with the emphasis on the ‘T’) people might seem a little far fetched but it could work as a way to get those who have a hard time holding down a job get some work experience in as safe an environment as possible. Hold that Idea… I’m sure that I’ll return to is sooner or later.
The story was inspired by the film of the same name.
I wrote this little tale a week before the sad news of the death of the Eagles guitarist, Glenn Frey. RIP Glenn.
 Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here
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