San Bernardino Hospitality

It happened even at Trip Advisor’s #1 ranked hotel in San Bernardino.

Before I dive into what happened, Trip Advisor is a well-known reputable travel website, which anyone who uses the service is required to sign-up via email and then verify their email. I’m sure like any site there could be foul-play with someone creating 100+ fake accounts just to beef-up the popularity. I doubt Trip Advisor is that type of company.

(I’m sure you have seen several of those google reviews where a company has 5 stars but you have been to that company and you wonder what was so five-star about it? Which reminds me and I promise I’m not trying to enter a rabbit hole; although it would appear that I am. I once gave a 1 star review on Glassdoor, which I have since deleted. I deleted it because I realized no one other than the company cared about the poor review and since I wasn’t with the company anymore what was the reason to give them a 1 star. So, anyways, I was a W9 employee for a real estate company. Glassdoor currently shows 11 reviews for this “real estate company” and all are 5 stars. It’s a 501-1000 employee company and you guessed right the CEO’s approval is 100%. At the time of my posting, 4 months ago, of my 1 star for reasons I won’t get into because it’s not the proper time, there were 5 reviews. I wrote the review, Glassdoor reviewed it and accepted its content and posted it. Normally, any review posted in the current shows up as the most recent review. My review was buried below the other 5 reviews. By the way, the real estate company gives employees points for posting positive reviews on Glassdoor, which in turn can be used toward trading in those points for rewards.)

So, I wouldn’t compare Trip Advisor to Google reviews or even to Glassdoor reviews. I trust Trip Advisor reviewers more so than Google reviewers and I know when I post a review on Trip Advisor it will populate to the surface instead of being buried.

Alright, now back to the #1 ranked hotel story. It was approximately 3pm and I decided to use the hotel’s pool. It was 106 degrees outside but due to a low humidity of 21%; it wasn’t comparable to the Kansas City summer’s heat indexes of 110-120. In order to gain access to the gated/fenced-in pool area, a keycard is required. (A day earlier, my keycard didn’t work so I had to walk all the way around to the front entrance and request a new key, which strangely, I was never asked to prove my identification.) My keycard allowed me access to the pool area. Two friendly, Canadiens (we shared stories back and forth for about 30 minutes) said, “Hello” and we exchanged pleasantries. I jumped into the pool because the pool’s recliner seat was way too hot and then I sat back down into the recliner with my back to the gated fence and I continued onward with interesting stories with my two new acquaintances. After about 15 minutes, a person walked toward the gated entrance and said, “Hello, fellas’ how’s it going?” My pool acquaintances said, “Good” so I turned in attempt to see who they were responding to and I noticed what looked to be a policeman. He walked over to the gate. The pool acquaintances and I were now wondering what was about to proceed so we stopped talking and just watched and listened. “Clink, another noise of an unsuccessful attempt of opening the gated door, clink, still another unsuccessful attempt to open the pool entrance door, clink, clink.” This went on for about a minute until one of the guys in the pool (Jim-not his real name) asked him, “Is there something you need help with?” The policeman (dressed to the nines) said, “I need access to that bathroom over there because I received a call that someone had entered it about 20 minutes ago.” The guy in the pool said, “We have been here for over 20 minutes and not a single person has entered or left that bathroom.” The officer said, “Do you mind if I take a look?” and Jim said, “Do you need help getting in to the pool area?” as he began to walk toward exiting the pool’s water I jumped up and began to walk over to the gate and I told Jim, “Don’t worry about it, I will see what this guy wants.” As I was within a few feet of the “policeman” he suddenly said, “Oh, don’t worry about it maybe the call was for the other pool (which is located adjacent to this pool) so he walked away but Jim who was still in the pool had the best view continued to watch. After about 5 minutes, Jim said, “The guy just jumped the fence.” It is about a 5.5ft fence so the feat would have been easy. There was a girl at the other pool in a bikini earlier when I first entered pool #1 and the girl in the bikini was still at pool #2. I asked, “Really, the guy just jumped the fence?” Jim said, “Yeah, he was walking all around the fenced area, looking around and then without warning climbed the fence.” I didn’t think much of what happened but after about 5 minutes both Jim and I wondered where the policeman went because we didn’t see him talk to the girl in the bikini or leave pool #2. Who knows maybe he needed access to pool #2’s bathroom.

