The missing dog




“Somebody broke into my room and stole our dog. She’s gone!”

It was around 10:30 in the evening. I had been working since 3 p.m., and it had been quiet and uneventful for the duration of the shift. I was counting down the minutes until 11 when I could finally go home for the night. By the sound of her voice, I could tell the distressed woman on the other end of the receiver was going to ruin my peaceful shift.

Frantically, she went on. “Hello? Is anyone there? Somebody broke into our room and stole my dog.”

I looked at my telephone and saw the guest was calling from room 530. I typed “530” into the computer and saw that the room belonged to the Johnson party.

“Oh no, Mrs. Johnson,” I quickly responded, “I’m sorry to hear that. Are you sure someone broke in? I mean, are there signs of forced entry on your door?”

She responded, “I don’t know. We just got back to the hotel and our door was wide open! The dog is gone. My husband is on his way up to the front desk. He is fuming mad and he should be there in just a minute.”

With a loud click we were disconnected, and I looked up just in time to see the automatic doors to the lobby sliding open. Marching toward me with his hands in fists was a tall man who walked slightly hunched over. He was wearing a loud floral shirt and khaki shorts. With each step, I could hear his flip-flops slapping against the soles of his feet. He stopped with both hands on the edge of the desk. If he had been a cartoon, there would have been tiny puffs of smoke exiting his ears and his nostrils.

“Where is my dog?”

I hung up the receiver which was still in my hand after speaking to his wife and tried to remain calm. “Good evening, Mr. Johnson, what seems to be the problem?”

“My dog is gone; are you deaf?”

Great, start off with an insult. That will inspire me to help you. I kept my candid thought to myself.

“We just got back to our hotel room, the door is standing open, and the dog is nowhere to be found. Somebody broke into my room and took my dog!” His voice instantly escalated to a roar and he shouted, “WHERE IS SHE?”

Again, trying to remain calm, I said, “I don’t know where she is, but I will do everything in my power to help you.”

Just then, the automatic doors slid open and Mrs. Johnson walked up to her husband’s side. She was significantly shorter than her husband and was wearing a yellow tank top and shorts. She had sunglasses up on her head keeping her shoulder-length hair out of her face. She also walked with the slapping sound of flip-flop flops hitting the soles of her feet.

“Where is Ginger?” Mrs. Johnson asked. She was out of breath. She must have run up to the front office from her room.

Mr. Johnson looked at his wife and said, “We’re trying to figure that out.”

I started to play detective. “When did you leave your room this morning?”

The Johnsons quickly looked at each other, then Mr. Johnson looked back at me and said, “we left this morning at 7:30 to go to the fair. We’ve been there all day.”

Mrs. Johnson took over and finished his story. “We just got back to our room and found the door open. Ginger is gone. Somebody broke into our room and took her.”

This conclusion, which they had both reached, sounded far-fetched to me. Perhaps their guest room door was opened by somebody and Ginger had escaped and run away, but I had a hard time buying that somebody had dognapped the puppy.

“This is completely unprofessional. Don’t you have security?” Mr. Johnson snapped. “Aren’t there people who take care of protecting your guests? I can’t believe how irresponsible you are to let somebody get into our room and take our dog! I’ll sue you for negligence!”

I had never been accused of such negligence. Of course, the hotel had surveillance cameras. We didn’t have enough cameras to cover the entire property, but the majority of the guest room doors were at least partially on film 24 hours a day.

The problem, however, was that only management had access to the footage. We weren’t to publicize to the guest that there were recordings of the entrance to their room. Though tempting, I didn’t disclose this information to the Johnsons.

“Poor Ginger!” Mrs. Johnson added. She looked as though she were on the brink of tears.

“Sir, I’m going to help you get to the bottom of this, but this is the first I’m hearing of this situation. Like you, I’m trying to piece the story together.” I tried to remain calm and disregard the rude comments. “Are there any signs of forced entry on your door or door frame?”

“Hell, I don’t know. All I know is that I want Ginger back right now!” Mr. Johnson shouted.

“Sir,” I repeated, “I am going to help you in any way I can to find your dog. But I need you to remain calm.”

Mr. Johnson did not like my comment. He rolled his eyes and huffed at me.

“Did you happen to leave your do-not-disturb sign on the door today?” I asked.

This was a crucial element in solving a mystery such as this. When a do-not-disturb sign is placed on the door by the guest, the hotel staff refrains from not entering the room or even knocking on the door. Regardless of the position of the hotel staff, they are to honor that sign and not disturb the guest behind the door.

