Tuesday, November 20, 2012

$400 ketchup

Let me just start this post by saying Teenage Boys Are Stupid.  Or TBAS.  Some situations can only be dealt with by accepting that TBAS.  So without further ado, another Carter story........

After we arrived home from our fun Memphis weekend, I sat down at my computer to check our online bank statement and was shocked to see an additional $400 charge from the hotel we had just checked out of.  I immediately called the front desk and was told that the $400 was a fine they charged us for "trashing" the hotel room.  I don't know about you, but "trashing" a hotel room makes me think of Johnny Depp c.1994 and when I left our hotel room, the only thing amiss was that I threw the towels into the dry tub so I could get them out of the way.  That's when the hotel clerk told me there was splattered ketchup all over the room.  He was explaining the damages and although I could hear him, my mind was wandering to 5-hour old memories.  1*Carter had left his headphones in the room, and he, Stevie, and Brady ran back up while we waited in the car.. meaning I was not the last person to be in the room 2*while stalking Carter's Twitter page on the way home, I saw that Stevie commented about "trashing a hotel room" 3*well, TBAS.  So, I asked the hotel guy to email me the pictures and I would call Tuesday to talk with the hotels GM  (he was off til then).  Carter immediately got that "oh shit" look on his face and for the next hour, Scott and I went crazy on him while our other three kids cried and screamed out random things like "We're never going to be able to eat again, our money is gone!!"  "I'm never eating ketchup again!!"  "Hotels will never let our family back in!!!" 

So how did we get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what happened during those 30 seconds in the room??  Well, we asked Brady Smallie of course.  He may be the most mischievious little guy around, but he sings like a bird the first chance he gets...always.  And sing he did.  Turns out, Stevie threw a packet of ketchup (like the picture above) at Carter and it splattered onto the wall.  Because TBAS, they didn't mention it to us and we left Memphis.  Once I saw the pictures, I realized that the room wasn't neccessarily trashed, but definitely messed up enough to tick off hotel staff.

 On Tuesday, I called the GM four times and he never returned my calls.  On Wednesday, I left another three messages.  Yes, he's busy, but come on, a $400 charge is worth calling me back about.  By Thursday, I was fired up.  Those of you that know me, know I am not a confrontational person and I HATE the telephone.  I can't even order pizzas because it makes me nervous.  Making this phone call was defintiely not something I was comfortable with, but Scott is even worse at this crap than me, so I didn't have a choice.  {I will say I was this close to having my friend Crista call for me...she's crazy like that :) }   So, once again on Thursday he was "away from his desk" and his voicemail was full so I told the front desk that if I did not hear from him within the hour, he would be hearing from my lawyer.  Ten minutes later, he called me back (funny how that works, huh?!).  We went round and round for a good 20 minutes and I finally got his attention when I told him I was going to contact the soccer tournament director and petition to have his hotel removed from the recommended list (these tournaments require you book hotels through their list of hotels).  And that the other 21 families that traveled with us that weekend would be willing to fill out the online survey with not-so-great reviews.  Here was my beef with this entire situation....Yes, the mess in our hotel room was our fault and I had absolutely no problem paying an extra cleaning fee for the mess.  But bottom line is $400 was an outrageous fee for one packet of ketchup.  Bed linens can be washed (and let's be honest...ketchup is not the worst thing that has been on those sheets in their lifetime) and walls can be washed down.  The pictures revealed nothing different than crap I deal with every.damn.day of my life.  My closing remarks went something like this..."I am really sorry about all of this.  Had they told us this happened, we would have gone back up to the room and cleaned it and no one would have ever known.  My husband and I are very embarressed about this and the boys will be punished and expected to pay the fee.  TBAS and they make bad decisions (at least mine does...a lot.) but there is no way I am paying $400 without putting up a HUGE fight."  In the end, he agreed to knock $300 off the fine and Stevie paid half.  Guess what Mr. Carter is getting in his stocking this Christmas??  KETCHUP. 

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