The following morning, today, I noticed pool #1 had a sign scotch-taped to the gate stating, “Pool closed for maintenance.” I thought that was strange because the water looked no different than the prior day and there didn’t appear to be any issues yesterday. I spoke with the front desk manager. I asked, “What was up with the sign on the pool gate?” and he gave a very vague answer of “Oh, it’s down for maintenance but it should be back up later today.” I asked, “What is wrong with it?” He said, “The levels are off but no worries it would be available later in the day.” I asked, “What do you mean the levels are off?” He said, “The sand was changed a few days ago but it’s been turning green so they shocked the water but the sand is still green.” I said, “I understand because I use to clean and control the chemical level of an apartment pool.” I then asked, “How long has the pool been out of service?” He said, “I’m not sure as I haven’t worked the last few days.” I then told him, “I was just using the pool yesterday and it was working fine.” He said, “Really, it wasn’t smelling funny or look bad?” I said, “No, it was fine. In fact, there were 3 of us using the pool” and then I explained the story about the policeman. The front desk manager explained, “We keep the bathroom doors locked because we don’t want the homeless sleeping in there” but then strangely, he told me, “I don’t want to alarm you but I have been telling the front desk staff to lock the front doors at night but apparently they didn’t because this morning I found a few used heroine needles.”

Around 2pm today, I noticed a rooter/plumber van stationed outside of pool #1. I asked him, “What is wrong with the pool?” He said, “Oh, it just has a minor maintenance issue.” I asked, “What type of minor maintenance issue?” He said, “The pre-pump section is damaged.” I asked, “How does that part become damaged?” He said, “Oh, just from old age.” I said, “Hmmm…so how long has the pool been down?” He said, “I’m not sure, I was just called out today, but no worries it will be working later I just wish I didn’t have to work outside in this heat.” (He had been living in California for the last 25 years and came from Phoenix.)

After speaking with the pool maintenance guy, I walked back inside the #1 ranked hotel on Trip Advisor in San Bernardino and I asked the front desk manager, “How long it would be before the pool would be open?” He said, “It should be open soon.” I then asked, “Have you heard anything about yesterday’s 3pm pool incident with the policeman?” He said, “Yes, I talked with the next door neighbor hotel (ranked #2 and owned by same hotel brand as the #1 ranked hotel on Trip Advisor in San Bernardino) manager and I was told they called the police officer out because of an incident at their pool.” As I walked away, I said, “It just doesn’t make sense if the policeman was called out by the other hotel and was given a keycard specific for the other pool then why would he climb the fence or not ask for assistance to enter the pool area the three of us were located?” The manager said, “I was told he was having a bad day.”

I walked over to the #2 ranked hotel on Trip Advisor in San Bernardino. I spoke with their manager. I asked him, “What happened yesterday for a policeman to require access to the pool?” He looked confused and said, “What do you mean?”. I explained what happened yesterday around 3pm but I did not share that I had a detailed conversation with the hotel manager of the next door hotel. He said, “I’m not aware of any incidents or events. The hotel log notes do not show any phone calls or activity requiring a policeman.” I asked him, “Why would a policeman climb and enter a gated fence if he could have asked for help from a girl in a bikini?” The manager stated, “I don’t know maybe it was an emergency and he had to gain quick access.” I said, “But you just told me that the hotel notes do not indicate an emergency or a phone call for police assistance.” The manager said, “You’re right this does seem a bit strange and I will do some checking around.”

I walked back to the #1 ranked hotel on Trip Advisor in the area. I stopped by the pool maintenance guy and chatted with him. I asked, “How is the repair coming along?” He said, “It’s going well. I just glued the pieces together and it should be about 1.5 hours until we know if the issue has been resolved.” I chit-chatted a bit more with him about the weather. He then said, “I need to go inside and ask if they received the part that I need to fix a faucet for another job.” We walked inside and he asked the front desk manager, “Did you get that part the one that I need yet?” The front desk manager said, “No, it hasn’t arrived yet.”

The pool maintenance guy motioned that it was okay that I seek attention from the front desk manager. I leaned in because the pool maintenance guy was standing 4 feet to my right and I asked the front desk manager, “So did you resolve the issue regarding the items you found earlier?” He looked at me and then looked away and said, “What do you mean what items?” I said, “You know the items you found this morning. The used needles.” He said, “Oh, yeah we got that handled; it was reported.” I asked, “Who did you report the information to?” He said, “To my manager and area manager.” I astoundingly, asked, “Did you report the incident to the police?” He said, “Why would I do that?” I said, “Because this hotel is ranked #1 in the area and you found used heroin needles and the incident with the policeman yesterday would seem like a good enough reason to report it don’t you think?” He said as he looked away, “No, they don’t care unless someone has a heart attack. We do have the area patrolled from 11p-7am but anything minor like this isn’t important for a report to be made.” (He literally, said, “minor”.) I wished him good luck because it sounds like he is going to need it.

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