Many times, this service plays a negative role for the guest. They may put their do-not-disturb sign up while they sleep but forget to take it down when they leave the hotel for the day’s activities. Without fail, they call the front desk when they return to ask why their room wasn’t cleaned.

My response is always the same: “Was your do-not-disturb sign on the door?” Typically, the guest responds positively. “Yes,” they say, “but that didn’t mean I didn’t want housekeeping.”

Unfortunately, the hotel staff doesn’t have a crystal ball to know who the guest means to refrain from disturbing their room. Bottom line: When the hotel staff sees a do-not-disturb sign, they take the request seriously.

My mind returned to the Johnsons and their missing puppy, Ginger. Mrs. Johnson spoke up, “Yes, I did leave the do-not-disturb sign on the door. I didn’t want anyone opening the door and Ginger accidentally getting out of the room.”

Instantly, I imagined an unsuspecting housekeeper or engineer not seeing the do-not-disturb sign. Perhaps they used their master key to open the door and Ginger ran away. Instead of taking responsibility for their action, perhaps the housekeeper or engineer silently walked away leaving the door open, hoping the mystery would hide their error.

However, instead of embedding a fictitious story of blame in the minds of the Johnsons, I kept that imagined scenario to myself.

Fortunately, the invention of the electronic key card in the hotel industry was for more than just convenience. Long ago, when hotel rooms used metal keys, they would get lost, or accidentally taken home with the guest. This would require a new lock to be put on the hotel room door complete with new keys. This practice could get very expensive.

With the introduction of the electronic key card and lock, keys could be made using cheap plastic cards – a practice still used in the majority of hotels today. If the plastic key cards get lost or accidentally taken home by the guest, it can be deactivated and/or replaced easily and inexpensively.

Also, electronic key cards are programmed for the duration of the guest’s stay. They stop working at noon on the day the guest checks out. So, there’s no threat to a new guest that a previous guest may have access to their room.

Another great advantage of the electronic key card is there’s a record of every key used to open the door. Not only is there a record of which key was used (housekeepers, engineers, management, room service), but there’s also an accompanying timestamp recorded. A simple reading of the lock history will tell the user which key was used to open the door at what time.

I figured this information might bring relief to the Johnsons and demonstrate that there’s a way we can at least trace who was in and out of their room throughout the day and possibly freed Ginger.

“Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, I can actually read the lock on your room and tell you who opened your door and at what time. That way we can establish when the dog got out of the room and go from there.”

Mrs. Johnson looked down at the ground, placing her hand on her forehead. “I just know Ginger was kidnapped. Poor girl.”

Internally, I rolled my eyes and continued. “I just need to get a hold of my chief engineer so I can get the tool to read your door’s lock.”

“What good is THAT going to do? Ginger is missing! We’re wasting time,” Mr. Johnson declared. “Why aren’t you calling the police?”

I had honestly not even considered bothering the police with this matter. “I’m not sure if there has been any criminal activity.”

Mr. Johnson’s shouting voice suddenly returned. “My DOG has been STOLEN! That doesn’t sound criminal to you?”

“The police should probably be involved,” Mrs. Johnson agreed.

Mr. Johnson’s belittling behavior was driving away any desire I might have had to help them. “You are welcome to call the police as private citizens because you are missing something that belongs to you, but I will not call the police on behalf of the hotel.”

This set Mr. Johnson off. “Of course there’s been a crime committed, you moron!” He looked at the ground and let out a deep breath. He paused a moment before looking back up at me and spoke his next sentence very slowly and condescending. “Someone has stolen our dog. Do you understand the severity of the situation?”

Feeling completely demeaned, yet wanting to defuse the situation, I carried on. “My chief engineer has already gone home for the day, but I will call him at home to see where the tool is to read your lock.”

“Honey, call the police.” Mr. Johnson was looking at his wife who suddenly reached down and got her phone out of her pocket and frantically started pressing the touchscreen.

Because a hotel is a 24/7 operation, situations can occur at any time of day. Consequently, cell phone numbers of staff members are collected and left in a file at the front desk to be used for important questions needing immediate answers. This means that an associate can be bothered by the hotel anytime – day or night. The staff is trained to only contact employees at home in an emergency, and this seemed like it fit the bill.

