I work front desk at a hotel. We have been sold out for much of the summer, even on weekdays. These are the most common responses people have when I tell them we are sold out. These people have usually been going to, or calling hotels for awhile by this point. I know they are sick of it, but when you are looking to rent a room, especially when it is busy, please remember that the person behind the desk has been dealing with the same question all night, probably has other issues, and someone at the desk at the time you called. On my worst nights I have a screaming guest on hold, on hold, I have called for assistance with our new, fancy, totally broken computer system, and have a line of guests waiting to check in.

-Me:                      “We are sold out.”

-Customer:         “What is going on?!”

-My Thought:    “Does it make a difference to you at this point?“

-What I say:        “This is normal for the area, plus there is (any events I happen to know of)”


-Me:                      “We are sold out.”

-Customer:         “But the parking lot is empty”

-My Thought:    “Yeah, but the rooms are booked. Smart people who booked ahead expect them waiting for them when they arrive at 2AM”

-What I say:        “Some people have not checked in yet, but the rooms are already guaranteed for guests who reserved them.“


-Me:                      “We are sold out.”

-Customer:         “You don’t even have a closet we could sleep in?”

-My Thought:    “Yeah I could put you in the maintenance closet and beg you to sue us.“

-What I say:        ”(chuckle) No, I’m sorry.”


-Me:                      “We are sold out.”

-Customer:         “Are you sure?”

-My Thought:    “No, I just said that to see your reaction”

-Or:                        “Actually no, I just say that to make less work for myself.“

-Or:                        “Oh hey, the room of requirement just popped up in the system. It’s on the invisible 4th floor. You have to climb up the ladder outside”

-What I say:        “Yes, unfortunately.”


-Me:                      “We are sold out.”

-Customer:         “Would you have something later?”

-My Thought:    “I am not psychic. People may check out early, people may get pissed and leave. The owners may fix the problem in whatever Out Of Order room I have. But no matter what, the room would be gone in 5 minutes to whoever times their call just right, so it will not be you. Do not try, I have enough people calling without you trying back all night on the off chance that something happened.“

-What I say:        “No, have a good night”


-Me:                      “We are sold out.”

-Customer:         “Do you know if anyone has some rooms?”

-My Thought:     “Why do you think I would want to send you to the competition?”

-Or:                        “I am way too busy to deal with a persistent person right now, go away.“

-Or:                        “The other hotels usually fill up before us, so you’re screwed.”

-Or:                        “Because I totally have time to do your dirty work for you.“

-Or:                       “I know nothing is available, but if I tell you that you will keep me on the line for 5 more minutes, so I cannot help you and say to look outside of town, I have to let you run around on a wild goose chase.”

-What I say:        “I have not had time to check yet.”

-Or:                        “Online I see that ____ has some.“ (but sometimes front desk leaves rooms to only get sold online, so that might not help you)

-Or:                        “I have been looking and there is nothing in the area online. I wish you luck.”


And my personal favorite:

-Me:                      “We are sold out.”

-Customer:         “Well f*** you!”

-My Thought:     *dumbfounded “Why the f*** are you pissed at me? Make a f***ing reservation next time.”

-What I say:       “You too” And the guests in the lobby think they said ‘have a good night’ or something

I have even had people claim to have had a reservation, deny that it could have possibly been under a different name or at a different hotel. Sometimes they realize they were mistaken, sometimes they just get screwed. If you did make a reservation. Find where it actually was, because we don’t go through the time & effort to make a reservation and then not do it. You will get charged a no-show fee from the hotel where you actually booked. If you did not make a reservation, claiming you did will not help you get a room when there are none available. The laws of physics do not change because you claim that.

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