Simon, our drunken lost boy, was now well on his way to making a complete arse of himself. He had gotten himself fired by three different people in the same company in one evening by shouting undirected abuse. One of the things I had missed was that apparently he had been physically abusive to our boss and had nearly gotten into a fight with other hotel guests. I had just left him alone with my boss to go find Andy, who was meant to have phoned the police.
Andy was outside, enjoying a cigarette and waiting for the police to turn up. I told him that he needed to get to Simon and that I would wait for the police for him. And I waited. And I waited. I waited with another teacher, called Alex, and we jumped at every sound of motion and scuffling to find that none of them were the arrival of the police. It was midnight, and we talked about how Simon hadn’t drunk any alcohol for three hours and we entertained the idea that this was actually a psychotic episode or narcotic-related. We also laughed a lot.
After half an hour Andy came back down and walked straight to the receptionist. “What time did you call the police?” This made sense, we didn’t speak German and the receptionists were fluent in English and were native German speakers. “I didn’t”. LOL!
Wait, no. Not “LOL”. Not LOL at all. We have a guest who is being verbally and physically abusive, and starting fights with other guests and we’ve been waiting down here for the police you said you had rung. And they’re not coming. The conversation went on “why not?” and the receptionist said that if he saw something happen he would call the police. “Okay, what is the emergency number? I’ll call them.” “No no no no. It’s okay”. I don’t know what the receptionist understood the word “okay” to mean, but we definitely disagreed on this; it was not okay.
My boss came down stairs, and Simon followed closely. Still shouting. The alcohol wasn’t clearing up at all, either that or the psychosis wasn’t waning, because his complaints now were even more obscure: “I got lost in the airport. Does that make me an idiot, or you an idiot?” Umm… “Tell you what, if you buy me a whiskey we can call it quits” Uh. What? We’re not the ones that need to make amends here. The swearing and the yelling continued.
The receptionist quickly noticed that one thing that we also wanted to fault our boss on; she was the target of this barrage and she should have removed herself from the situation. But she knew and felt her duty of care to Simon and couldn’t bring herself to leave. She wanted to contain the situation. The situation finally got out of hand enough for the receptionist to call the police. It had now gone 1.30am, and I was beginning to remember my 8am lesson, and my 6.15am wake up. Simon started making his way to bed before the police arrived, but he hadn’t shut up and he hadn’t calmed down. He was contained in his room and the receptionist stayed with him. I waited in the lobby for the police, and they eventually turned up.
Both over 6 foot 3 inches, both stocky, both in body armour, both with guns. We pointed towards the problem. They asked us “speckidy Deutsch?” (I speak no German, so that is not how you spell it, but it means “Do you speak German?”) “Nine” (okay, I know this one is meant to be “nein”). “Drunken?” they asked, while miming swigging from a bottle. “Yes”. And they made their way to the problem.
They found him ranting and raving about a bag he had lost. The bag had €200 in it at around 2am when he started yelling about it. One of his friends came out of her room and into his room to help him find it. But that made us very nervous, because now Simon was not the person she had become friends with and we thought her safety might be an issue. But she’s over 18 (apparently she’s 30, but if she said she was about 21 you’d believe her. Absolutely beautiful girl), so no one was allowed to stop her.
She was safe, and they later agreed that the bag was not in his room. Therefore our boss had stolen it. It was clearly the only thing that Simon could think. The €200 had quickly become €50, but he was as angry and faced on of the police officers, with “Policeiz” (or something as equally obvious) written across his protective vest and he yelled at this police officer, who had only spoken in German and who dwarfed him in every conceivable dimension, that he demanded to phone the police. He stared at a giant police officer and demanded to phone the police. I considered mental problems again.
All of a sudden this voice bellowed, in the most convincing Arnold Schwarzenegger voice ever, “SHUT UP!” Okay, that might just be the Austrian accent, but it worked. The police officer had, in two words, done something had all failed to do for the last 5 and a half hours: shut the moaning insane man up. But it only worked for a few second. Then he started on about his bag—containing a now vital €20—yet again.
By 4am I was asleep. By 6.15am my alarm was going off. By 8.05 my students knew I was not well.