Bizarre Requests: You Want Me to Do What?!?

18 September 2008 By Rubi McGrory

Let’s face it, we’re in the service industry, and that service generally means a lot more than refilling water glasses.

When a guest spends between $20,000 and $300,000 per day for the luxury of having a yacht at his or her disposal, that guest wants to be sure they're getting the luxury.

The people who can afford to charter our yachts are used to being surrounded by a coterie of servants who cater to their needs, and just because we aren’t as familiar with those needs is no reason for them not to be met.

Some requests are merely picky and easy to satisfy: the woman who insists on having three different water glasses set at her place at the table, each a different temperature; the man who, although he has perfect use of both hands to operate a knife and fork, will not abide any piece of meat larger than a square centimeter on his plate.

Hey -- if I had their money and staff, I would probably have some wacky requests of my own.

The hardest jobs are the ones we are never asked to do and for which we're rarely, if ever, recognized; discretion being the better part of valor.

Steve S. ran a large sailboat. After an extensive crossing, his boss was outraged by the inordinate amount of money the accounts reflected for fuel. When the boss queried Steve how they could use so much fuel on a sailboat, Steve replied that he had used the boat’s funds to pay for the boss’ prostitutes, and “since there isn’t a category for that in my spending log, I thought it was best to bury it somewhere else.” End of questioning.

Alcohol seems to create a host of awkward situations on board, like Stew Kiri’s boss who had no idea how much his girlfriend drank because they lived separately when they weren’t on the boat.

“I couldn’t keep up with the booze on board,” she explained. “Bottles went missing or I would find them empty in the oddest places. Some nights, she couldn’t hold herself together and would leave some awful stains in the bed. I really liked the boss and didn’t want him to ever have to find them, so I changed the sheets as soon as they woke up.”

Stella P. stewed on a motor yacht. Every night the boss would fall asleep with a glass of port in his hand. As his body relaxed, the glass would tip, spilling wine on the white wool carpet. If Stella tried to take the glass, the boss would wake up and shoo her away. So Stella watched for him to fall asleep, crouched beneath the glass, and caught the drips before they hit the carpet. Every night.

Sometimes, though, the job is the result of behavior that's just plain weird.

Craig J. worked on a motor yacht where he divided his time between working on deck and assisting inside. As part of his job, he helped with dinner service then went to turn downs and cleaning guest heads.

One evening he discovered the 16-year-old son of the boss’s girlfriend had decided to shave his nether regions and leave the nests of hair for the crew. Craig’s only consolation was knowing the boy would be uncomfortable far longer than it took Craig to clean up the mess.

All names have been changed to protected the innocent and hard working!

What's the strangest guest request you've ever received? Leave your comments below.