Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the Road Again

I spend my fair share of time in hotels. Generally it is a pleasurable experience because the industry has become very competitive, so if any hotel doesn't treat me like the valued guest that I am, I simply cross the street and offer my business elsewhere. Don't are not perfect. There are still things they can do better like design room doors that close securely without slamming in the middle of the night. Also, at the coffee station, don't put the little containers of half-and-half, Coffee Mate and Flavored Coffee Mate in one big bucket. That results in thoughtless guests standing there and searching for the coffee lightener of their choice while the rest of us grow old in line. Put each type of coffee lightener in it's own container so guests can pick the one they want and move their fat asses out of the way. I get cranky when I can't get to my coffee!

That kind of brings me around to today's topic. While hotels have tried to get better in recent years, hotel guests have become impossible. It's as if, when traveling, all rules of civilized behavior are suspended and people can feel free to act like thoughtless morons. Hotel management can't do much to eliminate these behaviors because they are trying hard to get guests to come back. Some of the better hotels make an effort because they know that if paying guests are upset by thoughtless ones, they are not likely to return. They might put polite little signs around the property in an effort to get inconsiderate guests to behave like humans. These signs have little effect on the people they are aimed at because, after all, they are assholes. They need signage that is more to the point and in the language understood by assholes. Here are a few suggestions.

As you probably know from my constant bitching about it, people coming down to a hotel dining area in bare feet makes me want to strangle them. Here I sit, about to cut into my waffle, when I am confronted with the worst pair of naked, deformed feet ever seen outside a circus side show. Not only do they appear barefoot, but they tuck their legs under them while they eat so that the seats on which I must sit are contaminated with their stink. This is an abominable habit which should never be tolerated by a hotel. It is not only that my sensibilities are offended, it's a health issue for heavens sake. People who do this will not respond to subtlety; they need a sign in the dining room that makes the consequences of such repulsive behavior very clear.

Children can be a problem in public places like hotels if not controlled by their parents. Some people think that when they are out in public, their children's behavior becomes the responsibility of their host. I know kids will have a tendency to run wild in new surroundings if their parents do nothing to stop them. Running wild in the pool, acting out in the restaurant, running in the hotel's natural for them to constantly test the limits. Normal people understand this and make an effort to keep their hell spawn on a tight leash. A small few feel under no obligation to rein in their little monsters, and so I propose this sign to get their attention.

Public displays of affection are not high on my list of appropriate hotel behaviors. I'm not talking about a hug or a peck on the cheek, I'm talking dueling tongues at the dinner table. I get it, I really do, you're away from your trailer park home, Lou Ellen has on her best Sears dress, and your libido has been fueled by the six Jack Daniels shooters you just had at the bar. This is a night for romance. Here's an idea Billy Bob, take her up to your room. Don't make me push away my Steak-a-la-Polynesian because you can't keep a lid on it. You're twice my size so I can't tell you how I feel, but maybe this sign will do the trick.

I'll make this my last nightmare guest's similar to the barefoot Contessa described above. I realize that the expression casual dress has almost no meaning anymore. People appear in public in get-ups that would be more appropriate for the annual Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village. Have you ever seen someone on the breakfast buffet line that looks like they were just rescued from their beds during a four-alarm fire? You know the type...spiky bed hair, wrinkled t-shirt that you know they slept in, and those pajama bottoms that are supposed to pass for casual pants. Please. These slobs really move the needle on my disgust meter, and this sign is just for them.

I'm thinking of writing to Hilton to volunteer to act as a hotel evaluator. There are things I see that they certainly could improve on. Sadly, I think they'd be reluctant to adopt my "plain language" signs. Too bad... their guests would be infinitely better off for it.


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association 


The Whiner said...

Agree 100%.

Joseph Del Broccolo said...

The brats are a real pain in my butt, the parents seem to think they are cute with their behavior, and I should smile at the little bastards!