Years ago I was working at a Glasgow hotel as the night porter. Mr McDonald, a regular guest, always stayed in room 202. On one occasion there was a mix-up at reception and Mr McDonald's regular room was given away. The mistake was explained and he happily took another room. No-one, however, mentioned this to me when I came on duty.
At 11.30pm, Mr McDonald arrived back at the hotel, slightly the worse for wear. I checked the board: no key for room 202. So I assisted Mr McDonald into the lift and up to the second floor.
I asked him if he had his key with him. Getting no reply, I used my pass key to open the door. I helped Mr McDonald on to the bed. After taking off his jacket and shoes, I put him under the eiderdown.
I noticed the bathroom light was on, and could hear splashing. Mr McDonald's wife must be with him on this trip, I thought. I returned to the reception desk and continued with my chores.
At midnight, a man came in and asked for key 202. I saw the key board was empty and said: "Sorry, it's not here." "That's all right," he said, "my wife must have come back early," and off he went. I froze. Looking down at the day's arrival sheet, I saw Mr McDonald's name against room 246. My life flashed before me.
The lift had already gone. I raced up the stairs, shouting: "One moment, sir, please!" As I reached the top of the stairs, a scream came from along the corridor. The man and I looked at one another. "That's my wife," he cried, running towards the room.
In room 202 his wife was standing with a towel around her, pointing to the bed. "A man!" she screamed. Mr McDonald tried to raise himself off the bed and fell into a heap on the floor. Oh dear, I thought, how do I get out of this one?
I didn't. Two days later I was asked to leave the hotel.