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Please enjoy my self-inflicted misery - the worst guest I've ever had

This is an unprofessional post which I must write to exorcise the memory of an awful guest. I might edit this into oblivion later, but for now…

Yesterday my cleaner said she’d met someone at one of her other gigs. This person hated her current short let & was desperate to move immediately - and obviously couldn’t find any short-term accommodation on the market. I mistakenly thought my cleaner knew this woman, and I am an idiot for charity.

So please enjoy my last 24hrs. Maybe tell me at which one of these many :triangular_flag_on_post:red :triangular_flag_on_post: flags :triangular_flag_on_post: you would have sent this special guest packing. This lady:

  • Told me she was born here, knows the city, asked the address. I gave it & said “The house is just off (major road into city centre, with iconic cathedral at the end)”. Her response - “but how do I get there?”. I repeated the directions twice.
  • Insisted I meet her at the property to show her how the heating worked, despite me explaining it was self check-in. After failing to explain the concept of a keybox over the phone, I decided it’d be quicker to meet her…
  • But when I got there: also the oven, the thermostat, TV, microwave, washing machine - I went over them AT LEAST twice, sometimes 3-4 times. It took well over an hour.
    • her: “What are the numbers on the oven dials?”
    • me: “That’s the gas mark. It says which one to use on the food.”
  • While turning the washing machine on for the 2nd or 3rd time, she was insistent it was broken because it wasn’t immediately turning the water on. Talked about how modern machines toss the load around first to even it out, weigh it etc. to try to shorten their cycle. She seemed suspicious of this explanation, and I felt our relationship curdling.
  • Was having work done in her own house due to “air quality issues”. Wasn’t very specific about how long she’d been out of the house.
  • While looking round upstairs, she screamed loudly because she had… turned the shower on and it soaked her. It continued to soak her while I rushed upstairs, pushed past her to turn the tap off.
    • her: “The shower just soaked me!”.
    • me: “Did it do it spontaneously?”
    • her: “No, I just touched that tap there”
    • me: pause “Yes, that’s how it works”.
    • (we proceed to turn the shower on and off several times)
  • Asked over and over where she could park for free (it’s Residents outside our place) - I said nowhere, she’d have to pay for the car park over the road. Kept repeating the question as I left.
  • I tried to change my mind and say actually - I don’t think the property is in a great state, and I’d rather she left. She begged, she was desperate, she had nowhere. me: Well, OK…
  • Tried to negotiate price due to all of this :point_up_2:, I had to just say “No, sorry that’s not happening” and stare her in the face. Wouldn’t give me her card, insisted on cash (she snappily gave me her card details later in the evening).
  • Called me after I left to ask me to come back and set her iPad up on the Wifi, because she’s “useless with technology”. I refused. She offered to pay me £10.
  • Called me 3 times in the evening, then at 2am and 3am (I was developing better instincts & had silenced her # after the awful check-in).
  • In the morning, she said she’d slept in her car due to “terrible smells”, wanted some restitution - I said I’m sorry it’s not working out, maybe it’s time to go.

She went. Apparently there was still nobody in her last, unsatisfactory, place, and she could just go back there. I didn’t even try to understand the layers of bs, I just let it calmly wash over me by this point.

I refunded her everything except the cleaning fee, and checked the house was OK. No smells. (maybe a slight smell of crazy). So glad to see the back of her.

But then the neighbour knocked.

She had also:

  • Knocked on their door during the evening, demanded they come and show her the thermostat (again!!) but not before telling them to go back into their own house and wash their hands.
  • Borrowed a phone charger, and now left with it.
  • Pranged their Mercedes.

I just … have no frame of reference for how someone well into middle-age functions in this state. I genuinely assume she must have lived in sheltered acommodation her whole life - her behaviour seemed like … to be kind … that it would need a lot of support and patience. And paid help.

And personally, I realised that I excuse lunatic & entitled behaviour for someone who’s well-heeled & drives a nice car, but I am trying to improve :grinning:

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OMG What a horror show! People like that should stay at hotels. It all sounds like an awful nightmare.

Sorry you had to try and explain everything to a person that obviously has mental issues.
Look at the positives. She was only at your place a short amount of time. I’ll bet she was behaving in the same way at her original AirBB

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It is amazing that people like this manage to get through life at all. You’d think they’d have taken a wrong turn somewhere and fallen into an abyss long ago, never to seen or heard from again.

