Encounters of a B&B owner, it’s all in a day’s work.

Julie & Gary Smith, owners of Kilbrannan Guest House, Great Yarmouth

People often say to us ‘you must have seen some sights’, ‘you must have come across some strange things’

Well, they are right. We have and I’m going to tell you about some of them through this blog with the intention of hopefully making you smile.

Firstly, I need to explain how we work so that you can understand why we come across these scenarios. Over the years we have owned our B&B we have come across lots more scenarios than I have quoted but these sum most of them up. I also haven’t included some of the more personal issues that we encounter as it’s not my wish to cause embarrassment should anyone recognise themselves within the words:

How we work (briefly)

When a customer arrives, one of us takes their luggage to their room whilst the other one of us sits down in our guest lounge with them and goes through all the things they need to know. (what’s happening, breakfast procedures, personal information etc) we also explain our procedures for cleaning all the rooms every day. When this check in procedure is finished, the new arrivals are shown their table for breakfast and are then shown to their room with further information about the layout and facilities within. Doing our check ins this way not only enables us to get to know each other, it also ensures we’ve covered everything such as food allergies or guidance about the area etc. The customers are also informed of our personal telephone numbers as well as the landline should they wish to contact us for anything during their stay such as emergencies or if something has broken etc. They also know that if we are in the house then we are at their service for anything they need.

Armed with all this information, you would think that there wouldn’t be any issues, would you? Well, not necessarily. I have categorised the scenarios for you:

Room cleaning

Let’s take the time that we had a couple arrive for a couple of days with a load of camera gear including tripod. They told us they were here to do some wildlife photography on the beach early in the morning, except they didn’t get up for breakfast and didn’t even go out until 3pm (without their camera equipment). We entered the room as per our cleaning procedures to find a video camera on the tripod facing the bed. Must have been a wild night! Next day they were a little sheepish.

 Then there’s the time we had a young couple in for a few nights. They seemed nice enough. The girl loved to show off her cleavage and the lad didn’t speak much. They spent a lot of time in their room apparently playing board games. When we cleaned the room after they went to get some food, whilst polishing the full length mirror which at the time was attached to the inside of the wardrobe door, we saw why they enjoyed time in their room! Lined up was every uniform you could possibly think of, including wigs, cuffs, a whip etc.

What about the situation where we entered a room to clean it and a video recorder was set up and recording in the room’s lounge area watching our every move! There was also a sticker placed on the TV which said ‘smile’

Not forgetting the time we found sarcastic notes (things like ‘have you checked the bin’, have you looked under the bed’ etc) placed around the room, in the bin, on the bed, stuck to the tv (and more) referring to an obvious dislike to their room being cleaned every day. Then there’s been several times when a person or persons stay for longer periods of time and set up a makeshift washing line in the shower from corner to corner. Cleaning a shower around someone’s bloomers can be tricky, and enlightening!

We walked into a room which was set up with a double bed and a single bed which we use as a family room. When we opened the door, we saw that the single bed had been pushed to the left side of the room and the double bed had been pushed to the right side of the room. We asked if they had a problem, but the family just preferred to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags.

Can’t exactly explain this one but we a couple stay for the night aged late 40s/ early 50s. The man purported to be a photographer and the lady did look model like. When we went in to clean the room the following morning, almost every surface was covered in coffee, both wet and dry. Even the carpet. We can only assume they had had a photo shoot including coffee!

Emergency call outs

 One night, on a rare occasion, we decided to go out for a meal to celebrate something. Halfway through the meal we received a call from a guest who was calling in a panic from their room. The guest said he couldn’t get channel 3 on the tv. Some emergency! We told them to hang in there, we would be back shortly. After arriving back, I rushed up to the room to find them watching channel 3. They were pressing the wrong button on the remote control.

Talking of TVs, I was sitting in the lounge one evening catching up with some emails when an elderly male guest came down the stairs and into the lounge. It was roughly 9pm and he was dressed in pyjamas. He said that they couldn’t get the TV to work and could I have a look at it. Without hesitation I followed him to the room to find his wife sitting upright in bed fully exposed. I don’t know what the intentions were, but I left the room after pressing the TV’s on button and can’t think of fried eggs in the same way again!

