I’m a Dave Ramsey believer on some points, chiefly the deal about credit cards. I guess I should say I’m a near-believer because I do have a credit card, but I rarely use the thing. I like to pay cash. Tonight I’m in Jackson, TN and I’m staying at the Country Inn and Suites. They take cash and they give the state rate, their room is comfortable, the air conditioner works, the TV works and the bed is ample.
On the other hand, take the Jameson Suites, which is where I made a reservation. They do not take cash after 7:00 PM. In my previous stays I’ve always arrived before 7:00. I didn’t know about their no-cash policy after 7:00. There is no sign stating that cash policy. When I made the reservation, their computer ‘remembered me’ and I’m guessing they remembered I paid cash. When I made the reservation, I told them I would be arriving around 7:30 or 8:00 PM. The person who TOOK the reservation did not mention this policy to me.
Needless to say, when I arrived, cash in hand and I was rebuffed, I was steamed. I did not curse. I did not yell, but I did show more than a modicum of irritation. On the other hand, I had an epiphany…It relates to the fact that I believe that pretty much everything in life can be related to at least one Seinfeld episode. I realized that I could be more than just a sideline viewer…For one brief shining moment, I could be Jerry. I promise you that the following is pretty close to verbatim. I’ve rarely been prouder.
Jerry/John H: I made a reservation for a king-size room, non-smoking.
Agent/Desk Clerk: (noticing that I have cash literally in hand) We can’t give you the room after 7:00 for cash.
Jerry/John H: I don’t understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?
Agent: Yes, we do, unfortunately we can’t give you the room
Jerry/John H: But the reservation keeps the room. That’s why you have the reservation.
Agent: I know why we have reservations.
Jerry/John H: I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a room. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation and that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody
can just take them. (I was REALLY PROUD of myself at this point. Sadly, the clerk neither felt sympathy nor seemed to realize that she was taking part in a seminal moment of my post-modern life)
At this point, I veered off-script, but the results were nearly
Agent: I’m sorry we can’t give you a room. You can speak to the manager.
John H: ok, let me speak to the manager
Agent: I’m sorry..you can’t speak to the manager. She’s not here tonight.
John H: you just told me I could speak to the manager and now you are telling me that I can’t speak to the manager. Does she have a phone?
Agent: You can’t speak to the manager and you can’t have a room.
John H: (holding out a crisp $100 bill. You do see that this is legal tender, right (ok, at this point, I just may, just may have sounded a bit irritated)
Agent: I’m sorry, you can’t have a room for cash. You cannot speak to the manager until tomorrow.
John H: (leaving) trust me, I’ll speak to the manager tomorrow!
I really do think it’s sad that people who want to pay cash, can’t pay cash. It is worth something, you know! Jameson’s ain’t a bad place to stay, but they’ve lost my business.