When a poorly dressed man was refused service at a five-star hotel, Audrey decided to extend an invitation to her house. She introduced the man to her husband, and he stayed with them for three days. But then he revealed his true identity and some shocking news.
“This is a five-star hotel. We have the right to refuse service. Please, leave, or I will call security right now,” Audrey heard Whitney’s voice sneer at someone. She turned around and saw an older man in poor clothing at the reception desk.
Whitney had been a receptionist at the hotel in New York for as long as Audrey. But they were not friends because Whitney was a mean person.
“Please, miss. You just need to call the manager, and he’ll understand,” the older man begged, and instead of listening to him, Whitney picked up the phone to call the guards, giving the man a disdainful look. Audrey decided to step in before security got there.
“Sir, please come with me,” she told the man, who raised his eyebrows at her and followed her outside. “Sir, I’m so sorry. But this hotel is so exclusive and so dismissive that they won’t ever let you in here.”
“Why? If people have enough money then they should be allowed inside,” the man countered.
“No. The manager has trained everyone to refuse service unless people are wearing expensive clothes. I don’t know why,” Audrey explained. “But you look tired and like you need a place to stay. My husband and I have a small room that we rent on AirBnB sometimes. It’s empty now, so you can stay there as long as you need.”
“I see. Wow, young lady. That’s a very kind offer. My name is Nicholas by the way. It’s nice to meet you,”
“Likewise. I’m Audrey, and here’s my husband,” Audrey stated as a car pulled up in front of them. “Hi Frank! This is Nicholas. He’s our guest tonight!”
The woman helped Nicholas get into Frank’s car, and they rode home. She told Frank everything that happened and why Nicholas ended up with them. He was nodding by the end of the tale. “One time, we wanted to rent a room and use Audrey’s employee discount on Valentine’s Day, and they refused us. I thought it was insane since my wife works there, but they said it was policy,” Frank revealed while driving.
Everyone deserves to be treated equally.
“Why didn’t you quit?” Nicholas asked from the back seat.
“Oh, I would’ve. But Frank got into an accident shortly afterward and lost his job,” she replied.
Frank nodded, “Yeah, I lost my leg too. That’s when we decided to turn the extra room at the house into an AirBnB. Now, we’re finally settled, and we were able to find this disabled-friendly SUV at a great price. But no one will hire me with one leg, so we still need Audrey’s income and benefits.”
“I see,” Nicholas whispered and stayed quiet for the rest of the night. He rented their room for the next three days and shared some pleasant times with Audrey and Frank. He learned that they were both hard workers and loved that there was someone good at the hotel.
But it was time to tell the truth.
He asked Frank to drive him with Audrey to the hotel three days later. But they were both shocked to see him dressed impeccably in an Armani suit and dress shoes. “Wow, why didn’t you wear those clothes before, sir? They wouldn’t have denied you service,” Audrey said as they all got into Frank’s car.
“I was actually testing them. I’m Nicholas Arnoult. I own that hotel and several others around the country,” the older man revealed.
“What?” Audrey asked in shock, turning around in her seat to look at the man.
“I was actually surprised no one recognized me,” Nicholas commented.
“I think no one has ever seen you. The cleaning staff has only ever met Elizabeth Arnoult, and she was nice but firm,” Audrey continued.
“Yes, my granddaughter is great at managing some things. But honestly, the manager at your hotel has been asking for a promotion because he believes things are running smoothly at that location. But I beg to differ, and today is not going to be a good day for them,” Nicholas stated and went silent. Frank and Audrey side-eyed each other and didn’t say anything either.
“Miss, I would love to see the manager,” Nicholas said to Whitney, who smiled hugely at him after noting his nice, expensive clothes. She didn’t recognize him from three days ago, as if he wasn’t even important enough to remember.
“Right away, sir!” she agreed and picked up the phone.
The manager came right away, and unlike the rest of the staff, he knew exactly who was at the reception desk. “Mr. Arnoult! Hello, sir! Why didn’t I know you were coming? I’m—”
“You are Gregory McKenzie, the manager,” Nicholas interrupted. “But honestly, Gregory. I was here yesterday and was treated like nothing by this lady right here.”
“What? Whitney, what did you do?” the manager turned towards the receptionist in anger.
“No! He wasn’t. I—”
“I’ve also been told a lot about the kind of reception people get here,” Nicholas continued, not wanting to listen to Whitney’s excuses. “And it’s all going to change from now on. Miss Whitney, you’re fired, and you too, Gregory.”
After that day, Nicholas decided to make drastic changes among the hotel staff and management. Some were promoted, and others were fired for keeping the same policies as Gregory. But one significant change he made was hiring Frank as a concierge, although he had no previous training. The older man wanted someone as lovely as Frank to greet his clients, no matter how they were dressed. And his decision paid off.
Frank worked himself up to manager in just a year, and Audrey became the head of the maintenance staff around that time. Nicholas taught them that they needed to treat everyone equally at their hotel. That’s the nature of their career in hospitality.
What can we learn from this story?
Everyone deserves to be treated equally. Nicholas was willing to pay out of pocket but was discriminated against because of his clothes. That’s not how hospitality works.
Some people need to be humbled down. Nicholas fired the manager because he instilled that horrible way of treating people at the hotel. He needed to learn that he wasn’t a god and couldn’t do that in Nicholas’ business.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.