No, no … it’s today!

Saturday, August 27, 2011 – It’s 11:00 and the groom is asking, “Why isn’t our brunch set up at the pool?”

“Um, your farewell brunch is tomorrow.”

“No, no … it’s today!”

“Uh-oh … well, it says right here in the contract you signed, that brunch is on Sunday the 28th, that’s tomorrow. But if you think it’s today, then I guess it’s today.”

“Good, because we’ve got fifty hungry guests and family members waiting at the pool.”



Now Magdalena’s pretty expressive, and she’s certainly shown concern before, but never quite like this.  OMG, what are we going to do?!

“A” number “1” … is Chef Barry available?  Yes, he’s in the kitchen.  Better yet, he has all the food on hand, but hasn’t even started to PREP!  Happily, he’s not your typical chef.  His response?  “Let’s go, I’ll do the best I can.”

All hands on deck … both guys working today from the maintenance department, Chris and Ryan, drop what they’re doing and are immediately moving tables and chairs from the conference room down to the pool.  So is Rob, the GM.  The housemen stop stocking the linen closets with sheets and towels and are now bringing down table linens.  Katie’s gathering up everything we need for the bar.  Antlers front desk staff is pitching in as they’re able.  Magda’s coordinating with Barry, figuring out what we can prep the fastest (turns out to be the fruit tray) and get it down to the pool so the guests at least have SOMETHING.

“Greg, can you bartend?”

“Oh man, I would … I want to … I wish … but I can’t.  I’ve got an obligation I just CANNOT get out of.”

“OK, who then?”

“Rob … you’re elected”

“No sweat, only one problem … I wasn’t really working today.  I just happened to ride my bike in.  That’s why I’m wearing my biking jersey and shorts.  It’s all I’ve got.”

“It’ll have to do.  Can you make a Bloody Mary?”

“Are you kidding?”

Fast forward twenty minutes … some guests are drinking Mimosas, others are munching on the food as fast as it comes out of the kitchen.  The bride’s family has gone from being livid and thinking that we’re totally incompetent, to realizing that we are super-humanly compensating for a mistake that wasn’t really ours.  In minutes, their appreciation is over the top.  Rob’s tending bar in his spandex regalia, garnering more than a few questionable looks.  That is, until people understand “the rest of the story”.

Soon, we’ve served the breakfast burritos that Barry has miraculously put together in nothing flat.  One of the best compliments of the day is when a groomsmen says, “I’m from Texas … we know a thing or two about burritos … and this is the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had!”

Adding to the surreal nature of the morning, at one point Mr. Chatty Bartender Rob asks one of the guests, “So where are you all from?”  “Thunder Bay” is the response.  “No Way!” says Rob, “My BFF George “The Peach” Nickerson is from Thunder Bay!”

“Doc Nick’s kid?  On Algoma Street?”  Ya shoor, yoo betcha.  (just another Vail / small world episode)

Our only regret?  Nobody took any pictures.  Darn.  Oh well.  Bottom line, at the end of the day, we pulled off what would have been impossible for most others, but as they say, “No problem for high steppers like us.”

Although he didn’t focus on the “Miracle Brunch” as much as we might have, here’s a copy of the actual review posted by the groom’s father a short time later …

“As the ANTLERS TURN….” scene 2 by Gz

…….Rob was not crying at his desk this day.  He was visibly upset though.  He looked up at me and explained how the day had started.

“The guests in 524 just called and they were in a bit of a rage”.  I immediately got concerned for lack of confidence in myself.  (I was thinking “Oh man oh man.  I know whatever it is, it has to be my fault.  He can’t fire me today. I have a wedding to pay for in the spring.  Just take it like a man. I don’t even know what I did wrong.  Oh man oh man”.)

He continued “The way they were explaining it to me.  They were up all night because of the sound of dishes being moved, carpet being ripped up, blinds being chewed on, and so on.  They are NOT happy”.

“Any ideas what it is?’ I asked him, now totally calm knowing it wasn’t me moving that stuff around and eating carpet.

“Well, he got up in the middle of the night to investigate and saw the shadow of an animal, and this is his account, about the size of a bear cub running across the floor and then behind a chair.  He called from his cell phone this morning and they’re having breakfast.  He wants us to address this immediately”.  Rob sat back in his chair and took a deep breath.  “I think what he’s most upset about is the fact that he had to put a blind fold on his wife to get her out”.

I was concerned, but had my doubts.  “What would you like me to do?” I asked him.

El Jefe tilted his head and starred slightly to his right as he does when he is contemplating a reply to a question.  “I’m going to change their reservation and move them to another condominium, move  their luggage, put a bottle of wine in their place, with a sincere apology, and discount their stay.  If you could do me this favor.  Put one of those cage traps up there that we catch chipmunks with.”

I was fighting back laughter when I replied “You know Rob, what you just told me is a 1000 to 1 scenario but if there is a bear up there, we’re going to need a bigger trap”.

He looked at me steely eyed.  I said “I’ll go check it out”.

Just around the corner from Rob’s office is the front desk and Pedro, one of our more knowledgeable front desk employees whose only problem is he never knows when to stop talking, overhears our conversation.  He proceeds to tell Darci, the mailman and 2 other guests that “there is a bear in house.”  Ratz has told him countless times to “Speak when you’re spoken to but try to limit your response to a half day”.  Rob approaches them and explains the room move.  “Could you update housekeeping for me?”

This is the type of conversation that goes on between the Antlers Front Desk and Houskeeping litterally dozens of times a day.

Darci is on the radio and says “Front Desk to Housekeeping”.

Gladys answers “Go ahead”.

“There was a little problem in 524 this morning so Rob moved the guests to 604.  So 604 is a check-in and the guests are already moved and 524 is a check-out and the room is dirty.”

“OK. Thank you.” and then Gladys relays the message in Spanish to the crew that is responsible to clean 524.  These gals are good and when it’s time to clean a room, it gets done.

Five minutes later there was a blood curdling scream and there were reports it was heard as far away as the Vail Marriott……