When a state of emergency is declared, people flock to hotels. A majority of them have generators, which means guaranteed water, power and the ability to cook and have food. And during a state of emergency, you can even bring your precious pupper!
What people don't consider is the brave (but also insane) souls who sign up to work "Rideout." These are your bellhops, your cooks, your servers, your housekeeping and any extras filling in trying to create distracting activities to keep guests from killing each other and attempting to go outside during the hurricane.
These unsung heroes are not only battling their own fatigue, but also battling the frustrations of cooped up guests. A live look inside what riding out a Hurricane in a hotel is like:
This is so fun! I can't believe I get to sleep here for free! I hope my roommate is my favorite work friend! It was a little chaotic but that's all part of the adventure! Nobody better eat my snacks...
I don't think I have ever heard this many adult people complain about the pool being closed during a hurricane... Yes, ma'am I know there is no lightning, it is still however hazardous to be outdoors right now.
I don't think I can play one more round of musical chairs or trivia. I'm literally running out of trivia questions, and I don't know how to hula hoop so I have to wait for someone who does to tag me out.
I'm actually so hungry I could eat that whining child. I was supposed to have dinner an hour ago and whoever was on break last is taking their SWEET ASS TIME! Maybe I can just start eating the sugar packets from the complimentary coffee cart....
Why are the lights flickering, where are the generators. I'm literally here so I don't have to be at my house which is going to lose power. No sir, I don't understand how the electricity of the entire building works, but I am sure that whoever wired it did it correctly. Oh, you were an electrician in Missouri, that's so nice, please begin to tell me an hours worth of stories about people you saw die by not circuiting properly.
No, ma'am, you cannot take your dog for a run, you may take him to the designated doggie relief area. Yes ma'am that is also where the smokers have been going to have a cigarette, no I cannot stop them.
This is my lunch break nobody talk to me!!!! *Texts family to ensure theyre ok* *Takes power nap and asks someone to wake me*
What fresh hell is this? I walked out for an hour and now there is triple the amount of people from before and the mounting tension is palpable. No Sir we cannot kick that dog out it's a state of emergency they are legally allowed to be here. I'm sorry you're allergic sir. *sees the same complainer petting a shitzu 15 min later*
Hours Nine through 15:
Sleep. Fretful sleep in a room shared with someone who snores and keeps their phone bright AF.
Nobody talk to me until I have coffee.
No sir you may not go outside. You're right sir, I cannot legally detain you, however, once you exit this building not only are you responsible for any injuries you receive I will also be calling security who can legally bring you back indoors. *guest pushes past me out the doors, security retrieves them 45 seconds later*
I thought that person was my work friend but now I hope they slip on the wet floor and suffer a bruised butt and bruised ego. Or a door flies open and hits them in the face. Actually, I hope that dog pees on them.
No sweetie I don't think we are going to be opening the pool today. I'm so sorry you didn't get to try out your new puddle jumper. Maybe there will be a sizeable puddle from this storm you can fall into....
Everybody please stay away from the windows, there are still hurricane force winds. No buddy I don't think that tree will impale you. Yes, we could call 911 if it did. No, I don't think it would be cool.
We have officially run out of trivia questions. The kids are running the show now. Where are those DVDs, mind-numbing TV is always the answer!!
Sir, I haven't heard anything about the driving curfew. I actually have absolutely no say in what laws are made in regards to driving conditions. I am not keeping you here for my own amusement, I too just want to go home.
I'm on lunch nobody talk to me. *texts mom who tells me everyone is safe but warns me about perils of driving home*
Murmurs of mutiny and an uprising have started. Hotel guests have figured out they outnumber the staff. *Frantically tries to remember Lord of the Flies and how it ends*
Driving bans are being lifted, everyone can check out and go home. Mass exodus occurs, staff holds strong and knows the end is nigh.
Europe's Final Countdown begins to play on a loop in your head. This is it. Your lead has told you what time you can clock out. You are counting down the minutes and the dwindling guests.
YOUR TIME TO CLOCK OUT HAS COME!!!!! YOU ARE FREE!!!!! THE SWEET TASTE OF FREEDOM!!!!!!
Man, I'm so ready to do rideout better next time.
While I encourage everyone to stay safe and evacuate when you are told, I also encourage those who evacuate to hotels to remember that the hotel staff are doing the best they can. They are working with what they've got, and they are doing everything within their power to keep you safe and occupied.
Nine times out of ten the choices being made are above their pay grade and they are just enforcing what management has decided. Please be kind to the people making your ability to ride out this storm a reality!