To sleep in a hotel and the silly things that can occur
Business travel can be exhilarating, although more often than not, it can be tiring. You wake up at 6am to be beat everyone else to the gym. Only to find that everyone had the same idea. Your meetings start at 8:30am and go on past 8:00pm. After your meetings end, you want a glass of wine to relax but you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. You seek refuge in your hotel to only get frustrated by some hotel shenanigans. Yes, that is the high life of business travel.
I’m back on the road today in three different hotels and apparently Baseball’s World Series starts tonight. Keeping in that vein, a walk off homerun for me this week would be being able to check in early into a comfortable, high floor quiet room where all electronics work as they are supposed to. Why, that is? Let me tell you.
This past week, I found myself in a hotel that I had never stayed at before. I mean a new hotel brand that had an interesting health concept embedded throughout the hotel where the bedroom includes its own gym space for yoga and aerobic-like workouts. That thrilled me although I still went down at 6am to the hotel gym to run on the treadmill. Old habits die hard. The hotel bed was amazingly soft and there was even a white board space for those middle-of the night brainstorms. There was a white noise machine. Bless them for that. While sitting in my hotel room at night answering emails, I put the television on and was overwhelmed. There were like 2,000 channels. It was like having 10,000 spoons when all I needed was a knife. I used this example to show frustration and not irony. Just wanted to note that. Anyway, I could not figure out how to flip through the channels in a very efficient way. A PhD gets you nowhere these days, I tell ya. I sat there wondering what to do. I then put the closed captioning on because at home, with a six-year old son running like a mad man, I watch television with subtitles on. Many of you know what I mean. It’s a home survival tactic that I now take with me out on the road. As I sit to process the television for a hot second, I realize that the closed captioning includes a narrator providing a scene play-by-play. I was watching Criminal Minds and let me tell you the narrators voice alerting me to the fact that the stalker was reaching out for the neck was creepy. I wanted that play-by-play off. It took me 15 minutes to figure how to stop that narrator’s voice running in my room. I had come close to calling down to the front desk to ask for help. That got me thinking of other silly things that I have experienced in hotels. So, what silly things have I experienced, you ask? Well let me count and explain the ways.
I get cold easily. Even in Puerto Rico I need to wear a sweater in the hotel and meeting rooms as the air conditioning is usually set at 60 degrees. That is outright freezing to me. Sadly, in many hotel rooms I have had the misfortune of being saddled with a dysfunctional or at least highly complicated heating/cooling system. I once got so frustrated with trying to figure out how to work the system, that I gave up and slept with a coat on. Needless to say (but I will nonetheless) I was quite grumpy the next day.
I have also had situations where the hotel room clock was way too bright. I like sleeping in pitch dark. Light bothers me. Unless, of course, its television light. Anyway, I have found myself in the situation where I have had to put a sheet over the clock. I also recently had a situation where the clock was off by like an hour and there was no way of changing the time. Unless you were some kind of physicist.
I never iron my clothes. I just don’t. One time, for some reason that I cannot figure out, I decided to iron my dress. The ironing went as well as could be expected by a fairly novice ironer. When I finished ironing I proudly unplugged the iron (as that is a fear of mine) and then tried to fold back up the ironing board. I tried and I tried. I could not figure out how to fold it back up. I left it as it was and hid it in the closet. The next day the cleaning room attendant left it in the closet. Eventually, I asked my business colleague to come over and help me fold up the board. But it too befuddled her. Eventually a latch of some kind was discovered by us and we were finally able to fold that board up.
On another trip, my back hurt horribly and I thus took a rather long hot shower. There was no air vent in the bathroom and the room was steaming and the walls were dripping. Oddly, this set off the room fire alarm for a few seconds. Ugh. So much for relaxing my back at that time. At another point I could not turn the shower knob on and tried and tried. Eventually I did have to call down to the front desk. It is moments like that you feel like a complete dweeb.
There was a time where there was a hotel fire and we were walking around in the dark. The hotel staff handed us candles and flashlights to use the restrooms. I felt like we were in the middle of a Walking Dead Episode.
I once stayed at an odd hotel in the middle of nowhere where my hotel room consisted of a concrete shack with concrete (cold) floors. I had not brought sandals with me and I hate having to wear shoes indoors. Coupled with no windows and an eerie darkness, I walked on my tippy toes as if there were eggshells everywhere.
While on a trip in the Virgin Islands, I encountered numerous roaches, mosquitos and other critters I could not quite identify. When I asked for a room change, it did not get much better. I had to learn to live with the creep crawlies while the hotel tried to get his electricity back on.
Have you ever stayed at a hotel in New York City? Specifically, Manhattan? I had to stay at one a few years back when Super Storm Sandy hit us and I was displaced (without electricity) for eight days. At one point I managed to get a hotel room in Manhattan. My son who was bored wanted to play hide and sneak. Think of it this way, how do you play hide and sneak in something the size of a bathroom? Ah, to sleep in a hotel at times requires much patience and a sense of humor.