Perhaps the Johnsons were speaking the truth, and somebody did break into their hotel room to steal their dog. This may indeed warrant a phone call to the police and be an emergency situation after all. But first, a phone call to my chief engineer.

I told the Johnsons I would be back in the moment and stepped into the back office to call Tony. I didn’t want the Johnsons to hear my conversation with him.

I dialed the number and Tony answered on the second ring. “Yeah, what’s up?”

“Tony, it’s Deven, how’s it going?”

Tony did not like to be bothered at home, and yet understood that there were some things only the chief engineer could answer. Cutting the small talk, he said, “Fine. what’s up?”

“Where is the machine we use to read the door lock history?”


“The guests in room 530 came back to their room tonight to find the door wide open and their dog missing. I just want to run the history and see if housekeeping or engineering opened up the door earlier today.”

“I loaned it to Stonewood.”

Stonewood was the name of our sister property about five miles from our hotel.

“There’s was broken, so they came and got it today. I can pick it up tomorrow morning on my way to work and read the door for the guest then.”

I knew immediately that the Johnsons would not be happy with this news. But I also understood that there was no way we could read the door lock tonight. I hung up with Tony and returned to the desk.

“OK, unfortunately the machine which reads the doors is at another property. My chief engineer doesn’t have access to it until tomorrow. Tomorrow morning, we can read the door and see who has been in your room.”

“THAT’S UNACCEPTABLE!” Mr. Johnson’s reply startled me. “I am the customer. You are doing nothing in your power to help us!”

“Sir, I am doing all I can to alleviate this situation. I don’t know what happened to your dog, and I’m trying to figure out solutions to determine what happened.”

Mr. Johnson’s shouting continued. “I am not going to stand here and let you minimize the situation! This is my dog – my pet. I love Ginger and I’m worried sick about her. You’re upsetting my wife. You’re showing no remorse whatsoever and are NOT assisting me in finding the guilty party. You are useless!”

Mrs. Johnson, with a look of embarrassment on her face, rubbed her husband back and softly said, “Honey, please.”

“No!” He shouted at his wife. “This guy isn’t doing anything to help us. We are running in circles. He’s Just a little punk who wants to read the history of our room lock! How is that going to bring Ginger back to us?” His anger increased with each word. Veins bulged out on his neck as his volume got louder and louder.

“Why don’t you believe what I’m telling you? Somebody BROKE into my room and TOOK my dog. I KNOW that’s what happened.”

While Mr. Johnson was ranting, the automatic doors slid open again and this time the police officer, whom Mrs. Johnson had called moments before, now entered the lobby. Clearly, Mr. Johnson didn’t realize anyone had entered the lobby.

“I oughta pull you over this desk and beat some sense into your head. Do you hear me. I’m not making this up. Do you want me to do that to you? Well, DO YOU?!”

The police officer calmly put his hand on Mr. Johnson’s shoulder and simply said, “that will be enough.”

Mrs. Johnson looked as though she had just seen a ghost. Her mouth dropped wide open and her eyeballs almost fell out of their sockets. Mr. Johnson’s face followed, donning a similar look. I was very grateful they had called the police and not me.

“Let’s go take a little walk outside,” the officer said, leading Mr. Johnson by the shoulder. His wife followed, leaving me alone behind the front desk. Through the glass, I could see Mr. Johnson explaining the situation to the police officer. I wondered what kind of a picture he was painting of me, but I figured I would have a chance to explain myself when the officer spoke to me. After a few minutes, the officer walked back to the automatic lobby doors, which opened, yet he paused outside and turned towards Mr. Johnson.

The officer pointed at Mr. Johnson and shouted, “That will do. You stay there and you stay quiet, or I’ll take you to jail for the night. Do you hear me?”

Mr. Johnson nodded his head yes, and the officer turned and looked at me, smiled, and approached the front desk, the door sliding closed behind him.

“Good evening, officer,” I said to him.

“Hello…,” he read the name badge on my chest, “Deven. What’s going on tonight with the Johnsons?”

Filled with trepidation, I spoke. “I’m not really sure. The story is they left the hotel this morning at 7:30 to go to the fair. They returned tonight, about a half hour ago, and found the door to their room open and their dog missing.”

The officer interrupted me. “You guys accept pets?”

“Oh, yes,” I replied. “I don’t know what happened, I’m trying my best to figure it out, but they’re obviously upset the dog is missing. I explained that we could read the lock on the door and figure out who opened the door to try and get to the bottom of this, but the machine that reads the door lock history isn’t on the property. I’ve already contacted my chief engineer, who said he will read the lock tomorrow and give me a report.”

