As we wrap up yet another weekend of hosting here at BaseCamp I am sitting here reflecting on what went down and the lessons learned!
So this past Monday JJ and I were invited to have a lovely dinner with friends. I had left my cell at home. Upon returning there was a requested reservation from a young gal in Dallas. The request was for 2 adults. I sent her a message and ask her a couple of questions, checked out her FB page and accepted the request for a Friday check-in. The first red flag was when I sent her check-in confirmation Friday AM, I got crickets. So, I waited and waited...
That evening we had dinner and still no response. A storm rolled across then we called it a night. We showered and JJ hit the hay. I stayed up and waited. At 11:13 pm, I received a text that they had arrived. Then I heard them...all of them...as I looked out I see tiny little girls running and screaming and adults...2 guys. So, I stepped back in and thought...hummm...she said a nice weekend with her husband...there must be more!
At that moment, I started thinking now what? Then the music starts thumping, l glance out and we have a boom box with strobe lights going and kids with goggles in the hot tub! Goodness...by this time it is midnight and Billy is like...OH HECK TO the NO! I in my pjs run down the stairs to introduce myself! The look in their eyes was priceless! Of course a tiny girl jumps up out of the water and screams. I am pretty certain she had plenty of sugar during her trip to Oklahoma!
I ask the guys, "where is the lady who made the reservations?"...they said, "she went to the store with the others."...others?? So, I ask, "Well how many do you have with you?" The two started using their fingers counting up the adults then started counting the children. I nearly passed out when they told me 8 adults, 4 children! Folks it is after midnight and I have a situation to say the least!
This is were my words this week in my meetings haunted me...it was playing in my head ("under pressure your true character traits surface!") as I stood there trying to decided now what...my first thought was they have to leave...then I look at the children having fun and think it is midnight, the women are not here, the guys look harmless, things are way worse in the dark...
So, I look at the guys and say, "look the reservation is for 2 adults, we have quiet hours at 11 pm to 7 am so turn the box off, get the kids out, go inside and get some rest and I will officially check you in first thing in the AM!" I return to my house, immediately send the guest a welcome link with house rules and then called AirBnB to notified them the guest had checked-in, but way above the occupancy limit with children. Billy had officially put all parties on notice! By the time I actually laid down it was 2 am and sleep quality was shot! So when JJ got up to get a sip of water and ask,"did they make it?" I said, "yep all 12 of them!" That woke him so neither of us really slept that night.
Now by daylight we discussed the situation and formulated a strategy! We decided to let JJ do the talking and I would do the ride along. So, off on the cart we go to do an official check-in. We had decided we would check out the attitude, the cars and get a visual of all guest and then decide what to do. The plan was to let them know that we could ask them to leave due to the violation of occupancy as the house is not offered nor furnished to handle this many folks. As we pulled up a lady was setting a bag of trash out for pickup. We grab it and told her to let the booking guest know we would be right back. As we took the trash we decided they looked respectable, so we grabbed an ice cold watermelon out of our fridge and drove back around.
We gifted the group the melon and told them we had the right to keep funds and cancel the remaining night, but we would rather just adjust the reservation to include all parties on premise and notify AirBnB to charge additional funds accordingly. The booking guest seemed happy with that and agreed. I will admit, this made me nervous. The last thing I needed was damages or a big mess. So, I had to bear down and surrender the next 16 hours to God!
Now one might ask us ... why not just kick them out? Billy really wanted to just get them on down the road, but JJ reminded me those little girls! It is not their fault their parents made a poor judgement call. So I agreed to play along because the adults where willing to take the consequences (additional rental fees) that came with their poor behavior . In the end game it all worked itself out and no harm was done. I will also say that sometimes these things happen so we can learn and be better managers and hosts. Which in turn is our consequences! When I called the booking agency back they commended us on being so kind and promptly processed the additional fees for the reservation.
After check-out we arrived to clean up the place for our next guests. We found things surprisingly in good shape, but a lot more cleaning to do. In 36 hours, we had 12 guest, $116 dollars in groceries, 7 bags of garbage, every towel dirty, additional bedding to laundry and 1 adorable art piece the girls left in place of the coloring book (LOL)! What I find interesting is the yellow leaf within a heart is the page they tore out to color & leave for us!!
Today, I thanked God for the blessing of lessons today to make me better tomorrow...new policies already in place! I also ask him to hover over me as to not judge others or expect the worse of folks in my efforts of being a host here at BaseCamp. We are also blessed with the ability to assist and welcome ALL Travelers!! The bonus of this last 36 instead of one pin on our map we had several more, one of which can be found in Florida! Now on to bed to catch up on some sleep!