AirBnB and Me

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My roommate and close personal friend, Jerry Foster, left for Spring Training. He left a little over a week ago.

When he left his room was empty and clean. He put forth a nice gesture of friendship prior to departure and he cleaned. It meant a lot. It also enabled me to efficiently and effectively prep his room for Airbnb selection.

It was an easy process, relatively simple, to prepare my home for the database of Airbnb: fluffing of pillows, sweeping of floors, removal of offensive and demeaning art, etc. The cosmetic set-up was cake. The administrative work, however, was something I wasn’t sure of. I know now, I didn’t do it right.

(If you are old, or unfamiliar, Airbnb is a mobile application for travelers and hosts. It is an Uber for lodging and travel, if you will. Individuals offer their homes, or rooms in their homes, to guests. At discounted rates, people can stay in other people’s property. Sometimes the host is home and sometimes they are not. Guests and hosts accrue ratings based on cleanliness and courtesy. I have an extra room and do not mind company, so I took part. I also watch a lot of videos that begin with attractive women looking for accommodation.)

Essentially, you should have the option to screen you potential guests before any real commitment. When you are preparing your home listing settings, that option is afforded. However, Airbnb is sneaky. They want you choose their “insta-book” option, because they make more money. When you select another option, they subtly let you know they aren’t happy with what you’re doing. When I chose to view my applicable guests prior to confirmation, Airbnb hit my inbox with a “Hey Beau! We understand you don’t enjoy money, is that true?” When I ignored the message and confirmed my choice to pre-screen, I received another message. “Beau, it’s us, Airbnb. Why are you doing this? Is it something we did? We are paid from our booking total and we have small children. Please confirm you DO NOT want to utilize “insta-book” and you do not care about children.”

48 hours later—post profile completion—I was booked. Instantly.

Mau booked my home for two nights. Mau’s profile picture was nice. It was her, an attractive, olive skinned ethnic blend of a woman, and a sliver of a man—I assumed husband or relative. He was barely in the picture. I thought Mau was a woman.

Mau and I began correspondence. We messaged Friday during the day, before she arrived that evening. I showed my friends the messages and bragged about the sultry lady staying at my crib, paying me to do so. Mau began asking questions about good bars and where the best draft beer was. This was a jackpot, I assumed. Mau then asked me what my weekend plans were. This was a lay-up, I assumed. I gave her the access code on my front door and set plans to meet her later that evening when I would be out with my friends.

Later that evening, out with my friends, I scanned for Mau. During the baseball game which I had attended, first pitch at 7, Mau checked into my home and dropped off her things. I was now at a local establishment and bar, Uncle Earls, looking to meet her. She said she was on the patio. So, I scanned. I did not see anyone that looked like her—that looked like the attractive, ethnic blend of a woman from her profile. I scanned again. I scanned a third time, this time catching something familiar. I saw the sliver of a husband, or male relative, from her picture. But it wasn’t a sliver. Mau was a guy.

That was my first experience with Airbnb. I gave Mau a 5 star because he was understanding and supportive when my mother became deathly ill and I was forced to her bedside for the duration of his stay.

During the next week I had two separate one night stays. Not stands. Stays. Both couples were very nice, solely stopping for a sleep amidst travel to Texas. Both couples took it straight to their room and were gone by the morning. Easy money, nice people. Five-star reviews across the board.

The fourth traveling guest, insta-booking their stay, was a nice older man named Greg, accompanied by his wife, Janette. They were staying one night to watch their niece play a softball game in the morning. After work on Friday, around noon, I met them at my home. Pleasantries were exchanged, they asked the significance of number “69” as it was displayed in wooden wall décor throughout my house (my dad’s jersey number), and we parted with quaint small talk. I wished their niece well and I left. I returned home that evening, around 1 AM, alone, and went to sleep.

When I woke in the morning I went to the kitchen for a shake. Greg and Janette’s vehicle was gone. Slightly dejected in that they ghosted me, I took my shake back to my room. As I was alone—Friday night fail—and my girlfriend had been hit by a bus, I made the decision to allot this part of the morning to personal time. After lighting a few candles and synching my BOSE soundbar to my phone, I took thirty minutes (7 videos) to myself. The soundbar is quality. I shook the foundation of my home, 1900 square feet, with diversely themed content, typically a housewife unable to pay a disgruntled repairman, and let the final video play at maximum decibel. I then took a shower, put on shorts, grabbed a book, and went outside.

Harry had just inadvertently set a snake loose on his cousin, Dudley—I read The Sorcerers Stone when I’m sad—when I heard footsteps. The footsteps were coming from inside my home. My heart sank. The door opened and Greg leaned half of his body outside, tentatively, shielding his wife with his off hand. He offered me an obligatory gesture of thanks; in haste, with no real eye contact made. He closed the door and he left… They were in the guest room the entire morning. They left their car at a bar across the street that previous evening and ubered to my home. He did not make eye contact with me, and he shielded his wife, because he thought I was a savage and cranked down with a sound system knowing random people were in my home… That was my fourth Airbnb experience. I gave Greg five stars as a preemptive move against any type of legal action.

Two days later, on a Sunday evening, Litria booked my home. She was to stay two nights and her six-year-old daughter would be accompanying her. They had some type of family activity scheduled in the Baton Rouge area. I looked forward to offering my luxury home at such an economical price to this mother and daughter.

When they arrived we spoke for several minutes. Litria and her daughter were wonderful people, pleasant and courteous, with the young daughter especially jovial in her nature. I explained to them that they should watch my television and its correlative U-Verse package in the higher channels, because I have high definition capability. I also told them my countertops were Italian quartz. I wished them well and went to sleep.

In the morning I did not see them as I left for work. When I returned, a few hours later to retrieve a file I forgot to bring to the office, I noticed a car in my driveway. Walking past the vehicle en route to my kitchen door, I became aware of a man sleeping in the car. The car was running and he was asleep. In haste, because I had to be back to the office, I did not pay a great deal of mind to this situation. I grabbed the file and left.

At six, as the sun began to wane, I returned home. The car was in the same spot in the driveway and as I approached, the man was still asleep. It was still running. Inside, Litria and her daughter were both in the guest bathroom. I did not bother them, as that would be weird, and I quickly changed from formal work attire into gym-wear. Leaving my house, heading for my car to get to the gym, Rip Van Winkle approached me. He ran across my lawn, from his car, and met me in front of my car. In a few sentences, I concluded a couple things:

1) He was an extremely nice and friendly dude

2) He was an extremely distraught dude—Litria “playing games” with him

3) He was extremely apologetic dude, having sat in my driveway for an extended length of time.

4) Litria was cold AF.

I left, told my boy he was welcome inside my home—Litria permitting—and took it to the gym. I texted my friend Anthony, told him I would be staying at his place of residence for the next two evenings—intermittently driving by my house as a concerned homeowner, and sent Litria a message asking her if she could leave a little early as my mother had become deathly ill and needed my guestroom so I could be at her bedside—for 7 AM if possible.

5 stars.



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