At Manhattan’s famous, prestigious Waldorf Astoria, where celebrities hob-nob and local people celebrate special events, there’s nothing that guests haven’t managed to make off with. From silverware to towels to the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, if it’s not too heavy to hide, people will steal it. However, if you feel bad about your theft from the $400-a-night hotel, you’re not alone, and the hotel has a solution. The Waldorf Astoria is starting an amnesty program for those that return stolen goods, no questions asked.
Christine Hayner, a 25-year-old Waldorf sales manager, was one of the employees affected by the amnesty program. Turns out her grandmother stole something… err, “secretly checked out” something in the parlance in the hotel, on her wedding night in 1949.
“She said, ‘I have something from your hotel, and I want you to have it — it’s important to me,”‘ quotes Hayner. Turns out, her grandmother stole a salad fork. “I thought, ‘What am I going to do with this?”‘ Three days later, the Waldorf announced their amnesty idea. Said Hayner, “It sounded oddly familiar, like what my grandmother gave me, and I thought, ‘this meeting is just perfect.”‘
The new collection of returned stolen goods will go in a glass display case in the lobby, along with pictures of the hotel’s thousands of celebrity guests, many thrilled postcards from the folks that have stayed, and other curios. The hotel is hoping the amnesty program and the displays of stolen items will kick off a new wave of interest in the hotel on social media.
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