Murder, She Wrote
I am no Angela Lansbury. She is 90 and I’m just pushing 50. She was born in central London to an Irish mother and English father, and I was born in central Boston to a Jewish mother and father. Dame Lansbury boasts a plethora of film, television and stage awards, and Dameless Ms. Levy boasts an overabundance of anxiety and a few indie author awards. However, we do share a certain feisty je ne sais quoi.
Murder seems to follow her character, Jessica Fletcher, around. Recently, my character, Mindy Levy (you guys all know that’s not my real name, right???) had the very same experience! Well, murder didn’t actually follow me around, it was a work colleague who, coincidentally, also uses a nom de plume! He is not a writer, but his family carefully selected faux personas that reflect the superhero in them just waiting to come out. His family sounds as strange as mine. I think we are going to be good friends.
Exciting and scary all at once, here’s the story.
Bart Granite (props on the name selection) thought he was going to attend another mundane technology industry trade show. Short flight to Orlando, the trade show capital of the southeast followed by a seemingly simple hotel check-in. After the first hotel realized they didn’t have a reservation for Bart, they sent him on to a sister property nearby. No problem, Bart is an accomplished traveler and is not rattled by little bumps in the itinerary.
He was handed his room key and off he went to unpack and prepare for the evening’s planned activities. He found it strange that the bed was unmade and someone’s clothing was strewn across it. Uh, yeah, they gave him the key to another guest’s room. Bart’s keen sense of danger kicked in. Not danger as in this was the murder scene. Danger like a naked woman, or worse a naked man, could emerge at any moment from the bathroom shower. Bart quickly exited and returned to reception.
Just a few minutes later, safely tucked into his new, guest-free room, he began to unpack. Enjoying background noise like so many, Bart turned on the television. The local news advised it was hot and humid. Why the hell do they even bother with a forecast in Florida? It never changes.
Then it got serious. A murder had taken place around 5:15pm, just after Bart parked his rental car at the new hotel, in a well-known hotel parking deck. One employee shot and killed another. OMG!
This caught Bart’s attention. He turned up the volume and learned that the shooting had taken place at his hotel. Not the first one where they had no room for him, but at the “I almost saw a naked guy in the shower hotel.” This one! And it happened within fifteen minutes of his parking his car in the same parking deck.
Never one to panic, Bart Granite, remained calm and proceeded to his evening event, then spent three uneventful days in Florida.
Upon checkout, Bart reflected that he should perhaps receive some compensation for being placed in a potentially deadly situation. After all, when one travels, one should feel secure at their hotel. He shared this with the desk clerk who simply said, “It’s above my pay grade.”
Not exactly the response Bart expected. You see, Bart would have been quite happy if they just comped him a few meals. Now it was a “thing.” It didn’t have to become a “thing”, but Bart and I are cut from the same cloth. In other words, we hail from the same tribe. Nothing a little food can’t fix. Food makes everything better. Food trumps a parking deck shooting. Food is the currency that keeps Jews everywhere connected. Food is king.
This clerk’s ambivalence whet Bart’s appetite even further and he asked for the manager.
Bart recounted his experience and restated that he felt he should be compensated for the precarious parking deck incident. The manager replied, “Well, we were pretty shaken up, too.”
Buzzzzzz. Wrong answer.
Bart quickly pointed out that the manager and staff were paid to be at this hotel, and that he was paying to stay there. A fairly significant distinction.
In the end, the police solved the murder and Bart got away unscathed. We can’t say the same for the hotel, though. Bart got them to cut his entire bill in half. Fifty percent, baby. That’s a lot of bagels.
Bart returned to the office and told a few of us the story. Before he even hit the punchline, I knew.
“Don’t tell me you asked for the murder discount?!”
“Yes, I did!”
Our colleagues just looked at us. Not in the tribe, they didn’t get it. But it was exactly what I would have done. We all had a good laugh.
And for me, it’s great have Bart on the team. He’s smart and making an impact on the team already. Being like-minded doesn’t hurt either. Not too many Jews in the office. We don’t talk about that much, but it was pretty clear to me when I told everyone I would be out for Yom Kippur, the replies were all very similar:
“Hope you do something cool for the day off.”
Yeah, ok. Repenting, not eating, endless worry about low blood sugar and too many family members sounds like a blast to me. Guess they didn’t Google it. It is indeed nice to have Bart Granite, sales leader, murder survivor and Jew on the team with me.
Hope this post gave you a giggle. Keep smiling!!