Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CHECKING IN OR OUT (hotel/motel on vacation) (08/27/15)
- TITLE: Come on, Vivien
By Judy Sauer
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“Come on, Vivien!” Tom preaches in a wiped-out, aggravated tone. With his favorite fishing hat, complete with fishing hook and feathered lure on it, covering up his sun-fried head, Tom stands by the hotel room door. His patience has long since evaporated.
It was a lovely vacation until it came time to leave. “We push the check-out times too often. I don’t want to pay for an extra day just because you wait too long to get moving.” he barks.
“I’m coming. Hold your horses,” Vivien cries out in despair. ”Have you seen my phone charger?” she asks. “What about my purse? Have you seen my purse?” She murmurs under her breath that she cannot figure out how things go missing at the least opportune time.
“Good heavens, woman. Can’t you keep track of your things? Why is it easy for me to get out the door before check-out time and not you? You just cannot seem to focus.”
Vivien cries out “If you had these hot flashes, you too would be a sweltering mess.”
Menopause is an unwelcomed reality and it has been three years now since it began. “When will this horrible menopause ever end?” she broods over in her heart.
“Found them!” she exclaims with victory. Okay, let me look around one last time to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.”
Tom huffs as he keeps checking his watch being mindful of the 11 o’clock departure time.
“Oh goodness. I almost forgot my hiney wipes on the toilet. I cannot live without these things. One can never be too fresh.” She talks aloud as if Tom cares to hear her plight. He does not.
Her purple suitcase is bursting at the seams and it still needs to be zipped up. Good thing this is expandable because it gets smaller by the end of vacation. runs through her mind. “Tom, I think I’m ready now. We better hurry to not miss our checkout time.”
“That’s what I’ve been saying all along, Vivien. Do you ever hear me when I speak to you?” he breathes out like a fire eating dragon.
“Not when I’m distracted getting everything ready to go. You know I don’t multi-task well. Your barking only makes me freeze up more because of the pressure,” Vivien confesses.
“Oh great!” Tom announces when he sees a line of people waiting to check out at the front desk. They cannot penalize us now that it’s ten minutes past the hour. runs through his mind.
“Next!” the front desk clerk announces.
“There’s a problem with the bill,” Tom states. “We were here two nights, not three. The person who checked us in must have put down the wrong date in your computer.”
“Vivien, find our hotel confirmation in the travel documents. I need to show it to this guy so we are not being charged for a night that we were not here.” Tom asks.
She looks in her white, road-worn shoulder bag and pulls out the confirmation and hands it to Tom.
“I’m glad you kept the confirmation, Mr. Smith, because our system shows otherwise. I’ll correct the date so you are only charged for the two nights. But we have a new problem, sir” the clerk announces.
“Now what?” Tom questions with his ‘I cannot believe this is happening’ tone of voice.
“Sir, it’s is a quarter past the hour; 15 minutes after the 11 o’clock check out time. I need to charge you for an extra night’s stay,” the clerk states with a ‘I follow the rules’ voice.
“Oh no you don’t. We have been standing in line waiting. It’s not right to penalize us that there is only one of you and five people all checking out at 11 o’clock,” Tom pleads his case.
“Fine. I’ll check you out for two nights with no penalty. Will that suffice, sir?”
“Yes. Thank you very much.” Tom states in agreement.
“Let’s go Vivien.” Looking around Tom does not see Vivien. “Come on, Vivien,” he barks when finding her in the breakfast area watching the news.
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