Sunday, 3 July 2011

Storytelling Sunday - What's the first thing you do on holiday?

When I left school I went to work for a holiday Tour Operator.  We sold villa and apartment holidays and then merged with another company to offer hotels and long haul holidays too.  I worked in several departments gradually working my way to the Passenger Relations department which is a posh way of saying 'Complaints'.
Some of the stories we heard made us laugh, some were people just trying to get some money back but every now and again we had a letter which made us genuinely feel so very, very sorry for the holidaymakers. 
Most holiday companies don't offer holidays to Greece in the Winter, the weather is too unpredictable and the properties not really suitable for winter weather.  Our Greek season used to start mid-April when it was warmer but the holidays then were much cheaper as a lot of tavernas and shops in the resorts didn't really open until after Easter.  So anyway.  We had this family who went out to one of the Greek Islands at the beginning of the season.  The representative out there asked the maids to go to the villa and open all the windows and doors while she prepared it for the visitors as it hadn't been used since October and was a bit stuffy and cold. 
The family arrived and were shown into the villa.  They were happy with it, although one of the bedrooms still seemed a bit 'stale'.  The rep said she would ask the maid to completely clean that room again the next day and again leave the windows open to air it in the sunshine.  It was only a small single room being used by their young son, it should soon be fresh again.
But when the rep returned the next day, the parents weren't happy.  If anything, the room seemed worse and although the rep tried to keep a professional face, she admitted that there was a strange smell in the room.  Extra air fresheners were left in there to try and mask the odour. 
The following day the family were really upset, the son was now refusing to sleep in the room and although the rest of the villa was warm and fresh, that one particular room was getting worse.  The maid was sent back to thoroughly spring clean the room, top to bottom.  Which was when the cause of the smell was revealed.  Those of a delicate disposition or ever planning to go to Spetsai early in the season should look away now.
When the maid stripped the bed - she discovered .... a decomposing tree rat trapped in between the sheets at the bottom of the bed.  Can you imagine????? Obviously as the little boy only had little legs, he had not discovered what was lurking down there.  The maid rang the rep who kept the family well away while the 'visitor' was disposed of.  It must have crept in when the maid went in to make up the beds before their arrival and left the windows open to air the villa.  The tree rat found a nice snug bed to settle down to go to sleep in, got trapped, died and .......caused a very nasty smell!  The family assumed that the fact that the smell disappeared after that day was due to the thorough cleaning that the maid did, but we knew better.
Which is why - the very first thing I do whenever I go on holiday is to strip the bed down completely - even if it is a 4* hotel - just in case!  And having read my story, I wonder if you will too?

24 comments:

Louise said...

The first thing i do is check the view...not now...will definitely be turning down the beds.

Amy said...

Deb, I am never surprised by your stories, this one is no exception! Yukky, yukky, yukky .... and it is nearly dinner time here!

Sian said...

Definitely! what a brilliantly awful story! It's the kind of thing that ends up as a Youtube video these days. Or even on the front of the papers!

I always really admire anyone who works in a Complaints Dept, it can't always be fun.

Thanks for joining in Storytelling Sunday today Deb. And if you had been around to help with the sewing I'm sure we would have got that Sindy Boutique finished

Jane said...

yuk, I know what I'll be doing now!!

scrappyjacky said...

I would probably have rather not read this story,Deb....I know what I'll be doing in future!!!!

Scribble Monster said...

Haha great story. x

Jimjams said...

Eeek - I think I may have to start checking beds now ... though I suppose in the age of duvets this might be less likely to happen! Great tale TFS!

Ladkyis said...

I have to sleep with my feet outside the covers so I usually pull out the tucked in sheets. In future I will also be taking a good look, just incase!

dogmatix said...

YUK! Great story but I feel distinctly icky now lol

Ifa said...

yuks, now you got me worried but on the other hand, I only have little legs too.

angelfish said...

What a discovery, thank goodness it wasn't made by the little boy!

Lynn said...

Yuk! What a great story. I'm sure there will be lots of us now checking our beds on holiday!

Alana said...

Oh my word! I would seriously freak out if that was my bed. Usually the first thing we do when we go to Slovenia is go to our fav. cake shop and have a local cake and a beer. Think I may check the bed first this time.

Alison said...

Yuk! I am speechless Deb...can't help thinking what if the little boy had found it! Great story though!!
Alison xx

Becky said...

Definitely! Off to Cyprus soon and will be stripping the bed off to check the bottom! Great story though, did make me laugh :)

Cheri said...

That is SOOOO disgusting! I usually pull off any quilt or bedspread when in a hotel because I know they don't get washed regularly... now I'll be checking the bed thoroughly!

JO SOWERBY said...

yucky is right. what a story to hear. i wonder the family hadn't evacuated knowing the smell decomposing mice can make having found several mummified behind my piano,
jo xxx

furrypig said...

Eeeeeeek! That is horrible and yes i may very well check all the beds I ever sleep in again!

Ginger said...

Ooh what a great story Deb! I will keep this in mind the next time I travel :) Thanks for your lovely comment yesterday :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Yikes! What a well told story today! Thanks for sharing it (I think - as someone about to embark on vacation . . . ).
Rinda

Denise said...

Yuk yuk and triple yuk, I seem to have a vague recollection of this story - and I love your cupcake header x x

Scrappi Sandi said...

EEEEEEuuwww!!!! I usually check the loo first...but maybe the beds'll be a close second now!! I'm catching up so thanks for the smile re the Dawn French clip & your step squelch fruit picking....oh! & the 'Pink' flavour story too!! :)

favouriteworkofart said...

Ooh, how awful, but how well told!

Wanda said...

All I can say is "yikes!" I'm so glad the family never found out what the cause was...it might have been enough for them to do without vacations forever!