“Hi, my name is Amanda, I was at the pool bar yesterday and I left my credit card…?”
I was standing at the front desk of a self-proclaimed “Resort & Spa” in Santa Rosa, California. Now, let me say here that I have worked at a Resort – not an old hotel with a giant, Vegas-worthy rotating pink neon sign and a recent shiny makeover that calls itself a resort – a real, bonafide resort. It was called Spanish Bay, at Pebble Beach. Look it up.
After the gentleman at the front desk frowned at me and said hmmm I continued: “I called at around 3 this morning and left a message with someone but I haven’t heard back, so I’m just checking to see if my card is here with you, or if I should go back to the restaurant and ask them.”
“You called at 3am?”
“Yeah,” I laughed. “I woke up out of a dead sleep and realized I’d left my card here, so I called. I know, crazy. I just panicked for a second, heh.”
“Okay, sooooo…I guess I’ll just go back and ask at the restaurant.”
There were approximately three guests taking advantage of the self-serve buffet breakfast, so the completely unnecessary two hostesses enthusiastically greeted me when I walked in. I explained my situation. They too, frowned. They looked at each other, asked the one server on duty if she’d seen a credit card around (because it would, what, just be laying around?) then said I should maybe check with the front desk. Super organized, this place. And great communication, too – I mean, why pick up a phone when you can have your guest run back and forth, back and forth….
To my credit, I did not roll my eyes at anyone during this entire interaction. But honestly, that’s because I was still pretty sleepy from the whole ‘3am’ thing.
Back at the front desk, I asked my new friend if he had the card. He said “yeah…I’m sorry but I haven’t heard anything about a credit card…” he shrugged. “I don’t know what to tell you.” I looked at him with a you can’t be serious expression on my face. Seeing that I wasn’t just going to simply go away, he added “and there’s nothing up here (picks up some papers and opens the drawer nearest his hand), so…yeah, you might want to call your credit card company and have the card cancelled.” He said this in such a way that it appeared as though he thought it was actually helpful.
As I said before, I’ve worked at a resort. I’ve also worked as a carhop, at a winery, a family restaurant, and everything in between, and I can tell you – if someone loses their credit card, there is a protocol for helping that person retrieve it. I could see that wasn’t going to happen here. It occurred to me that I should clarify: “I didn’t leave the card in a book or anything, I left it with the bartender,” I explained, “so it’s not as if I left my card on a table or something.” He looked at me sympathetically, as though I weren’t understanding the depth to which he did not care. I tried again: “the last person to have my card was the bartender.”
I asked if perhaps there was someone he could call to inquire about a potentially lost credit card. He obliged by picking up the phone, which he was on for approximately eighteen seconds. When he hung up he said “yeah, that was the General Manager… he basically said the same thing. Not sure what to tell you…he said you might want to have it cancelled just to be on the safe side.”
I had a sudden urge to take the entire hotel under siege, board up all of the windows and doors, and re-train the whole damn staff, one by one.
Instead I sighed and said “okay nevermind, I’ll go ask at the restaurant again.”
(Back at the restaurant) “My family was eating out at the pool (I pointed at the pool) so the bartender kept the tab open for me – she put the card right into the register (I pointed at the register).” *Blink* “I left without closing out because my kids were sopping wet and shoeless (trying for some sort of human connection here) we went out the side door and I completely forgot about closing out the tab.”
“Sorry, we looked around, it isn’t here. You might want to call and have your card cancelled.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I realized I was going to have to take some action.
“Okay listen. Can you find out who was working the bar at 6pm yesterday evening?” Shuffle Shuffle Shuffle. “Great, and when will she be back in?” Shuffle Shuffle. “Okay, thanks. Now, is there any way I could leave a note for her? Because she was the last person with my credit card, so it stands to reason that she may know where it is now, right?” *Blink Blink*
At this point the server, Emma, suggested that they simply call yesterday’s bartender to get the scoop right then and there. Emma was someone you could tell had been in the industry for at least the past decade. In short – she knew how to get things done. Needless to say, I was so grateful for Emma. Soon there was a message left, my info recorded, and a promise to let me know as soon as they heard something.
I got my card back later that day – it was in the bartender’s lockbox. And I’ll continue to go to the pool at this ‘resort,’ despite their terrible, terrible service, for two reasons: my cousin is a member there, and we can have cocktails by the pool. As long as we order them ourselves, from the bar, because the poolside service…ah, nevermind.
(And especially as long as we don’t leave our credit cards behind).