It was morning, just before breakfast time when an elderly female guest called us from her room in a state of panic about something that was broken. She asked if Julie would come up as it was a personal matter. Julie entered the room to find the lady had caught her bra strap up with her dress and couldn’t release them and her male friend (who was sitting in a chair with just his pants on) couldn’t help either. It ended up with Julie basically redressing the lady and abruptly leaving the room.

 Another celebratory meal out, we had just ordered the starters when we received a call from the house reporting water coming from the ceiling and dripping onto our new hallway carpet. Abandoning my imminent meal, I ran back to the house, up to the room above the water drips to find a guest had been running water in the sink with the plug in and forgot. I dealt with the sink, assessed the situation, put measures in place, luckily no damage done. I returned to the restaurant to find they had held back the meal until I was ready. Maybe we could relax now.

A lady shouted down to us from the first floor. She said she was freezing cold and could we put the heating on for them (it was 28 degrees outside). Julie went up to see if everything was ok to find the lady was standing on the landing with just her underwear on! She told Julie she was playing strip poker with her husband in bed and wanted it a little warmer.

We were on the seafront with some other guests watching the fireworks on a Wednesday evening when we received a call from several other guests in a panic because they were locked out of the house and couldn’t get in. It was lightly raining. Luckily the fireworks had finished, and we almost ran home to see what the problem was. When we arrived, there was a line of guests from the door to outside our gate, trying to get into the house. Nobody had thought to use our 2nd door. I entered the house through this door and let everybody in. The problem was down to other guests deadlocking the door when they returned earlier that evening.

A guest came down the stairs to us one evening, kettle in hand and asked us for another kettle as that one didn’t work. We could see they were thinking, why don’t you check these things? I went back to their room with him to find they hadn’t plugged the kettle in!

We heard a lady shout down from the first floor. She had locked herself out of her room and needed to get back in. Julie went up to see what the problem was to find the lady dressed in a hat, fully clothed on top but only wearing knickers below. Julie duly let the lady into her room. Why was she on the landing dressed like that??

The fire alarm sounded early one morning. As a result, guests were starting to evacuate wearing only pyjamas, dressing gowns etc. The alarm indicated to us where the alarm was triggered and upon investigation, it turned out a guest in the offending room stood under the sensor and created a cloud of mist whilst covering himself in deodorant.

Post stay discoveries

The most popular item left in the room when a guest departs is undoubtably a mobile phone charger, but it doesn’t end there. There are many more other items we find along with evidence of some strange behaviour.

Take the time we found a battery operated, hand-held pleasure device just sitting in a bedside drawer ready for action!

Or talking about batteries, whilst checking our equipment was in working order for the next guests, the remote control for a DVD player didn’t work. I checked the batteries to discover they had been swapped with dead batteries of a different make!

Clothing is a common sight to find left behind, with underwear usually found amongst the bed covers as we strip the bed! You would think they’d notice wouldn’t you.

We once found a fishing net standing up against a wall in a room! Luckily the owner rebooked with us to retrieve his only fishing net.

As a guest was leaving us, I noticed she had a bottle of wine sticking out of her bag. I thought nothing of it as we chatted to her before she departed. It was only later that day when another guest asked for a glass of wine, I realised that the earlier, departing guest had swapped her empty bottle for a full bottle from the wine rack in the lounge. Cheeky!!

So, you see we come across all sorts of things throughout our day and although not necessarily funny at the time, we look back at some of these things and just have to smile. I hope this blog has made you smile too.

Thanks for reading.

Gary Smith,

Kilbrannan Guest House, Great Yarmouth

My other blogs:

Bed and Breakfast, the versatile choice for accommodation

B&B Breakfast, a reputation scrambled

Great Yarmouth, from frenzy to quality

Online accommodation reviews, the truth uncovered

Great Yarmouth Bed and Breakfast, a decade of evolution (an owners experience)

An insight into booking UK accommodation and how to save money doing it

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