Monday, January 31, 2011

There and back again (twice)

I've been on the road again, as the song goes, but neither of my most recent trips left me feeling much like singing, between what happened to and from my destinations and what occurred while I was on the ground.  I travel frequently for my work, as I've noted here previously, so I expect some bumps and bruises (literally and figuratively) along the way.  But the last two weeks have been a little moreso than usual, even.  Here's a sampling of what's given me pause recently.....

Weather.  I know, I don't live in Philadelphia or Boston or New York or another very hard-hit city in the Northeast.  I live and travel primarily through the Southeastern US.  But make no mistake...if Atlanta is part of your travel plans during this time of year, you MUST expect delays, hiccups and other problems.  Two weeks ago I had a two day trip....two flight legs to my destination, two to return home.  All four experienced delays of some sort.  And while weather was not the announced culprit, it stands to reason that planes and/or crew members coming from or going to delay-prone areas are going to cause problems downstream, and I'd bet that 's what happened to my flights.  But the airline folks were nice throughout, as it wasn't exactly within their control....

Conduct of other travelers.  I know that it's very frustrating to have flights delayed or cancelled, believe me.  But there's no reason to act like a moron and yell at gate agents, etc.  Saw a lot of that over the past two weeks, and there's just no call for it.

Hotels.  Was lucky enough to have meetings at a resort hotel in North Carolina during week one of my recent travels.  Great, plenty of nice facilities to make the imposition of being away from home a little more bearable.  Not quite.....for example, this hotel had a very nice indoor swimming pool and spa area, but it didn't open until 8:00 AM.  Which does one no good if they have a meeting at 9:00.  And they offered a nice buffet for breakfast, except that because the hotel was not even close to filled, there was only continental breakfast choices available. Somewhat understandable, but how about lowering that price from $12.95 per person?  The topper was the allegedly heated pool in Tampa which the front desk told me they could ask to be turned on "if you really feel strongly about it."  No thanks, I don't want to inconvenience anyone, I'm just paying for this.

But all of this pales in comparison to the unusual light switch in the bathrooms at the hotel in Tampa.  This thing had a night light built-in, which is fine if annoying.  And by design one should be able to press the thumb-sized button and turn on the lights over the sink.  I was in this hotel three nights, and each passing day the thing became more and more difficult to turn on, to the point that on my last morning there I wasn't able to turn it on at all.  I shaved using the mirror over the desk and somehow illuminated the bathroom with the magnifying mirror and the hall light, well enough to shower, anyway. When I mentioned it upon checkout I was told that, well, those switches sure are temperamental, aren't they?  Yes.

But I'm home now, for this week, anyway.  Back on the treadmill next week.  Maybe I'll see you along the way.

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