August 18, 2012 at 2:08 am #37209
I think everyone who’s a regular reader is pretty aware that I’ve been having a really hard time the last four months or so, dealing with some bouts of depression, thyroid, etc. My mom, who’s been pretty anti-therapy, anti-drugs in the past, finally got the message that I wasn’t just being a drama queen, and she has been wonderfully supportive of my getting healthy and happy since I opened up about my issues. So, in that vein, she took me to Austin on Wednesday for a couple of days of eating great food, shopping, drinking, and just spending some time together. We had a blast, and last night we got back from a great dinner, then a movie at Alamo Drafthouse (I have a new favorite drink – grapefruit soda and tequila – YUM), and then an hour of shuffleboard at a bar down the street. So we go back to our hotel and go into the room in the dark, and one of the French doors to the bathroom slammed. At first I thought, oh, hey, draft, but then I spotted the back of a MAN. CROUCHED BEHIND THE DOOR IN THE PITCH BLACK BATHROOM. THERE WAS A MAN IN THE HOTEL ROOM.
So we run out screaming down the hall, out into an open air portion, spot a security guard and shriek at him, “HELP! THERE’S SOMEONE IN OUR ROOM!” and he took his time getting upstairs, and went down the hall, and the front desk clerk follows him in there, and we wait, and I decide I need a cigarette, and my mom loses patience and goes in to look for them. She said they were standing outside the room, and when she asked why they were out there, they said they were giving him a chance to get dressed (his shirt was off) and get his stuff (oh, you mean OUR STUFF???). So she barges in, and the guy’s all pissed off and drunk and had thrown up all over the bathroom, and he started cursing at her and getting really defensive about how mad she was that he was in the wrong room (why were you hiding? Did you not see our stuff everywhere?), and he stormed out and both the desk clerk and the security guard were really flippant and apologetic in the way you might be if we had walked into a room with a broken AC. The desk clerk said he had been running the night audit and couldn’t check the guy’s room number when he stumbled in drunk and said he’d lost his key and that he’d given the wrong room number, and he offered to get us a new room, which, FUCK THAT, never staying at a LaQuinta again, and we just drove the 3.5 hours home.
The hotel manager spoke to my mom this morning and could not have been more apologetic – full refund, acknowledgement of how scary that is as a woman to realize your room isn’t safe, indicated that this was going to be cause for more extensive security training and an example of exactly why security measures are in place. She also said the desk clerk had lied about not being able to check the guy’s room number and just handed over the key, and expressed a fair amount of horror at how easy that would make it to target women.
And for me, the bottom line is, that guy was crouched in the dark behind a door. He was hiding. If he had just been drunk, why wouldn’t you just start shouting that someone’s in the room? If he were harmless, why did he stay in a room that was clearly occupied. I mean, he used my toothbrush. He knew that wasn’t his. He says he was getting sick in the bathroom, but then why in the dark, and why slam the door, and why, when I spotted him, was he nowhere near the toilet? If he was in a dark room trying to sleep, then he would have had to get up and run to the bathroom to hide when he heard us coming in. It’s just completely scary.
Partly I’m just venting, because I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified. But then also, not to scare anyone, but everyone please be careful when you stay in a hotel. Of course you run the risk of one of the employees being shady somehow, and I think anyone knows that who’s had something stolen out of a room, that in some ways you’re at the staff’s mercy. But then I never stopped to contemplate a scenario like this. I’m never, ever going to walk in a hotel room without being a little terrified. I’m never going to be able to just walk in without flipping on the lights and checking every corner. So I just wanted to make sure my DW family is aware of this so that you can take any precaution you deem necessary.August 18, 2012 at 6:55 am #37213
Oh my god! How scary! I’m so sorry that happened to you. I think that’s the hotel my parents usually stay at when they visit my sister in austin. I will have to pass this along to them to read.
