Dangerous job

by Maria Martinez Rodriguez

This story is part of our 'Unforgettable hotel nights' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition.

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With over 20 years of experience in the hotel and travel industry, I have had many awesome and unforgettable hotel experiences. My story below is true and on my top ten list of unforgettable events in a hotel. My first experience as a Director of Sales at the age of 23 was quite an eye opener. I was required to be the Manager on Duty over the weekend on a rotation basis. After completing my hotel rounds I returned to my office to get some work done. I had my pager on and advised the front desk staff that I would be in my office if they needed me. I left my briefcase in my car so I went to retrieve it.

Unfortunately, I witnessed a drug buy near the hotel employee parking lot. I had hoped that the individuals exchanging the drugs didn't see me but I wasn't so lucky. I immediately went back into the hotel and advised the front desk to contact our local police officers. I then locked myself in my office in hopes that the drug dealers wouldn't see me if they entered the hotel. All was quiet for a few hours until one of my wait staff who just delivered room service to one of our suites, informed me that when he delivered the food, he saw lots of guns and what he believed to be drugs on one of the beds. Fortunately, the individuals in the room were so high that they didn't realize that he had seen this. I had to contact the police again who referred me to the FBI, since it was a national drug ring group that was recently on the news and considered very dangerous. The FBI asked me to reiterate the story and confirmed the information with our wait staff and wanted a count of individuals in the room. I escorted the FBI to the suite, knocked on the door and mentioned that I was the Manager on Duty and wanted a word with them. An FBI agent grabbed me and pushed me out of the way, and proceeded to kick down the door with his fellow agents. Once inside they found several individuals with guns and drugs. Upon further inspection they also found more drugs & guns under the carpet located under the bed.

I realized at that very moment how incredibly stupid it was for me to knock on the door and identify myself as management, not realizing that they could have easily shot at me through the door. After that incident I realized that my life was more important than any job, and how grateful I was to our local police department and FBI agents.

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