All because a hotel employee couldn't understand his South African accent.
This is one of those somewhat bizarre yet funny situations that you just can't make up. Cadillac's new president, Johan de Nysschen, previously worked for two other major automakers, Audi USA and Infiniti. Back in 2005, while working for Audi, de Nysschen went to check in to a NYC hotel, and a little misunderstanding happened. His personal explanation: "The hotel had given my room away, and the assistant behind the counter was rather unapologetic about it.
So after some exchange of dialogue I told her 'you don't have to be so hard-assed about it,' which is an expression sometimes used in South Africa to describe people who are being difficult. With my accent, she misunderstood, concluding I had said she had a hot ass, which of course was an entirely different thing. Following intervention by the security people, at least we clarified the misunderstanding, even though I still had no room. Which by now, having been threatened with arrest and a jail cell, seemed like a really good deal." Here's the irony: On a recent trip back to NYC, de Nysschen's room reservation at the Renaissance in Times Square had been given away (again).
This time the hotel was very apologetic and booked him a new room at the Marriot Marquis, the very hotel where he was almost arrested a decade prior. "I have come the full circle, right back to where I started," de Nysschen wrote on his Facebook page. When the Renaissance heard about the whole ordeal, they sent him a Platinum Elite Membership card that'll guarantee him a reservation for life. However, the card was sent to his former assistant – at Audi. The guy can't catch a break.