Queen for a Day…

Jeanne checked in at the conference hotel a few hours early. She wanted to unload her luggage and freshen up after the long drive. As she checked Jeanne into her room, the front desk clerk squealed with excitement “OOHH! You are our 1000th guest! You have won a free room upgrade, free breakfast buffet, complimentary appetizer during our happy hour in the lounge, and a welcome bouquet in your room! Congratulations!” The clerk handed Jeanne a little crown and a toy wand with a star on the tip.

Jeanne, being used to many blessings, said in a grateful, but unsurprised tone, “Oh, so I am queen for a day! How nice. Thank you very much.” The hotel clerk asked Jeanne to pardon a short wait while they prepared her room. Jeanne stood relaxed to the side of the clerk’s reception area, and noticed the furrowed brow of a business man approaching. “Can I help you, Sir?” asked the clerk. “Well, I hope so,” he continued, “You see, my room is inadequate. I had requested a smoke-free room because I have terrible asthma and it seems I was given a room that has recently been used by a smoker. The scent is overwhelming and I am already experiencing tightness in my chest. Can you please switch my room for me?” The clerk patted away at her keyboard, only to look up and deny the man a room. “I am so sorry, Sir, it seems we are full this evening except for two other rooms, which are both on the smoking floor.” The man was very upset. The conference was in a small town where finding another room would be difficult and cumbersome.

After a short pause, Jeanne chimed in “Excuse me, ma’am.” She said to the clerk. “I believe I have a non-smoking room,” she offered. The clerk’s slack-jawed expression changed between the business man and Jeanne for a moment before she answered “Well, yes, but your room is part of our special guest program. That room was selected and prepared to reward you especially.” Jeanne retorted, “I believe I have been selected ‘Queen for the day’.” Jeanne raised her appointed plastic wand and continued, turning toward the man, “And as such, I hereby knight you ‘Sir Special Reward Guest’.” Jeanne spoke these words in a regal and commanding tone as she tapped the business man’s shoulders with the make-shift sceptre.

Later while talking over a drink with one of her associates, Jeanne caught the eye of an old friend. They exchanged “hellos” and small talk, and she went back to her conversation with her associate.  He paused for a moment and noticed, “You know everyone! It’s like we could go to a conference in Timbuktu and they would roll out the red carpet for you!” Jeanne laughed. “That is not true. I hardly know anyone from this area. That woman used to work for an office I was in. No one else around here knows me. I have never been to this area before.” With that dismissal, the asthmatic business man rounded the corner of the hotel lounge and approached Jeanne. “Your Highness! Thank you so much for your generosity. Because of you I will breath tonight.” Jeanne smiled and nodded as he gently shook her hand, and with that he was gone.  Jeanne’s associate stared wide-eyed at her. She fluttered her angel wings, straightened her halo, and with a wink, took another swig of her vodka-tonic.

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