Monday, January 30, 2017

A Suitcase Full of Toilet Paper

The last week was spent on the road from Lumberton, NC; to Portland and Salem, Oregon; and back to Atlantic Beach, NC. Sometimes I have to look out the window to remember where I am. Having so much time on my hands prompts some observations that are probably left alone.

One morning I was having breakfast in the lobby of one of the fine hotels in our country (really, you should see the lobby of The Grand Hotel in Salem, OR!) and as I’m finishing up I notice a woman—a guest—walking around with an armload of fruit. 

She was walking from bowl to bowl testing apples to get the best ones. When she noticed me watching she said, “We’re leaving.” To which I offered, “Obviously.”

A few minutes later she reappeared with two medium-sized BAGS; one filled with fruit and one filled with bagels. She walked over to a large bowl of yogurt cups and started checking them out.

Now, I get the fact that the food is just out there, and you paid for a room, and if you ate all of it right there you’d be ok. But, does that give you the right to simply help yourself to mass quantities? Am I off base or does the caper lie somewhere between being rude and stealing?

Before I left I got the desk clerk, the head of housekeeping and the manager of the breakfast area together and told them what I had seen. I asked, “At what point does this kind of activity go from helping yourself to theft? Or, is it theft at all?”

Their answers were great…and stunning! The housekeeper said, “I can’t tell you how many times we go into the room of people who are staying for a number of days and EVERYTHING is gone; shampoo, soap, both rolls of toilet paper, anything that isn’t nailed down. And we can see it in their luggage. I stopped by one room after they’d been with us for 4 days and one suitcase was filled with toilet paper!”

The desk clerk and breakfast manager were nodding the whole time.

I understand the sliding scale of honesty most of us operate with. But, I guess my thought is that if you’re going to steal something make it worthwhile…steal something BIG! 

That HD TV in the room was looking pretty sweet.


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