A hotel guest locked her toddler in a hot car in the parking lot while hanging out with her friend | Tracey Madness

* This is a work of non-fiction based on actual events that I have experienced first hand; used with permission.

I spent almost two years working as a maid in a hotel. It was one of the most overwhelming jobs I’ve had since deciding to enter the workforce straight out of high school instead of going to college.

Nothing lessens your faith in humanity like cleaning up after hotel guests. Some people think that because they pay to rent a room, they have the right to destroy it.

I’ve cleaned all kinds of messes from carpets and tubs, cleaned hundreds of beer cans in suites, and cleaned up after more botched bachelor parties than I can count. Yet the most disturbing thing I’ve seen as a maid happened in the parking lot, not in one of the rooms or suites.

We had a pair of problematic hotel guests, one of whom had a small child. On a hot summer day, the two women decide to party in one of their bedrooms. They were making a lot of noise, which I heard from the hotel room directly above theirs while I was cleaning.

I looked out the hotel room window while I was vacuuming and noticed movement through the rear window of one of the cars in the rear parking lot. I stopped what I was doing to take a closer look.

What I saw downstairs in a closed car with no windows open and no air conditioning shocked me. It was the little boy of one of the women. He was strapped into his car seat in the back seat of the car and he was alone.

I kept looking out the window, trying to make sure I was correct in my observation that the little boy was all alone in his mother’s car. When I was sure I was right, I called the hotel manager to report the situation. I asked him if I should call the police, but he said he would take care of it.

Sometimes I wish I had called the police before calling the manager. The manager found the boy’s mother living in his friend’s hotel room, and he gave her a chance to do the right thing before calling the cops.

I can’t help but wonder if it was the right decision. The woman seemed to me like an unfit mother, but it was not for me to judge the maternal qualities of the hotel guests. It was my job to clean the dirty toilets.

The two women left the hotel shortly afterwards, taking the little boy with them. No, the women weren’t in a relationship, by the way. They both had boyfriends who worked on a local construction project, and the two couples rented separate rooms.

I will never know what happened to the little boy or his mother, but today that little boy would be a young man in his early teens. Hope he is well. He must be doing better than the day his mother left him in a locked car in a hotel parking lot in the summer.

Kasandra J. Stone