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Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Message From a Stranger


“A guest would like to meet you at 4:15 in the lobby.”

The caller was a concierge at the L.A. Hotel.

“Is that all?”

“I’m sorry, Doctor Oppenheim. The guest just handed me a note and walked out.”

This really happened on December 31. Doesn’t it sound like a bad novel? Retired CIA agent, Skip Oppenheim, jaded from a lifetime fighting international terrorism, gets a message from a mysterious stranger as he unwinds at a luxurious resort. The adventure begins.

As a hotel doctor, I am allergic to adventures. Sick guests rarely schedule a consultation in a public place. Most likely he had a request. These are fairly common, but I prefer to handle these over the phone at no charge. This is good P.R. but it’s also self-defense. If I travel to the hotel, and the guest makes a request I have to refuse, the consequences may not be life-threatening but they are not pleasant. Also, it’s hard to collect my fee.

“I don’t make appointments without talking to the guest first. Do you have his number?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Have him call when he gets back. I’m sure we can work out something.”

The concierge agreed. Sadly for this blog, there is no punch line. I never heard from him.

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