So for a back story: I am 23 years old. I graduated college in August 2013 and am currently employed by a Town in NC for the Recreation and Parks Department as Senior/Special Events Coordinator. My office is in a community center owned by Town and is rented out for public use. Part of my job description is also being the facility manager.
Last week, I had 2 women rent out our center for a surprise birthday party. Their rental began at 6:00 pm. Meaning that is the time they can enter the building. Since it is a Town building, the fees are inexpensive and we do more than one rental per day most of the time. When filling out the paperwork, this is the wording I always use: "What time do you need the rental for?" "Okay, that has to include your set up and clean up time. Are you sure this is the time you need?" "Great! Here is the rental agreement. Please read over and sign it. It says you have to be 21 years old to rent, alcohol is not allowed, and you will return all furniture and property to its original location." Simple enough right?
I guess not. Last week, the renter called to ask if they could set up on Friday. I told them no, explained the rules and that there was a renter ahead of them. They want to claim I never told them that it had to include their set up and clean up. Not true. I always do. And even if I didn't, it clearly says it in your rental agreement you signed. They came to get the keys Friday. Then they were talking (right in front of me) about how they were going to get there at 4:30 and wait for the other people to leave and go in right after them. I told them, "No, you may not. You can not enter the bulding until 6:00 pm. That is our policy." Upon telling them this, she goes off. I mean yelling at me about how she can't believe the place is operated this way and how she is so disappointed. She then asked to speak to whoever is in charge and runs the bulding. I said, "I'm in charge of the facility." she then follows, "Aren't you a bit young for that?"
Really?! Obviously my boss and the Town Manager don't see my age as an issue. They believe by my ample experience and education that I can fulfill my job requirements regardless of my age. This just got under my skin, mainly because people always insinuate that I'm too young for the job.
***Come Monday, I found out that they entered the building at 5:00 pm (1 hour early), did not put the tables up, and had alcohol in the facility (found a beer bottle in the kitchen trash can, they were the only rental with access to the kitchen). Now, I have to call them and ban them from the facility.
So I called the lady who I had to ban. This is how it went:
Me: "Ms. C, I need to discuss with you about your rental on Saturday. There were some issues, as I'm sure you're aware, at hand. Would you like to come in to talk about this or do it over the phone?"
C: "I'm busy so I'd rather do it now."
Me: "Okay fine. As you were aware, your rental time started at 6:00 pm. I spoke with the rental that was scheduled before you and they told me that they left at 4:50 and your group was already in the parking lot waiting for them to leave."
C: "Well, I wasn't there. Someone selse handled that."
Me: "I'm sorry but since you fill out the paperwork and signed the documents, you are the responsible party and all issues will be directed to you. Another issue: the tables. There are designated racks and areas for the different sized table. Not only were the tables all mixed together, but the rack was moved in front of the door which is a fire hazard. Generally these few issues would be overlooked and we would issue a warning. However, we also found a beer bottle in the trash can in the kitchen. Your group was the only group with access to the kitchen. As you know and as it states in the rental agreement, alcohol is not allowed on Town property or in Town facilities. The fact that your group deliberately broke the rules by entering early, not placing furniture back to its original location, and had alcohol on the premisses the Town will bebanning you from using any town facility for one year effective March 31."
C: "I can't believe y'all are this worked up over one hour and some tables. How much money did you really lose? The beer bottle was not ours, you must have planted it there. I can't believe how bad you run that place. That's why the Town shouldn't hire teenagers to do an adults job."
Me: "I'm sorry you look at it that way, but our policies are clearly stated in every document that you signed and received a copy of. If you are unable to abide by the rules we set in place, then you can not rent from us."
C: "I want to talk with your supervisor.'
Me: "Sure his name is RR and this is his number. He will reiterate the same information to you since this decision came directly from him. You will receive a letter from the Town going over the terms I presented along with an invoice for the extra hour you used the facility. Would you like me to forward your call to Mr. R?"
Gosh, I'm glad that's over.