“Sounds reasonable to me.”

“I was also going to suggest to Mr. Johnson that I call the girl who was on duty this morning to see if she knows anything about the missing dog.”

He looked at me and said, “Why don’t you go ahead and do that. I’m going to go have a little chat with the Johnsons about the way he was speaking to you. Then, I’ll come back in and see what you find out.”

“Great,” I replied.

“You know,” the police officer said, “he threatened you. If you want to file a complaint, I can take him into the station tonight and book him. He probably won’t spend the night in jail, but it will sure give him a good scare. Probably grounds to kick him out of your hotel, too.”

I considered it for a moment. “I’ll see how his behavior goes for the rest of the evening,” I said.

“Sounds good,” the officer replied, leaving the lobby to speak to the Johnsons.

Just then, Pat, the night auditor who was there to replace me, walked in from the kitchen. Oh, how I wished I could drop everything and just leave. Pat was eating a banana he had gotten from the pantry.

“Hey, I saw the cop car out front. What’s up?”

I told him I’d explain later, and went to the back office to call Andrea, who had worked the front desk that morning.

I dialed Andrea’s number. It was 11 p.m. and I was afraid she wouldn’t pick up. Fortunately, she did.

“What’s up?”

“Hey, Andrea, it’s Deven. How are you doing?”

“Well,” she replied, “you know. Same old same old.”

“Good,” I said. “Hey, I’m sorry to bother you at home. Do you know anything about room 530 and a missing dog?”

Andrea paused for a minute and then said, “Well, I don’t know anything about room 530, but this morning, at about 7:45, a little white dog that wasn’t wearing a collar came running through the lobby doors. She ran over to the breakfast area and was running around sniffing all the guests. She was a cute little white dog, really friendly, but she was running around on her own. No owner.”

I was upset with myself that I hadn’t gotten a description of the dog from the Johnsons. But I continued to listen to Andrea’s story.

“I went over and picked up the little thing and asked if she belonged to anyone eating breakfast. No one responded, so I put her in Sue’s office and shut the door.”

Sue was the general manager, and her office was right off of the front desk. It would be a great place to keep a small animal contained for a while. Sue was a real animal lover and wouldn’t have minded her office being a temporary holding cell for the dog.

Andrea continued, “I figured I would keep the dog there in case a guest called or came in looking for her.”

“How long did you have her?” I asked.

“Well at about 8:30, Sue came in. She opened her door before I could tell her the dog was in there. The little thing ran right past her and out the front door.” Andrea laughed with delight at her comment.

“I chased her, but she ran down the sidewalk off of the property. I asked Sue if we should go after him, and Sue said no. Something about the dog is not with its owner or on a leash, so we can’t be held liable for the dog’s actions.”

I had visions of Ginger happily running down the street. I was suddenly nervous to tell the Johnsons what had happened, but the cop could probably confirm the hotel’s lack of liability as Ginger had no tag or leash.

But, how did Ginger escape that room? The mystery continued.

“Then, Deven,” Andrea continued, “the story gets better. About 10 minutes later, a man walked in carrying her – the same dog. He stood by the front door and asked if the dog belonged to anybody here. Sue came out of her office as I told him no. The man said she was running in and out of traffic and he almost hit her with his car!”

“Yikes,” I responded.

Andrea went on, “I told the man the dog was in the lobby earlier, running around and that we have no idea who the owner is. He asked if the owner was one of the guests and I told him we didn’t know. There’s no tag, no leash, and the owner hadn’t contacted us to say they’re missing their dog.

“The man said, ‘Maybe we should call the pound?’ and Sue told him, ‘If you would like to call as a private citizen, that’s your prerogative. But, I can’t call them as the hotel.’”

I was surprised that Sue didn’t take more interest in the lost dog.

“Deven, that’s just what the man did! He sat down, pulled out his cell phone, and called the pound. He then sat there with the dog on his lap for about 20 minutes until they showed up. Some lady came in from the pound, took the dog from the man, and loaded it into her truck. Then both the truck and the man drove away.”

“Great,” I thought to myself. I’m going to have to tell Mr. Johnson his dog is in the pound. He’s going to love that, I’m sure.

