The lady with shiny white hair tinged with blue, stayed overnight in an upscale hotel in mid-town Manhattan. Beatrice, “Bea” to her friends, celebrated her 70th birthday a few days earlier, and this was her special treat to herself.
She appeared at the hotel’s front desk and began the checking out process. The desk clerk handed her the bill. The total amount due jumped out at her: $350.00.
Bea laid the bill on the cold marble counter top that separated her from the hotel clerk.
“Is there a problem with your bill madam?”
“I don’t have a problem with it at all, although you might. Your advertisement said that a one night package had several features available. I chose to not use any of them. All I did was sleep, soundly, all night long.”
“It’s a packaged rate, madam. The total charge includes all the available extras.”
Beatrice slid her purse to one side, “Listen. I’m not finding fault with the room. This is a nice hotel. However, the room I stayed in isn’t worth $380.00 for just sleeping…especially all alone by myself…in a bed the size of a small country.”
“Your breakfast this morning is part of your packaged rate madam.”
“I’m going out for breakfast, I shan’t be eating breakfast in the hotel.”
A man in a dark blue suit, light blue shirt with French cuffs, and a maroon tie appeared. “Good morning madam. I’m Mr. Steves, the hotel manager. May I be of service this morning?”
The desk clerk turned away and took a seat behind a computer station.
“Good morning Mr. Steves. Yes, I’m checking out; perhaps you can help me. I’m being overcharged for my one night’s stay. I agreed to a room with a basic rate. Please recalculate my bill.”
Bea slid the hotel bill toward the manager.
“Ah yes, madam; and your bill reflects our all-in-one rate for your stay. Did you enjoy your time with us?”
“I don’t know; I think I snored all night. Did I miss something?”
“You could have taken advantage of our Olympic-sized pool and our famous in-house conference center.”
“I’m not a water nymph, and I rarely need a special venue to meet with myself…so, I used neither.”
“Our concierge would gladly have provided you with a theater ticket. It’s only one block from our front door. Many world-famous actors perform on that stage; a number of them stay with us while they’re here. You could have seen a show madam; it was available with your room.”
“I always have a few drops of Tullamore Dew before I retire, Mr. Steves. I slept like a baby all night.”
Bea narrowed her eyes, tucked her head down and rummaged through her purse. She retrieved a leather-bound check book, laid it on the counter, and began to write with a gold ball point pen.
Mr. Steves leaned back on his heels; a satisfactory blush of red washed over his face. He smiled broadly, “I’m certainly pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us madam; we look forward to seeing you again.”
Bea looked up for a second, and paused; she smoothed her tailored jacket, and resumed writing. “I think you’ll find that this will cover my stay, Mr. Steves.”
She handed her check to the manager.
“Madam, you’ve made a mistake. This check is for $150.00.”
“That’s correct I charged you $200.00 for sleeping with me,” she replied.
“But I most certainly did not sleep with you madam.”
“You could have, Mr. Steves. It comes with the package.”
The manager raised his right arm, and motioned with his hand. The counter clerk immediately jumped up and returned to his place at the counter.
“Re-do this lady’s bill. Make the total charge $150.00.”
The manager bowed slightly toward Bea, and retreated to his office.
Bea called after him, “Thanks honey, I’ll look you up again…next time I need a birthday treat.”