It was my mother's, mother who died. So, after eight hours of driving my mother was understandably exhausted.
When we arrived at the hotel the clerk asked for a $100 deposit, gave us our keys and sent us up to our rooms.
We had just gotten all the bags up when my mother walked up to us looking pale. She explained that while we were carrying the bags up she had gotten a call from the front desk. So she went down and the manager confronted her.
The manager apparently approached her in a very combative manner and demanded the full three nights pay for the rooms immediately or we couldn't stay. Understandably my mother questioned this and the woman just kept saying: "Look, you don't get something for nothing. You don't have a credit card, so you have to pay for your entire stay right now or you'll probably run out in the morning without paying."
My mother was upset. She was dealing with the death of her mother, so my sister, brother-in-law and I all assumed that maybe she just misunderstood the manager. After all, when you're in that much emotional pain you tend to get a bit sensitive.
So, my brother-in-law went down to the front desk with my mother to find out just what was going on.
When he returned he said only: We're leaving.
My mother hadn't misunderstood.
Not only had the woman spoken to him in an insanely disrespectful tone (you're going to rip us off and I'm not going to let you), but she tried to accuse him of lying when he pointed out that the sign in the lobby asked ONLY for a $100 deposit on any given room. "I know my own policies," is what she said and yet there was a sign right by her head that read: "A $100 deposit is required for your room."
For whatever reason, it appeared she'd singled us out as thieves.
We packed all our bags, escorted our sobbing mother to the vehicle and returned to get our deposit... at which time she insisted that no way was she giving us the deposit back. We'd reserved the rooms and it wasn't her problem if we weren't going to use them.
I admit, at this point we perhaps didn't behave in the best way because all three of us (my sister, brother-in-law and I) ganged up on her and pretty much told her she was returning the deposit NOW because it was only her extremely rude and uncalled for behavior that was making us leave in the first place.
I felt a wee bit bad for her because she had three pissed off, tall people towering over her and there she was all alone but it was her own fault for handling things in such a horrible manner.
Anyway, we moved to the hotel next door (The Fort Ethier) and were treated beautifully. Ironically next door we got a clear and concise explanation as to what the lady at the West Best was blathering on about.
It's standard practice in a hotel to require the first night's rent in full if you're paying cash.
The clerk who signed us into the other hotel was new and hadn't known this. IF the manager at Super 8 had just explained in a polite manner that THAT was what was going on, things wouldn't have gotten to the point they got to. But, instead, she approached the situation as if WE were in the wrong and as a result everyone got understandably offended.
We happily and easily paid for our rooms at the Fort Ethier, because the woman at the front desk explained the policy in a polite manner.
This whole mess turned out to be a blessing, however, because when she realized we were there for a funeral she gave us a 50% discount.
Seriously guys, if you ever travel to Wetaskiwin, Alberta, stay at the Fort Ethier. It isn't the newest hotel in the world but it has 5 star service. And avoid the Super 8 because the manager there has serious anger issues.