It was an official trip. The salt mines I work at, wanted me to go and set up a team of writers in a remote city in a remote country, both of which shall remain unnamed. I had identified and recruited a talented team long distance and now was going to meet them. All in all I’ll be staying for a week.
I reached the city in the evening. The hotel was booked by our company travel department; and though it was one of those that charged exorbitant rates for corporate from the US, I had to stick with the official choice. The only good thing I could discern about the place was that it had fairly well-reviewed dining facilities so that I wouldn’t have to venture out for dinner after a day’s work.
So I check in. It is the standard room, with heavy dark furnishings and hardly any view to speak of. I am glad to see there is a coffee machine, but I see just this one measly packet of coffee, nowhere near enough to jog me out of my jet lag, when morning comes. So I call the front office, as per the information found in the room, and ask for more coffee. “Yes ma’am, it will be there in a minute”, the response was prompt.
I watch some TV, and aiming for an early night, decide to go for dinner. Realising that the coffee has not yet arrived, I call the front office again. The poor things are shocked that the coffee has not been brought yet. They are ready to have it delivered right away, but as I am on my way out, they promise that it will be in my room when I get back from dinner. Good enough already!
I saunter back to my room after a fairly okay dinner. And… you guessed it, no coffee! By this time, I’m getting a bit on the pissed side, and call the front office immediately. As can be expected, they can’t believe their ears! “No coffee? Really no coffee delivered to the room?” Another promise to take care of it at once.
Settling down with my book, I wait for the angel of coffee. Half an hour, no angel. By this time that coffee packet has moved from a ‘want’ to a ‘desperate need’. Finally I get out of the room and head for the front office to take delivery of the coffee personally. Around the corner, who do I meet? The coffee angel himself! Not one, but two coffee packets in hand! I know there is no point in asking him what took him so long; the definite answer would be that he rushed with the coffee the moment he was told about it.
So the next morning I drop a two-line note into the suggestions box, suggesting that they should at least take care of the basic needs of their guests and not make them call the front office three times for something as simple as a coffee packet.
By the time my work day is over, I am in a semi-zombie state, being pretty badly jet-lagged. I step into the room, ready to drop onto the bed, and am stopped dead in my tracks… immediately, I know it is a mistake, there is no other explanation!
To be continued…
02 Sep 2014