Earlier this year, Jim gifted me with a Hello Kitty personal massager for Valentine's Day. Yes, you read that correctly, there is such a thing as a Hello Kitty vibrator.
A few weeks ago I attended a screenwriting conference and brought "Kitty" along. Jim threw her and a few other items into the nightstand drawer. At conference's end, I packed hurriedly and forgot "Kitty" and other items in the nightstand drawer. When we got home and started to unpack, Jim realized that we left "Kitty" behind. Screaming, I lunged for the phone and called the hotel. They connected me to housekeeping, but when no one answered, the operator came back and said to call back at 9am the next morning when they opened.
After a sleepless night, I got hold of housekeeping at 9:01am the next morning. The woman who answered said that no Hello Kitty vibrator had been turned in. I asked to be re-connected with the hotel operator, but was hung up on instead. I dialed back and spoke to a different person, but explained again that I had just checked out the day before, had called as soon as I realized my Hello Kitty vibrator was missing, and suggested that perhaps "Kitty" was still in the room, lying undiscovered in the nightstand drawer. The operator was going to transfer me to Security, where I could tell my story to yet another hotel employee, the fifth one to hear how I had left behind my Hello Kitty vibrator in the nightstand drawer. Mercifully, she asked Security to go to the room and rescue "Kitty", but she said that a man had already checked into the room Jim and I were in and they could only go inside if the guest was there.
After what seemed like an eternity on hold, the operator came back on the line and said that no one answered and Security wasn't able to go in the room to check. She did, however, talk to Housekeeping and verified that they threw "Kitty" away.
"Is that your company policy," I asked, "to throw away items that guests inadvertently leave behind?"
"No, ma'am, it is not," she replied.
"I would like to speak to whoever is in charge of guest services."
The operator tried to connect me to his office, but he was "unavailable." She asked if I wanted to leave a message. I said, "No, I don't want to leave a message. Who are you trying to connect me with? She gave his name and title. I then asked, "Who is his supervisor and could you please connect me with him or her?"
She gave me the supervisor's name and title, then tried to connect me. He was unavailable, but his assistant would talk to me. I took a deep breath and explained to this woman what had happened and how horrifying it was for me to tell the story several times about my lost Hello Kitty vibrator. I recited a litany of complaints re my time spent at their hotel and how this was the final straw. I realize how ridiculous I must have sounded, a woman coming undone because of a missing Hello Kitty vibrator. She assured me that they would resolve the situation to my satisfaction and that she would confer with her boss to come up with a solution.
I got off the phone and Jim said, "You realize that you'll be the talk of the hotel staff for quite some time." I screamed at the heavens, "I don't care, I want my Kitty!"
An hour later the man in charge of guest services called to apologize and that he would be more than happy to replace "Kitty". I wonder if he heard Jim laughing at me in the background. I gave him my address and the URL where he could purchase another Hello Kitty vibrator, then hung up, still despondent over the loss of "Kitty".
Jim then reminded me, "You know, your Hello Kitty suitcase got a lot of attention from the hotel staff when we were checking in and out. I'm sure once this story circulates around the hotel, they'll say, 'Oh, I bet it was that chick with the Hello Kitty luggage!'" Great, just what I wanted to be known for.
There is a happy ending to this story, though. A week or so later, while Jim's mom and Aunt Suzanne were visiting, a DHL package arrived addressed to "Celia Assguerra". It was my new Hello Kitty vibrator.