Here is the penultimate part of Guillaume’s story, a homeless man I met in Limoges, France. Through this character, true, you will discover with me behind the scenes of a society that no longer accepts his, simply because they are poor.
15h 15: As I was getting ready to receive the keys to Guillaume’s room, a gentleman appeared from behind the scenes at the reception, posing as the hotel manager. He had heard everything from his office just behind the reception. He greets me and very quickly tells me that my reservation is neither refundable nor exchangeable. Surprised, but determined, I retort that I do not ask to be reimbursed, but that I ask to be replaced by Guillaume.
I pointed out that it was the hotel that encouraged me to fetch it, that we did not have the right to arouse in it hopes that we would then disappoint. There is no need to harm the dignity of William and those who find themselves in the street by the circumstances of life. An idea comes to me to point out to the Director that I will call the police.
Guillaume, who is standing behind me, whistles in my ear that he will support me if the police intervene. I nod.
The director fidgets, the receptionist is paralyzed by the attitude of his Manager who looks at Guillaume with contempt.
The sadness overwhelms me, and I feel full of courage and I say to him: “Sir, we are your customers. We have our room here and we just give it to Guillaume who is homeless. “
“I agree, Mr” Siamana “- he has trouble pronouncing my name,” the director replies. But you do not realize how embarrassed you are, he concludes.
Then he goes back to his office and makes some phone calls.
15 hours 26: on his return, in a disillusioned and cynical tone, the director asks me to listen to him attentively because, he says: “I have a message to announce you which will surprise you”. And to tell me that, exceptionally, he had decided to cancel my reservation in Limoges, and that I have the right to make a reservation in Châteauroux.
I answer him that “this is not a reservation cancellation we are looking for, we want Guillaume to stay in our room for the weekend, and that’s all.”
Imperturbable, while looking at Guillaume with disdain, the director takes himself the care to call the agency booking.com. The coup de grace falls after a few minutes. He tells his interlocutors before us and Guillaume, that there are rules to respect, that his hotel will not accommodate a marginal.booking . com . The coup de grace falls after a few minutes. He tells his interlocutors before us and Guillaume, that there are rules to respect, that his hotel will not accommodate a marginal.
15h 55: the vase overflows. I can not contain my disappointment. Taking my courage in the hands I told him that “even if it is marginal, Guillaume remains a man like you, Mr. Director. He did not ask to become one. If tomorrow you found yourself in his place, I’ll take you here or elsewhere to keep you warm. “
Then, impassive and stoical, the director returns to his office, without looking us in the eye and after having ordered me to be reimbursed until the last cent. I did not need money, I needed a little love and humanity for Guillaume. ( To be continued …)