I had been married for a year and we hadn’t been able to afford a honeymoon. So we saved for a year, picked a Montego Bay resort in Jamaica, off a travel brochure, and prepared for a long week-end getaway over President’s Day. We lived in New Jersey at the time and hadn’t traveled much. My wife was from a very small town in West Virginia and never been in a hotel before.
We arrived on the island and got an airport shuttle to the resort. It was beautiful and exciting. We unpacked and headed downstairs to the outdoor café for dinner. After a multiple course meal, my wife said, “Thank you Walter, as the black man in the crisp white suit cleared our table. As we walked away, I asked how she knew his name. She informed me that it was on his nametag. I escorted her back up to our room where she used the key and opened the door. Immediately, she slammed the door and pushed me back down the hallway.
“Oh my god, we’ve been robbed?” she exclaimed, obviously shaken.
“You’re kidding,” I replied in disbelief.
“No, really. Everything’s been touched. All our stuff has been moved. I didn’t see our suitcases, clothes or anything. I’m afraid to go back in. We should go talk to the manager right now,” she demanded.
“Calm down,“ I said. “Let me take a peek,” and I grabbed the key out of her still- shaking hand.
“Please don’t do it,”she pleaded, as I walked to the door anyway.
I gently pushed the door open and saw the problem. Our “stuff” had definitely been touched. The suitcases we left on the bed were against the wall. The bed was now made and turned down. The robbers had even gone to the trouble to place small chocolate mints on the pillows as a “thank you” for allowing us to let them steal us blind. Inside the bathroom, I noticed that the towels had been straightened by the criminals. They had even left fresh soap, the swine!
My wife was waiting patiently outside as I returned.
“It’s okay,” I reassured her. “It think the burglars worked for the hotel.”
“What do you mean?” she asked, somewhat puzzled.
“It was the maid. They do that sort of thing at nicer hotels. Like turning down the bed, getting us fresh towels and, did you notice the mints?”
“Mints? She replied as she gingerly followed me back inside.
At that point she settled down and began to enjoy the resort. Two days later, after having all our meals at the hotel with the same server, we had just finished our dessert after dinner. It was our last meal and Walter thanked us for our generous tips, my wife and I were walking away when I saw another server at the hostess stand. She wore a name badge that read, “Waiter.”
I turned to my wife, who had relatively poor eyesight and said, “Could you stay here a minute?” She looked perplexed but waited as I left to find our waiter.
I walked up to him and said, “Excuse me, but what’s you name?”
He was surprised, but said, “Why it’s Cedric, sir. Why do you ask?”
“Well, my wife called you “Walter” for three days and you never once corrected her.”
He simply smiled and said, “That would be rude to correct a guest, sir.”
I reached in my wallet and gave him a twenty dollar bill, “That’s for the excellent service,” I told him, strolling away to find my wife,
After I told her the story, she laughed until tears rolled down her nearsighted eyes.
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Jeffrey Hauser was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master's Degree from Monmouth University. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. He has authored 6 books and a novel, "Pursuit of the Phoenix," available at amazon.com. His latest book is, "Inside the Yellow Pages." Currently, he is the Marketing Director for thenurseschoice.com, a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.
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