“Well, at least the dog is accounted for,” I said to Andrea. “The owner is here; it’s room 530. He’s upset because he thinks someone broke into his room and kidnapped the dog. He’s been a real treat!”

“Well, my friend,” Andrea said empathetically, “I’m excited to see how this plays out.”

“Me, too. Look, I have to go. They even called the cops and they’re here to find out what’s going on. I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow.”

Andrea and I hung up, and I returned to the front desk.

The police officer was leaning up against the desk making small talk with Pat. I noticed Mr. and Mrs. Johnson on the other side of the front doors, staring into the lobby like kids stare into the display window of a toy store. I assumed they were waiting for the return of the police officer with any news.

“OK,” I stated, “I spoke to the girl who was here this morning. We still don’t know how the dog got out of the room, but the dog was seen running through the lobby at breakfast time. The dog didn’t have a collar or a tag, so we weren’t able to identify the owner.”

“OK,” said the officer, “that’s a citation I can get to the Johnsons. What else?”

I smiled and gave a silent “ha ha” to the Johnsons. Pat stood nearby digesting the information.

“Well, the dog ran out the doors and headed down the street. A good Samaritan picked it up and brought her back into the hotel, but the general manager said we couldn’t take responsibility for it because there was no collar or way to identify the owner.”

The officer seemed to agree with Sue’s rationale. “Right, right,” he nodded as he spoke.

“The good Samaritan called at the pound who came and picked up the dog. So, their dog is in the pound.” I paused and took a deep breath. It felt as though I was talking a mile a minute.

“Now,” I continued, “I didn’t get a description of the dog from Johnsons. The girl I spoke with said it was a small, white dog. Maybe you could ask them to describe the dog to verify that it is theirs.”

“I will do that,” he said.

“How the dog got out of the room is still a mystery. I haven’t gotten a straight answer from the Johnsons about signs of forced entry to their room.”

“Yeah, they mentioned that to me. I took them down to the room while you were on the phone to check it out. There was no forced entry.”

“OK,” I continued. “My chief engineer can check the door tomorrow when he gets here, as I already informed Mr. Johnson before he blew up at me. Also, we can check the security cameras to see who approached the door as well. I don’t have access to the footage, or I’d check myself.”

The cop smiled. “No, it’ll be good for them to have to wait until the morning.”

“If there is no forced entry, the record of the key usage will tell us who entered the room and at what time.”

“Great,” said the officer. “Sounds like a plan. I’ll tell them they can call the pound tomorrow to make arrangements to collect their dog. I’ll also inform the Johnsons you’ll be in contact with them regarding how the dog escaped the room. Is that cool?”

“Perfect,” I replied.

“Finally,” the officer said as he leaned against the desk on his elbows, “I’ll tell the Johnsons they’re to have no more contact with you or the front desk tonight unless there’s a true emergency in the room.” He looked at Pat. “If he comes up here and starts mouthing off again, just give me a call. We’ll take him down to the station for the evening.”

I’ve always heard that hotels had good relationships with the local police department. This interaction solidified my understanding.

The officer smiled at me and said, “Do you two need anything else tonight?”

“No, I answered, “and thank you so much. I appreciate your service and all you do.”

“You bet,” he replied, turning to exit the lobby. He walked Mr. and Mrs. Johnson just out of my sight of the front door. Pat came up and stood next to me asking which room the Johnsons were in, when suddenly, I heard Mr. Johnson’s familiar shout: “THE POUND!?”

Suddenly, the automatic doors opened, and Mr. Johnson was back in the lobby glaring at me. My heart sank as I recalled his threat. Mrs. Johnson was trailing her husband and shouting, “No, wait!”

Mr. Johnson shouted, “You put my baby in the pound? Do you know how disgusting the pound is? Ginger’s spending the night with the scum of the earth and it’s all your fault. I can’t believe you!”

By now, the officer had caught up with Mr. Johnson and grabbed his arm to drag him out of the lobby. Obviously embarrassed, Mrs. Johnson kept repeating, “Honey, calm down, just calm down…”

The policeman guided Mr. Johnson towards their room, with Mrs. Johnson in tow. I wondered if he’d considered taking him down to the station to book him.

“Whoa,” Pat said. “What was that all about?”

I updated Pat on the situation, logged out of the computer, and drove home for the night.

My mind couldn’t release the image of this little white dog running through the lobby, stopping to sniff and eat crumbs that had fallen on the restaurant floor. I envisioned people petting her, and perhaps calling her over to see them. I imagined Andrea picking up the dog and locking her in Sue’s office. And then Sue’s surprise when she opened her office door, only to have a small dog run over her feet and out into the street.