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The sense of ENTITLEMENT! To go and bother your neighbours and TELL them to wash their hands OMG. Bye Felicia

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It sounds like your guest was probably having a manic episode. Your post reads like intake notes for someone with mania. :grimacing:

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I am sure this must be the same woman who stayed with us, in our home, a couple of years ago. It took us a few days to piece together what had happened to us, but it was just as bonkers, and that was before she had even arrived!

She IB’d to stay for a Saturday night, would be travelling from Germany, and would be with us by 6pm.

The messages started flooding in about 1pm that day. She was lost in Calais (like I know it like the back of my hand…), couldn’t find the Port, couldn’t buy a ticket, where was the EuroTunnel terminus, should she go to Dunkirk instead, can’t find it, they won’t accept my credit card etc etc ad nauseum.

She arrived, somehow, in Dover, then got lost in the town, ignoring all my instructions on how to get to our village up the hill, behind the bloody castle that you CAN’T fail to see. Eventually, she got a complete stranger to call us and Mr Joan went to find her in the car park of the nearest thing we have for a shopping mall. No thanks for this.

On arrival, she complained endlessly about how expensive the cross channel ferry ticket was. She expected fares to be like back home in the US but she was working at a US army base in Germany; why wasn’t everything the same as in the US please, it would make so much more sense?!! Then, why were there no shops in the village, how would she feed herself? Go to the pub next door like everyone else, go now please!

The following morning we attempted to give her explicit directions back to the Port. Duh, total inability to understand, so Mr Joan duly said to follow him down, with more explicit detail of where she needed to turn into the Port (well signposted) off the roundabout, as he couldn’t take her right in.

She peeled off the roundabout in the wrong direction, and thankfully, we never heard nor saw her again.

We have never fully understood what happened, not even with my years in the mental health field. Until today, I thought she was a complete one off!

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Oh my word @Joan. I’m sure these women could be friends.

I hesitated to post because I am not not not diagnosing or mocking an illness. I did think, golly, should I call someone? Like has she literally escaped from somewhere? But she had a nice car, and a debit card, and was kindof keen to stress her local family name (checked out).

It was just a bad business decision and a terribly rude guest and I needed to vent!

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Absolutely, and i do understand. I had no thoughts about you mocking a potential mental health issue, more just the coincidence of our experiencing two people with similar, extremely needy behaviours, but who are clearly able to function well at some levels.

We just found it so weird, particularly when she disappeared off in the wrong direction at speed and with purpose. We did wonder if it was her idea of fun!

@mattbee You are a Prince! Thank goodness there was no damage. She clearly has mental issues. You were Very Understanding! Good on you.

Me? I would have kicked her to the curb after maybe 5 min of bs. We don’t need the trouble or the risk.

Wow, what an awful experience! All that trouble she put you through for a one-night stay. Sounds like it was a direct booking. Why did you decide to refund her?

It was going to be a week. I refunded her because I’d do the same for any guest who hated the property after a day. (it’s happened once before in 2000+ nights hosted, and I’m pretty sure it’s not worth arguing :grin:)

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If a guest is right away unhappy and you don’t want them to stay, it seems a better option to just refund them without any hassle and be rid of them than to face more dealings with them because they are pissed about you not refunding.

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I missed that she left after 1 day out of 7 booked. Under these circumstances, I’d be doing anything to get her out early too!

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Reminds me of a book I just finished. One of the sub characters shows up in town, says he’s a Doctor, and begins to practice medicine. Does a good job, community loves him. Falls in love with a young gal; they’re gonna get married. Another person from out of town comes into the story, notes the “Dr” and squeals on him. He’s an escaped loonie from the next town’s sanitarium. He had everyone in that town completely buffaloed.

Ya just never know…

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@murphysranch One of my all-time favorite movies is “King of Hearts”. Takes place during WWI, where a French town is evacuated in front of a German occupation, except for the town insane asylum, which the asylum employees leave the gate open to as they flee the town. The asylum residents slowly emerge and take over the town and the empty storefronts, one deciding to become the barber, one the mayor, one the grocery store owner, and many of the women take over the brothel. The Germans roll in and then out again, and a Scottish soldier, the main character in the film (played by Alan Bates) is sent to dismantle a bomb the allies think has been planted, and is rather taken aback by the strange behavior of the town population.
It’s a charming film that essentially points out the absurdity of war. Well worth watching.

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I love “King of Hearts.” I had the videotape, and now I have the DVD. It’s marvelous!

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1966 movie. I’ll have to look to see if its on the net. Thanks!

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I have to apologize, it sounds like my sister stayed with you…

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With both of us, ore are there perhaps triplets doing the rounds? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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