My friend had been called by the PA of a company that uses the hotel frequently and asked if a visiting company director could be ‘looked after’. This means an upgraded bedroom, a free bottle of bubbly or wine and maybe some chocolates. A couple of days after the visit, the manager was called back by the PA and said, “What did you think I meant by ‘looked after’? I didn’t mean send an escort to his room.”
Apparently the director had gone for a jog in the morning and returned to the room. Just as he was about to shower there was a knock on the door, so still in his jogging shorts he answered. There was a beautiful young woman outside who pushed her way in, kissed him passionately on the lips and moved towards the bedroom. “No, no, please no,” stuttered the man and ushered the surprised woman out.
After calming the PA of the company down, assuring her that the hotel would never send a prostitute to a guest’s room, the manager checked the CCTV. He saw the escort enter the room and quickly leave whereupon, clearly confused, she checked her phone, shook her head and walked round a couple of corners, knocked on another door and this time didn’t come out for a while. What had happened was she’d originally gone to room 412 when she should have gone to 421. Not good with figures in this sense of the word.
He had an even more disturbing story. A maid one day came down from one of the rooms and said, “There’s a body in room 238.” The manager took a concierge to investigate and there in the darkened bedroom there was a prone figure. “You open the curtains and I’ll call the emergency services,” said the manager. When the curtains were opened the body turned out to be a sex doll. This was removed to the office where a short time later a call was received. A male voice said, “I left something in room 238.” “We know you did,” said the manager, “lots of people leave things like gloves and hats but not what you left.” “I wouldn’t have left her but we’d had an argument,” said the man about an inanimate plastic doll. “May I come and get her?” “Of course,” said the, by now, bewildered and bemused manager, “but I advise you don’t leave the doll in bedrooms for maids to find and think they are dead bodies.” “Right you are,” said the man as though he’d just had a conversation about buying teabags.
On a more savoury note had some fabulous fun with Belgian guests recently in Tatton Park as the snow fell. The picture below show several incentive tour buyers hosted by Visit Britain about to scoot through the deer park on all-terrain Segways. Ha, this was fun including a tremendous and dramatic fall I suffered when being too cocky on the way back to the start point. Proper head over heels as I tried to take a bank too sharply. The good news was that it was in full view of everyone. My how they laughed at me.
The Belgians took several pictures of the red deer sheltering in the park. With the snow falling it was pretty as picture. The day before we had gathered in Cloud 23 for a champagne reception, 23 floors up in the Hilton Hotel even though the guests and me were staying over the Midland Hotel. Good job we hadn't had the champagne before the Segwaying otherwise I might have tried to do a wheelie somersault on my machine.
Of course, it is the performer’s job (guides are performers and entertainers not academics although they need a bit of that too) to get the most from an audience, but there’s only so far one can go. Faced with a group of teenagers who have been told to come on a tour after maybe a four hour drive from Oxford where they had already been subjected to a morning tour simply isn’t easy. Similarly with a Malaysian group recently who didn’t really want a full coach tour, they just wanted to get to the Manchester United bit so they could take pictures and tick the visit-to-Britain box for stadia.
With the MIF group it was blast, loads of fun, lots of questions, lots of to-ing and fro-ing, despite the topic.
This Wednesday I conducted a tour for the Alliance Business School. It involved post-grads from China, the USA, the Czech Republic, Spain and Australia. I said, “It’s a shame you aren’t studying the weather because on this tour it’s going to throw itself at you in five different ways: rain, hail, snow, wind and sunshine.” Actually I was wrong we got sleet too.