I’ve had to travel a lot over the years for my various jobs. and the one thing I’ve learned, as mundane as this sounds, is to “expect the unexpected”. By this I mean you should be prepared at any time, any given moment, to take copious amounts of notes for an eventual letter to the manager or owner. Letters of praise and complaint have served me well in the past for getting a particular point across about a service or visit somewhere. Below you will find an excerpt from one such letter, a personal fave, that did happen despite the dubious nature of the parts halfway down this read. I swear I thought I was on some revival of Candid Camera or some other just as bad reality TV.
The following took place between the hours of 8 AM and 10:00 AM… Events happen in real time.
My wife and I had finished our breakfast at the hotel and were returning to our room to pick up our luggage and check out of the hotel. We both tried our keys, which are little chips with a metallic tab on one end, in the electronic lock to no avail. We then proceeded to the check out desk where the staff re-encoded our key and suggested that we try the lock again.
We tried the keys again and they did not work. Usually there is a beep to signify that the lock has accepted the key, however, there were no sounds or lights to be seen or heard from the lock.
We returned to the check out counter and asked for guidance in this matter. The staff conveyed to us that this sort of thing happens all the time and that it would take ten minutes for the maintenance man to replace the batteries in the door lock. We were assured that it would take no time at all even after I explained to them the fact that I was late for my appointments of the day.
The worker arrives to begin his task of replacing the door lock batteries. He tries his key to see if it works and it does not. He then moves on to the room to the left of our hotel room, Room 503, and goes inside. After 45 seconds he leaves 503 and tells us to wait for his return.
The worker returns and he has brought some tools with him. He attempts to gain entrance by removing the covering of the lock to our room. At this point I then went to my car to find the number for Ms. X in order to explain my situation and that I was going to be late in my arrival to our appointment. That is when I heard the workman break the window. I returned to see the glass broken out of the window on Room 503. The workman then realized that the window he had just broken did not gain him entrance to our room that had no windows [ except for those in the door ]. The worker then moved to the room to the right of our room, 501, and broke that window as well. Once again the man realized too late that the window also did not gain him entrance to Room 502.
I returned to tell the staff about the broken windows to find that they were not all that concerned about the situation at hand. I again explained to them that I was late and that they must have come across this kind of problem before. Mr.. T, Rooms Division Manager, said that it happened all the time and that it would only take ten minutes longer. I explained to him that I was told that in the beginning of all of this and we were now fast approaching the one hour mark.
I then asked him some questions on what would have happened if I had not been leaving that day.
Q: “Would you move me into another room?”
A: “Sure. If that’s what you wanted.”
Q: “So I would then have to wait for all of this to be cleaned up before I could retrieve my things to put into another room?”
A: “Or we can do all that for you.”
I explained to him that at this point I didn’t feel comfortable with them handling much of anything and that I had a security issue with the other two rooms with broken windows. It was made clear to me that this situation was a common state of affairs and at no time did I get any apology, however, Mr.. T made a half hearted gesture of an offer to make things better on my next stay.
I returned in time to see the workman drop his tools and then break the window inside the door to Room 502. The glass did not go all at once so he had to work at one particular section for awhile before he had a workable area to reach around the door with. At this point there is no lock on the door and no handle either. The worker had made a large hole in the glass, however, the rest of the glass now creaked and groaned with spider web cracks running throughout the rest of the remaining door. The workman told us that he would return in a moment.
My wife and I noticed that the door was slightly ajar and we managed to pry it open without touching the parts of the door that contained the splintered glass. Glass covered the floor of our room but not any of our belongings. We gathered our belongings and moved them to our car.
I returned one last time to the check out counter to make sure I had my names straight and to also give back my key to the hotel. Mr.. T was still on duty and he made a joke about the key being a “keyless lock” that I found not funny by this point in the day.
As you can see, being able to jabber into a digital recorder can be ever so helpful in these matters. You never know when you may have to pretend you are a side character on 24. Hmm, no wait they don’t make it to the end of the day do they? That’s like I just suggested we all put on Red Shirts and journey down to the planet on the Enterprise Away Team. Oh well, point made somewhere in all that mess above I guess.