Checking Out

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

A phone charger, several travel adapters, a pair of socks, two men’s handkerchiefs, some Y-fronts, a woman’s cardigan, a man’s shirt and a book. These are the things I’ve collected so far from vacated rooms since Bressenden started taking in guests four months ago. And guests have twice gone off with the room and front door keys. Today some guests took the keys but left a map. I don’t mind returning the odd item, but I’m not a postal service, and apart from the inconvenience of having to pack and label the items and purchase the postage, I have to make a car journey to get to the nearest post-office. As for guests returning room and house keys, I am not keen on the idea of my front door key being sent by unregistered mail to the very door it is designed to open. The surprising thing is that these items have been left not in cupboards or drawers, but usually in full view on top of the bed, inside the bed, and even, in the case of the shirt, in the middle of the floor. Those who fail to give their rooms even a perfunctory glance before closing the bedroom door are not young people inexperienced in the art of travelling but, for the most part, seasoned travellers in middle age or older. The term “checking out” is what it is for good reasons. I’m tempted to make departing guests sign a form to the effect that they have checked their room thoroughly and absolve me from any obligation to return forgotten items. But I too should be more vigilant. Up until now, I’ve allowed guests to leave their bedroom door keys in the keyhole. From today, guests will not be allowed to leave until they’ve handed me the keys.