Humor

My first business trip of the year: It sucked and was unnecessarily cold

 

I used to travel a lot for work. Many, many trips each year. My business travel has been decreasing the past two years as I purposefully sought a new job that required less travel . Although, I still do plenty of traveling that allows for me to still qualify for elite status on some mileage programs. So, overall I travel a lot. I have seen how hotels keep increasing their prices and how many are nickle and diming many travelers with fees for all sorts of odds and ends. I have also seen some hotels try to go the other way and offer more for your dollar. Some hotels will give you a cookie at checking in. That’s nice, I suppose. Although, a cookie probably doesn’t justify a $200 a night cost. Anyway, I am not here to rant about hotel prices.

 

Back to me. I just had my first business trip of the year. I was not exactly thrilled about it as the trip came in the middle of the work week and I had many tasks due. I also had a meeting that I had to attend remotely while on the business trip. Just because you are on business travel doesn’t mean that the other meetings go to the wayside. They still keep going. With technology now, we can do multiple simultaneous meetings.
I headed over to the airport keeping in mind all that I had to get done. Surprisingly, my flight left on time out of Los Angeles. I arrived in San Francisco and proceeded to the hotel shuttle area as supposedly there was a free shuttle to the hotel. Sure, there was a free shuttle but it came every 30 minutes. A shuttle came that listed my hotel and I tried to get the driver’s attention to no avail. I boarded the bus and I noted the tips appreciated sign. I hoped for the best. Sadly, hope was not enough. Turned out, I was on the wrong bus. I got off at the international terminal and had to find my way to a taxi stand which was exceedingly frustrating. I flagged a taxi down, got in and he took off. Then he told me that his meter wasn’t working. I negotiated a flat rate as many New Yorkers are trained to do from birth.  I reached the hotel after a tortuous route getting there. I sighed in relief. But that sigh was not enough.

 
I was given a room on the second floor right over the bar. But that was not the main problem with my room. I was cold. I went to the thermostat and tried to adjust it. It wouldn’t take. It didn’t turn on. I called down to the front desk and was told that the heat in each room was centrally controlled by the hotel and they set it at either cool or warm for the hotel. No one had control over their room thermostat. And they had set it at cooling. Apparently, no one there knew that winter has come and that it had been 39 degrees in the morning that day. I was incredulous and laughed. She offered me a heater. I took it.

The heater looked fine on one side and on the other side all the knobs were broken off and the cord was frayed. Thus, if you moved the heater ever so slightly it would stop working. I wanted to cry. But I couldn’t because I had three meetings to go to.
I decided  to take a quick shower to warm up and rejuvenate. The water stream was almost nonexistent.  I was cold and started hiving. I was done. I then understood why my room was over the bar.

 

I went to my meetings and endured. I then went to work out late at night and found that the machines had missing setting buttons. I did the elliptical but it was way harder than usual as I couldn’t set it at my normal pace. I tried to go to sleep right away but I was cold. I moved the heater closer and left it on all night. I prayed that thevrug wouldn’t catch fire.
I woke up at 4:55am the next day just wanting to run away from there as quickly as possible. I got ready and made my way to the front desk  to check out. As I’m checking out, I look out at the entrance and see the airport shuttle. I waved to the driver and raised one finger to let her know wait one minute. The guy at the front desk witnessed this interaction and still proceeded to complete the transaction very slowly. I turned around and the shuttle driver left. I yelled for her to wait and the front desk guy did nothing. Nothing!  What a complete loser.

 

 

I caught a cab ride with a nice guy who was contemplating leaving San Francisco after being there for 16 years. He was considering San Diego. I highly encouraged him to make such a move. I got to the airport and terminal more quickly than the shuttle. That was a small, costly win.
I made my way to the gate and then waited and waited. My flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours. Sometimes there really is no winning. I eventually made it back to Los Angeles and went straight to work to attend 3 more meetings.
This is business travel. Sometimes it just sucks and is unnecessarily cold.

20 replies »

  1. What a trip. I wish next time it works out better for you. So you do not like San Fran? happy weekend and I hope there is nothing else coming up.

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  2. I’ve often been told of similar experiences ( though not one after another , as in your case!) and wonder how can people work in such situations….
    Take care of your health , is the only advice I can give you….!

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  3. And the email to the hotel chain CEOs demanding a refund and or credit back to your account is in route, right? I would have raised much hell (for warmth as well as satisfaction) regarding being in a room so cold as to be inhospitable. There’s no excuse for that in a hotel that’s charging anything over $40 or $50 bucks a night.

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  4. I grew up around the great lakes in winters with snow and ice as high as our house. However, having moved to Los Angeles, I have acclimated severely. The frost on the cars this week has made me want to hibernate and I am shivering while I am reading your blog… I can’t get warm enough to want to go out to work! 😲

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  5. Ugh, what a miserable trip for you. Glad you survived. I, too, feel your pain about the cold. I despise winter and cold weather. Your story made me laugh, however, because it reminded me my trip to Italy a few years ago in early May, when it was still chilly in some of the regions we visited. In Assisi, we happened into a bar that had a space heater running and we literally did not move from our table for 4 hours because I had to bask in the warmth. I had to be talked out of stealing the space heater for our hotel room. 🙂 Stay warm and remember that spring is around the corner.

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