Monday, September 1, 2008

Bill's Hotel Complaints

Even when I stay in a pretty decent hotel, I inevitably run into those little issues that will momentarily pi$$ me off. Among them:

10. Maids that turn off my air conditioner during the day. Nothing pi$$es me off more than, at the end of a long day working and sweating, coming back to a hotel room that has had the air conditioner shut off all day. With the curtains open. What I pay for one night in a hotel room more than pays for that room's electricity in one month. Leave the damn air conditioner on.

9. On a related note, air conditioners that are set to cycle the fan instead of leaving it on. OK, this can usually be remedied by removing the cover to the unit and flipping a switch. Sometimes it requires a little re-wiring. But I have slept with a fan on every night for the past 25 years of my life. I ain't stopping now.

8. Staff that does not speak English. Seriously. Hotel management, listen up. If you choose to hire immigrants (legal or otherwise), at lease ensure that they understand basic greetings in English. I'm tired of maids and other housekeeping staff giving me a blank stare when I say something complicated to them in English -- like "Good Morning."

7. TVs that revert to the hotel information channel every time you turn them on. The old Lodgenet systems are notorious for this. When I turn on the tube, I want the last station that it was tuned to before I last turned it off. I don't want to hear "Thank you for choosing the Holiday Inn Los Angeles. We hope that you enjoy your stay with us. Gracias por elegir el Holiday Inn Los Angeles. Esperamos que usted disfrute de su estancia con nosotros."

6. TV's and clock radios that mysteriously talk in Spanish when you turn them on. When you are lucky enough to have a hotel TV that will remember the last station it was tuned to, the maid will inevitably tune it to Univision or Telemundo while she cleans your room. And she will leave it there. Or, she will change your clock radio to the local Salsa station. You will usually discover this when the alarm goes off the next morning.

5. Your shampoo disappears. Whether you use the hotel-provided shampoo or bring your own little shampoo that you stole from another hotel, you will inevitably reach for it while showering -- and it won't be there. Whether or not there was any shampoo left in the bottle after you last showered, there is a 87% chance the maid will simply throw it away. Sure, she will usually leave you another bottle. But it is usually placed by the sink. The sink is usually out of reach from the shower. This may also happen if you use the free hotel-provided bar of bath soap. Luckily, it has never happened to my self-provided bar of Irish Spring,

4. Your bar of soap at the sink disappears. You know the drill. You check in. You poop. You wash your hands. While your hands are wet, you realize that the soap is still in the wrapping. No problem. You dry your hands and open the soap. Next day, you come in dirty from work. You wash your hands. You reach for the barely-used bar of soap you opened yesterday. But where is it? You look behind the faucet. You look behind the box of Kleenex. Nothing. Then you realize that the Soap Fairy must have visted and forgotten to leave a quarter behind. But she did leave a fresh bar of soap. You swear under your breath. You dry your hands. You open the soap. You wash your hands. The next day...

(other bathroom-related complaints include the fact that many maids will close the stoppers on the sink and tub drains... and you don't notice until the sink or tub is half full of water)

3. Your fridge isn't plugged in. Usually, on my way from the airport, I stop and pick up a couple of bottles of water because rarely have I run into a hotel that has tap water that tastes good. Then I check in and walk into my room and open the fridge to put my water in and notice that the fridge is warmer than the room that didn't have the air conditioner on and waiting for me (see above).

2. The maid forgets to leave the free pen if it is missing. Seriously, aren't pens like 10¢ in bulk? If I take the pen to work with me, and leave it at work, then just leave me another one so I can do the same the next day. (OK I am lying here. I steal the pens. I have a few hundred hotel pens rolling around my home. My wife and I haven't needed to buy pens in like 10 years.)

And the Number One thing I hate about hotels:
1. The hoards of people grazing the free continental breakfast. Now, part of this is the fault of the hotel -- namely, not realizing that nearly one hundred people will try to crowd into a tiny room with twenty chairs. Some of these people will be milk-spilling cereal-crunching screaming children running around underfoot and touching every exposed food item on display. Some of these will be big fatty fat people blocking your way to the orange juice dispenser. Or the person making six waffles, one at a time, for his entire family. Or the a$$hole that leaves his garbage on the table when the trash can is right next to it. Speaking of trash cans, the opening to the can is usually too small for the garbage that you want to put in it, and the flap is usually dripping with milk and juice. Seriously, though, the continental breakfast is a big free-for-all, and 90% of the people in that room have no manners at all.

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