Non-Fiction Friday: Don't Be The Hero

When I bartended at a four star beach front hotel, a couple in a luxury suite ordered a bottle of Belvedere to their room, along with mixers, garnishes, and several glasses. Our lobby bar supplied the goods, room service took care of the rest. This wasn't an unusual order, as bottle service has become more and more popular over the years, even for parties behind closed doors.

As far as we know, the party went off without a hitch. There were no complaints from other guests of unruly behavior or loud music. The furniture was left intact. Their bill was paid upon check-out the next morning. But there was one little problem. They left the bottle of Belvedere in the room with a note that said they decided not to use it after all, seal broken.

House keeping brought the bottle to us, suspicious. Yes, the seal was broken, but the bottle was full.
Our colleagues said it smelled like alcohol, and they were right about that. But when the bar staff pulled out the cork to smell the contents, it was obvious that this was not vodka.

In my opinion the broken seal was enough to bill that couple for the bottle, without any explanation needed. You open it, you pay for it. But another girl I worked with thought we should be 100% sure that it hadn't been accidently opened. The rest of us said it wasn't necessary but she insisted.

She poured a few drops into a shot glass, and drank the foreign substance. I don't know what she was trying to prove exactly. It's not like we were going to use it anyway. Right away, she confirmed for us that it was not vodka. More like rubbing alcohol she thought.  We dumped out the bottle, made sure it was on the guest's bill, and went about our business. But not our fellow employee. She got so sick she ran to the bathroom about a dozen times in about an hour, and then asked to be sent home. When she came back the next day, she seemed fine. I was afraid to ask.

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