We were out of our hotel room for a large part of the day on Monday. So imagine my surprise right before dinner to find an anonymous note from another hotel guest complaining we were "walking too loudly" in our room over theirs. It wasn't just a simple polite request. It was vile. The nastiness in this note is both burned in my brain and yet a confused jumble of insults that I can barely recall.
The husband took it and crumbled it up with a "Screw 'em. We made noise in the afternoon? Big deal. It wasn't in the middle of the night and..." I grabbed the note back. I could not just let this go. Especially when the room above our own was noisy with it's own pattern of little feet. However, the afternoon? Who cares?
I had 3 choices.
1) Write an equally nasty note and be a coward like them and stick it under the door then run but I'm 41 not 12.
2) Go right to the room and pound down the door and then their asses. (I may binge watch OITNB but I know I would not do well in prison.)
3) Be mature, go to the hotel management and use this as a chance to educate and advocate. Plus, if these folks were going to be an ongoing issue, I wanted the staff to be aware of it.
I went with choice 3 and straight to the front desk. I handed over the note. I asked if it was from them (I really didn't think it would be but you never know. Again, covering all my bases.) and I was quickly assured it was not. Then I started talking. I said "My son has autism. He is no angel or perfect. He's also 11. Yes, I am sure someone has heard him now and then being "too loud". Please know my husband and I do our best. We are on him CONSTANTLY. This is our fourth trip here. We keep coming back because this place has been so accepting of him. They may of had to endure 10 minutes of noise. I endure it 24/7. We deserve to be here just as much as anyone else. If they would like to talk to me, have them call me. I would love to talk to them. I would love to tell them about the autism that lives with us and also goes on vacation.
Oh, also remind these folks it's 1) A hotel. Not your house. You're gonna hear noise. 2) A FAMILY resort with about 100 kids running around. Go to a convent if you want silence at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
And by then three other desk staff had crowded around listening to me. Passing that note back and forth and just in stunned shock. Then came a slew of apologies from them. I appreciated it but honestly, there was nothing they needed to apologize for. I just wanted to be proactive in case there was more complaints. I told them again to please call me if there's a complaint but remember. I am trying my best. If you saw the Kiddo that first came to this resort five years ago and who he is now, you wouldn't know it's the same kiddo. I slapped the note down on the desk and walked away.
We had dinner. I ordered a large glass of wine and tried to shake it off. Up till this moment, we had been having a really good vacation. It's one thing to be called out for all the ways your kid behaves. It's another thing to be harassed for it. Seriously, I have never read anything so obnoxious and think about it. I'm a blogger. You know the comments I get sometimes? Dudes, if I'm offended you know it's bad.
We did our usually routine of lots of swimming to get that much needed sensory input. The Kiddo was snuggled in his bed with a movie. Husband and I were chilling out and there was a knock on the door. A hotel staff member hand delivery an apology note and a box of chocolates. We were very surprised but at the same time grateful. It was clear the resort was not happy with the other guest's way of handling things but also understood the challenges we face.
Sadly, the person that made the complaint, not a word from them. In a way I wish there was some way to talk to them. Maybe you are also wondering why I didn't post of picture of their note. That really wasn't a hard choice to make. Should I add another "Look how mean people can be to us" anonymous note to be shared around social media? What would that really do at the end of the day other than make many people who already have a lot on their plate feel even worse. Plus, I was in no mood for the thousand of perfect comments from perfect parents who have perfect children who are perfectly behaved 100% of the time. Or even better, the ones that don't even have kids! (Looking at you Kate! Make sure you leave me a comment about my feral child and how it's all my fault. Like you usually do. You know, that one standard insult that you copy and paste on EVERY autism blog you troll. Hey, maybe you were in that room. We could have had drinks and you could have the chance to tell me to my face what a terrible person I am. That would have been fantastic! Damn. Miss opportunities.)
You see, I get angry a lot. I have learned that unless you do something about your situation, nothing gets better. A way to see some change is to make some. I'm not saying my Kiddo is perfect in every situation. Neither is the way I parent. We can have a conversation about it though. I want to have a conversation about it. Two sides just being bitchy and pissed off at each other not speaking, please. We are all better than that. Deciding to go the hotel staff and being upfront gave me the chance to see all this awareness work we all do IS working.
To that person, we could have shared a side of fries. Or I could have thrown them at you. One or the other. ;-) But seriously, if you ever witness behavior you don't understand, ASK. Talk to us. Listen. I want to have the conversation.
And dude, I'm sorry if my Kiddo's flapping feet ruined your vacation for roughly ten minutes in the middle of the day but your anonymous note was a douche move. Thanks for giving my family that memory. It's going to last a lifetime.
OK, bring on the hate comments! :-)