This sorry tale starts on Saturday.
'Hello, I would like to reserve a room, please. It is for myself and I require the room on Tuesday and Wednesday.'
'Oh sorry sir, reservations only work weekdays.'
Pause. Gather breath.
'You are a hotel are you not?'
'In which case - I would like to reserve a room, please.'
'OK sir, I will have a go....(muffled giggles)......Which Nights was it sir??
'As I said, Tuesday and Wednesday.'
'Remarkable that isn't it - I request a room for two nights, and I would wish to stay for both of them, that must never happen.'
'Sorry sir, but you want both nights?'
'Just yourself is it?'
'Indeed. I mentioned that before too.'
'And you want the same room for both nights?'
'Just yourself - no one else on the booking?'
I am now starting to think she is making game of me.
'Yes please. Me. Myself. I want a room for two nights, being Tuesday AND Wednesday.'
'I see sir....'
'Right sir what name please?'
I tell her my name and the firm and our corporate rate. My usual hotel 'The Strange', know me by now, and merely the sweetest tinkling of my voice normally suffices. They were full this week, however, so I am denied my well kept cellar and decent menu.
Instead I am having to rely on one of these bloody chains.
'What address please sir?'
'I can see no earthly reason why you require my address. Every time I have stayed with you, you request it. If you stored it, you would no longer require it, merely confirmation of my postcode. If you did not store it, then you would have no use for it at all.'
She read my post code back to me.
'All booked sir - can you send a confirmation from your work email please?'
'Why not sir?'
'I am not at work. It is Saturday.'
'Oops sorry silly me.'
'Good afternoon R--J-- York.'
'My name is D- and I have a reservation.'
'No sir, no reservation for you, when did you book?
'Ah well reservations aren't on duty on Saturday.'
'She did seem a bit hard of thinking.'
I proceed to recount the highlights of my fun from Saturday.
'I'm terribly sorry sir, I have reserved you a room, may I have your card number.'
Financials were transacted.
And so it cam to pass that I arrived at the hotel.
Chirpy individual of smiling ability greets me.
'Good evening sir!'
'My name is D----. I have a reservation.'
Furious tapping ensues.
'Ah sir, there doesn't appear to be one here. What's your address please?'
Count carefully: One thousand, two thousand, three thousand, check canopy.
I thus regaled the young lady with the woes previously recorded here.
She apologised and tapped furiously. Again,
A quick check on my post code, and I did exist and had two reservations.
No I only need one room.
It is only me.
I am only staying for two nights.
I do not need the second room, it is their fault it has been booked.
No, no one else is joining me.
She gives me a particularly vapid smile.
'Would you like a free copy of the Independent, sir?'
'Not if you paid me.'
I trundle up to the room.
The Door is ajar...so I enter and behold a couple sat on the end of the bed, chatting merrily to one of the liveried running-girls.
'Sorry sir - we are using this for demonstrations'
'You need to demonstrate what a hotel room is...?'
'It is our open day.'
Oh, closed normally are you?'
'Do follow me to reception sir...'
The woman at the desk sensed my impending ire. A single raised eyebrow produced a bottle of complimentary wine with my dinner. The second raised eyebrow produced the porter for my dunnage and a free newspaper. (Telegraph, natch.)
Surprisingly the severe matron who runs the restaurant recognised me, and placed me a goodly distance away from the children. (Why do people with children take them to hotels - can't they afford boarding kennels?)
I appear to be in my very own situation comedy. Nowadays, the staff are Polish, not Spanish.