A dreadful case of mistaken identity

01 January 2000
A dreadful case of mistaken identity

I still feel the pain of humiliation when I remember my first public embarrassment. I was on duty at 7am ensuring that things were going smoothly when I was called to reception.

There was turmoil as a drunken tramp tried to check in using a BT phone card. I asked the vagrant to leave and at once received the most exotic expletives I had ever heard. I grasped him by the collar and walked him out of the hotel.

That evening, I started my night shift and was briefed to expect a guest who was walking the entire length of Britain for charity. He was staying at the expense of the hotel.

We were understaffed in the restaurant that night, so I immersed myself in serving customers. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I recognised the same tramp I had thrown out earlier walking through our restaurant.

I dropped what I was doing, picked him up in a fireman's lift and moved quickly to the fire exit. Once we were outside, I had no hesitation in returning the abuse I had received that morning.

Back at reception, I proceeded to tell the head receptionist about my escapade. I stopped halfway through when I noticed the look of horror on her face. I had thrown out and banned the charity walker who was supposed to be staying with the managing director's best wishes.

When I had tracked him down in a local pub, it was only my magnificent crawling that saved my bacon. n

If you can relive the worst moment in your catering career, share it with us. Send it to: My Worst Moment, Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS. Everyone who has an item published will receive a framed copy of the original cartoon accompanying the article.

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