But, the real mystery was how the dog escaped the room in the first place. I personally couldn’t wait to have that explained to me.

The next day, I got to work at 2:30 p.m. After clocking in, I instantly went to the front desk where Tony was standing and talking with Sue. Tony saw me over Sue’s shoulder.

“Deven,” he called. How are you buddy?”

“I’m good,” I replied. “But, I’m dying to know who let the dog out of room 530.”

Sue looked at me and said, “Pat told me about all the excitement last night. This is a good one.”

Tony explained. “I got here this morning, and I hooked the door reader up to 530. The only key that was used to open the door yesterday was the guest’s key at 10:30 p.m.”

“What?” I responded. “No other activity?”

“Nope,” Tony responded. “That was it. So, I went to the housekeeper assigned the room yesterday. She said when she got to the room to clean it, she saw the do not disturb sign on the door and didn’t go in the room. She then noticed that the door was open about three or four inches. She decided to leave the door as is because of the do not disturb sign. After all, maybe somebody had left the room without a key and was returning shortly – maybe to run to their car for a second – and didn’t want to shut the door.”

Tony continued. “I also was curious how the dog was able to open the door. So, I looked at the security recording. You can see room 530’s door from the camera. Do you want to see the footage?”

“Yes,” I replied excitedly. My curiosity was running on overload, and I was dying to know how Ginger was able to escape her room without anybody using a key in the door.

Tony led Sue and me into Sue’s office, and we gathered around her monitor. With a couple of clicks of Sue’s mouse, Tony started a video in fast motion. The timestamp in the corner began at 6 a.m.

“This was room 530 yesterday at 6 a.m.,” Tony said.

The counter clicked forward, with the minutes passing as quickly as real time seconds. At about 7:29 a.m., the video footage showed Mr. and Mrs. Johnson exiting the room. Mrs. Johnson left first, and Mr. Johnson was behind her. They walked off camera, and Sue asked, “Did you see that?”

I hadn’t seen anything. I said, “No, rewind. What am I looking for?”

“Just watch,” said Tony as he reversed the footage about 15 seconds and then hit play. This time he ran the footage in slow motion.

I saw Mrs. Johnson in her tank top and shorts exit the room, followed by Mr. Johnson in his floral shirt. Mr. Johnson reached behind him and swung the door closed.

But the door didn’t close.

Sue said, “See that? It didn’t latch.”

The video showed Mr. Johnson swing the door shut. The door swung slowly, tapped the door frame, and bounced back open about three inches, leaving an open door.

Tony hit fast forward on the screen. “Watch this, my friend,” he said.

At 7:39 a.m., according to the video footage, a little white dog used her nose to open the door and escape.

I was elated and angry all at once. The Johnsons were so certain somebody had broken in and stolen that dog. Then, they accused me of not helping in this situation. In reality, he had done this himself. He was the careless dog owner.

I went to the desk and started my shift with glowing satisfaction. I knew the Johnsons were completely at fault. They had no one else to blame but themselves. And, because of Mr. Johnson’s negligence, poor little Ginger had to spend the night at the pound, which I’m sure traumatized the owners more than the animal.

I wonder why it’s human nature to rarely consider personal responsibility for negative experiences. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson came out of their corner fighting like hell, blaming anybody or anything they could for their disappointment. In reality, however, they did this to themselves.

About 20 minutes later, I noticed somebody walking by the lobby doors. They walked close enough to the building to activate the sensor making the sliding doors slide open. I looked up to see Mr. Johnson following Ginger, who was about six feet ahead of him on her leash.

Our eyes met and, for a moment, I thought he would come to the desk and offer an apology. Perhaps he would laugh the whole thing off and admit that he had overreacted. Instead, he quickly looked away and picked up his pace.

Perhaps he was embarrassed? Perhaps he knew he was wrong? Regardless, he was unwilling to make such a humble confession to me.

No eye-contact. No ownership. No apology.

Deven Matthews is a hotelier who has worked in the hotel industry for more than 23 years. A professor of hotel management at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, Deven enjoys instructing the future managers of Las Vegas hotels. He holds a master’s degree in business management and is fascinated by all things hospitality. When not immersed in hotels, Deven enjoys playing the piano and spending time with his wife and their six children.


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