Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bridal suite is occupied

I have a big family and the fiance has a big family, and we both have a small but reasonably loyal number of friends, which means, barring a major blizzard, a considerable number of people will be descending on Northeastern PA for our wedding in January. Making arrangements to accomodate said people at local hotels is on my to-do list this week, and it's turning out to be more difficult than I'd anticipated. Yesterday I called a certain hotel twice to inquire about setting up a block of rooms, and both times they hung up on me. It went like this:
    [Ring... ring... ring...]
    HOTEL: Thank you for calling Scranton-Area Hotel, this is Jan, how may I help you?
    ME: I'd like to set up a block of rooms for my wedding -- [Click.] -- in January... if I can... Hello? [Silence.] Hello?
    ["Your call is over, dummy" arpeggio from my cellphone.]
Same operator, same exchange, same outcome, both times. I've been puzzling over it ever since. Here are some possible explanations I have come up with:
    1. After listening just long enough to ascertain what I want, Jan is connecting me, brusquely but in good faith, to an extension that (unbeknownst to her) is not active.

    2. Scranton-Area Hotel has been fooled by the old "fake wedding block" prank several times in the past, and its operators are now instructed to hang up immediately whenever anyone proposes such a scheme.

    3. Jan is suffering from a condition like that of Mr. Lambert, the mattress salesman from the Monty Python sketch who puts a bag over his head whenever he hears the word "mattress." Except, in this case, she is a hotel employee who hangs up the phone whenever she hears the word "wedding." Bad luck for me, I suppose.

    4. Jan cannot hear me. Is it all Sprint's fault?
The fiance has floated a fifth possibility: perhaps "Jan" is Jan Levinson (formerly Levinson-Gould) from The Office! After all, as we await season 4, we have evidence that that Jan Levinson is (a) crazy, (b) living in Scranton and (c) no longer employed by Dunder-Mifflin. So she certainly could be spending her days hanging up on would-be Scranton-area hotel patrons out of spite, except for the fact that she is (d) fictional. (Which is too bad, because I would love to be able to tell some of our Office-loving guests that they might get to meet her! Don't mention the divorce!)

Anyway, this morning I plan to call Scranton-Area Hotel again, from a land line, and hope that Jan does not answer. If she does, I guess I will ask about arranging a block of rooms for my "dog kennels." In the meantime: are there other explanations I am not considering? And do you have any idea what a "fake wedding block" prank might entail? Please comment.


Anonymous said...

As much as I'd like to think that Jan is actually Jan Levinson and has found her calling as a concierge at a certain Downtown Scranton hotel, but cannot bear to discuss wedding plans as she and her fake boobs are too jaded and bitter to acknowledge other women's happiness, realistically, I know in my heart that it's all Sprint's fault.

But still, call her again and open with a "that's what she said!" joke. She may warm to you after all.


Mollie said...

I was thinking of saying, "Jan Levinson-Gould, I presuuuume?" I hear she loves that.