I have someone staying in my hotel tonight that made me think that this would be worth sharing here.
If you are running away/trying to hide from someone that is frightening, abusing, harassing you, and you find yourself staying in a hotel to avoid being found, there’s an extra precaution you can take.
When you check in, ask the front desk clerk to put you as “Unlisted”. They’ll know what you’re talking about. What this means is that as far as anyone other than you and the front desk clerks are concerned, you’re not there. If someone tries to call for you and your room, “I’m sorry. I don’t have anyone registered under that name.” Same thing goes for it someone shows up at the desk. “Unlisted” means you’re untouchable.
Please, please, if you find yourself in trouble and seeking refuge in a hotel, do this. It’s really quick, easy, and painless for the front desk clerk to do, and they are not going to judge you for it.
Please use actual words, not just code words. I work in a hotel and have NEVER heard of “Unlisted”. If someone were to come up to me and say that I would just look at you, confused, and ask for clarification.
Just flat out tell the front desk that you’re avoiding an abuser, if you say that you’re just avoiding something or someone, we may hesitate to comply, because you may be hiding from the police or law-enforcement. Please tell the front desk what you actually want us to do. Most places sign privacy/non-disclosure type agreements and if you say: “Hey, I’m hiding from a very bad situation and there might be some abusive people following me. Can you please either put me under a different name or make sure that no one contacts me?” we’ll do it and wont speak another word. Most places would even help you look up resources and try to get you transportation.
You can make it so most phones will be no contact, put up the do-not-disturb sign, and when shift change happens, if you’re still awake, tell the next person, because sometimes shift change is chaotic and important stuff can fall through the cracks. If you’re staying for multiple days, ask to speak with the general manager about your situation and they’ll make sure everything is enforced.