NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Stunned Security and Maintenance Mayhem - An Adventure at Barona Casino & Resort


Two nights ago, my friend, Susan Holberg, celebrated 32 years of sobriety.  To commemorate this great achievement, we decided to have a girl’s night out at Barona Casino and Resort. 

We always go our separate way on the casino floor as our tastes in one-armed bandits differ, but get together for dinner.  After our delicious dining experience (she – ribeye steak, me – prime rib) we returned to the casino agreeing to keep in contact via cell phone when one of us gets tired (or runs out of money!) and heads up to the room.

I was on a roll on a particular machine when my cell phone rang.  It was around 1:15 a.m. and Susan said she was tired and calling it a night.  I told her I would be right behind her and cashed out.  That is when our adventure begins….

Upon arriving at the room, I pulled out the pass-key.  The door didn’t open.  My mind wandered back to my Dallas trip (previous post), and I wondered if the “other” Patti Smith was at this hotel too.  I knocked on the door … no answer.  After double-checking the room number, I called Susan’s cell.  My dear friend was at the cafĂ© having just picked up a late night snack of blueberry crepes.  (What a gal).  Instead of going all the way to the front desk, I decided to wait in the hallway.

Early morning snack in hand, Susan bounded down the hallway.  She put her pass-key in the lock it didn’t work.  We both shook our heads and proceeded to the front desk.  The night desk agent promptly provided us a new key with a sincere apology, and we went merrily on our way….ready to snack before grabbing some zzzzzzs.  The key didn’t work.  What?????

I waited in the hallway, this time, holding up the wall and guarding the crepes while Susan returned to the lobby, this time, escorted back by a security officer with a master key.  The key didn’t work.  Arghhh!  He apologized for the inconvenience and quickly contacted maintenance, thinking it was a minor technical issue.  Meanwhile, Susan and I were fading fast from exhaustion and dying to dig into the crepes (not particularly in that order). 

A kindly maintenance man showed up and attempted to open the door to no avail. Another maintenance man was summoned.  He advised the Security Officer they would need to get the “E-Card,” E meaning Emergency.  By that time we were in the presence of two security officers and two maintenance men…in the hallway of the hotel, nearing 2:15 a.m.   (People passing by could have been thinking we had been busted for breaking into a room and messing up the door in the process – except for the fact we were all laughing.)  “Our guys” could not believe this was happening and informed us this had never happened before. 

While waiting for the life-saving E-Card, we had a nice chat with the guys and one of the security officers even went back to the lobby, bringing us back cold, bottled water.  The magic access card arrived and guess what?  Yep, you got itIt didn’t work.  At that point, it was decided to get a little device that slid under the door to grab the door handle (similar to a slim-jim).  So, one of the maintenance men trekked back to wherever they store their tools.  Guess what?  The door was too low to the ground….no matter how hard he tried, he could not lift the door up enough. 

At that point we had three choices:

  1. Have a security officer enter the room next door which had a connecting door (“sorry folks, just passing through”).
  2. Take an axe to the door (shades of “The Shining”).
  3. Go around to the back of the hotel and try to enter through the glass sliding doors (we were on the first floor). Susan had left the glass slider open a bit but locked the screen.
    Obviously, #3 was the only valid option and guess what?  IT WORKED!!!!!  Sadly, because the screen door was very secure, it couldn’t be pulled off the track.  It had to be cut to access the lock. 
    We were in!  “Our guys” were so apologetic and sweet.  We were offered an upgraded room since we wouldn’t be able to come and go but by this time it was nearing 3:00 a.m. and we would be checking out in a few hours. All we wanted to do is dig into the crepes and crawl into our beds.
    I’m sure Susan will never forget her 32nd sobriety celebration (I know I won’t!). Our adventure was a source of laughter which dissolved any feeling of inconvenience.  “Our guys” worked feverishly to resolve the issue, and we can’t say enough about how special they made us feel. 
    By the way …. The crepes were worth the wait!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks cuz! It was quite the experience. Not only were the crepes great, we both took home more $$$ than we brought. Woo Hoo!


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