I’m so glad you’re ok!August 18, 2012 at 8:06 am #37214
God what a nightmare! So, did they ever see/talk to the guy in your room? Or did he just flee after you ran out screaming and security took its sweet time? I find is shocking the clerk would lie about just giving him the wrong key — because if that were true, why didn’t the man come out of the hotel room and down to the clerk to get the right key?! … because he clearly was NOT a guest of the hotel. I’d be livid. I’d demand a full refund and…. and something more. I don’t know what.
Also, another lesson besides check your hotel room when you enter is: use those chain lock if you don’t already! Imagine if he came in while you were sleeping. Eek. I don’t think I use the chain religiously – or that metal flap you can lose over the door. I will now.August 18, 2012 at 8:09 am #37215
oh wait never mind, i reread the part about your mom storming in…. so, was he an actual guest of he hotel or was that part a lie?August 18, 2012 at 8:54 am #37216
I’m so glad you’re okay! I would have been terrified.August 18, 2012 at 11:05 am #37227
@AP, He apparently was an actual guest, and the manager said he was completely livid about being given the wrong room, which I would understand except again, hiding in the bathroom in the dark. The part that the front desk guy lied about was not checking because he couldn’t when the computer was running audits. He just plain didn’t check.
We also realized that, yeah, we hadn’t used the chain the night before, so if we’d come in earlier than we did…yikes. Or if we’d been drinking in earnest and come in later…ugh. Because I just barely spotted him, and my mom never did, so we could have just waltzed in with him in there.
@Wendy – It’s the downtown LaQuinta, 11th and San Jacinto. So yeah, I would definitely pass that along.August 18, 2012 at 11:39 am #37230
Oh wow, PL. How totally scary for you and your mother!!! I´m so glad you came out of it safely.August 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm #37234
Wow, that is absolutely terrifying, but I am glad you and your mom are ok.August 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm #37278
I was expecting an article about bedbugs or something. Holy crap, glad you are not hurt … but that’s like my worst nightmare. Wow.August 20, 2012 at 8:43 am #37291
Holy shit, that is so scary! & what fucked-up treatment you received by the staff. You’d think this would be something to take seriously IN THE MOMENT, not after you’ve already packed up & left. So sorry this happened to you!August 20, 2012 at 11:16 am #37304
OMG. That would be terrifying. I always check my hotel room first thing but actually finding someone there? I’m glad you’re ok.
I’d also like to second the advice on always using the secondary lock. I had maintenance personnel try to get in my room one night because the plumbing was overflowing in the room next door. It was past 11 pm. They didn’t knock or say anything, just used the keycard several times trying to get in. Security also tried the door without knocking or saying anything. It scared me half to death since I was already sleeping due to getting food poisoning that day. The situation was a little different because I was contractor working at the hotel so techically the room was off limits to guests but I was still checked in which was easily verifiable. And it was at the Waldorf, for the record, so it can happen anywhere.August 20, 2012 at 11:21 am #37306
PL, i know i said this on facebook, but if you havent yet, contact the corporate people about this. this hotel needs to have people fired. get coprorate on it.August 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm #37570
That makes me SO upset that the desk clerk didn’t check! Why the hell would you not take the 30 seconds and check?! I never, EVER wish for anyone to lose their job, but this really takes the cake. Glad you guys are okay.August 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm #37624
Sweet holy kittens, y’all, I am still CRAZY jumpy a week later. I was just sitting out on our roof deck by myself for five minutes (HIMYM reference anyone?) and out of nowhere my neighbor just appeared at the top of the back steps, and I nearly screamed. He felt really bad – he’s really nice – and apologized like a million times. I explained it wasn’t him, I’m jumpy due to the strange man lying in wait in our hotel room last week, and he warned me that his girlfriend was due to come up those steps any minute, which was really nice.
I’ve also been getting up in the mornings before school to run (big scary overprotective dog in tow), and it’s still dark out. Our back stairs are dark, and coming down them or coming back in has been way scarier than usual. I hate that I’m doing this! I mean, it’s not stopping me from doing anything, but I hate still being so scared!
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