Another job, another life…

Posted: March 30, 2009 in Pune
Tags: , ,

This one’s about stuck-up celebrities and film stars — not all of them are, but there are those who really make me wonder…. I met one the other day and she was so full of herself that I really wondered when she would implode!
I worked at a five-star hotel for three years in the 1980s, when Pune had only one such hotel, and anybody who was somebody wanted to stay there. After the initial star-struck reaction I realized that most celebrities were… well…human, but not necessarily like us! They had the same foibles; the same idiosyncrasies; the same prejudices and got the same hangovers!
They too misbehaved with the receptionists; they too got dead drunk and created a scene (I saw quite a few of those). They also checked in to the hotel with their mistresses and took rooms with interconnecting doors — just in case the wife showed up!! Quite a few times, it was touch and go. The mistress left from the ‘Out’ gate even as the wife drove in to the hotel. Thank God, we had two gates some distance apart! Now you know why I said “…not necessarily like us!”
There were the classy ones too. This lot never failed to wish you when they came in and went out, and did everything politely – even complain. And these were the rich, REALLY RICH ones. I remember a regular American guest who was with the then Rajneesh Ashram (now Osho Commune), who would come down to the reception, once he was settled in, with a long list of complaints about his room. He never shouted or spoke rudely, just handed over a sheet of paper with his list of complaints. He expected things to be fixed when he got back in the evening and they usually were.
He came down to the lobby one night because he couldn’t sleep and we had a long chat about ‘Bhagwan Rajneesh’ and ihs business back in the US. He showed me a folder which had the profiles of his group companies – there were at least two dozen names there! It was no wonder he could stay in a five-star hotel for six months at a stretch! And he always tipped me twenty bucks every morning on his way to the Ashram!! In those days, twenty bucks could buy me a packet of Wills Navy Cut, a snack at Vaishali and a movie – two days in a row, so I wasn’t complaining.
But, I’ve also met some complete jerks. These were the kind that really made you wonder whether this was the same person you had read and heard so much about! Like the middle-aged actor who was a superstar of his time. He came with his girl friend and some friends, and wanted two rooms. We had a suite vacant and were ready to give him that, but he insisted on two rooms. He first tried the usual “I know your GM well” line, but when that didn’t cut ice with us, he cajoled us.
Soon the cajoling stopped and the demands started, followed by threats of complaints to the GM, but we refused to budge. Till finally he and his girl friend were given the option of either sharing the suite with their friends or looking for accommodation elsewhere. The chose the former, because the superstar couldn’t possibly stay at a four-star hotel, could he? Oh, and his complaint was trashed by the GM!

More later…Cheers!

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