Most of the time the answer is at the bottom of the bottle, but other times…

Of course, this one fell on deaf eyes.

God DAMN, I love my job. About the only thing I don’t like about it is getting paid less than a public school teacher. $23k a year starting, if I haven’t mentioned it before. I know, the average teacher trained for seven or eight years and spent about $100k in addition to a the $60k it took to get a degree, and most classrooms hurtle through the sky at over 500mph, and if a school teacher messes something up, it could destroy a $40 million airplane and kill dozens or hundreds of people…but it still seems somehow cosmically uneven. I’m told that someday if I don’t get furloughed or the entire industry doesn’t get taxed, unioned, and regulated into nonexistence I could make some large bucks, but for now the pay is really my only complaint. Oh, and one more – sitting around listening to everybody bitch about how horrible this job is.

The complaining comes mostly from the senior guys – captains making good bucks working 2-3 weeks a month flying airplanes (which is not a difficult job about 99% of the time). I sometimes feel a need to grab folks by the shoulders and shake them while explaining that if they want to know the kind of misery that Dante himself couldn’t conjure, they need to go sit in a cubicle and take orders from a clinically retarded MBA whose ineptitude would get him exiled and/or lynched if anyone in this country had a single shred of common sense.

It’s this weird “us vs. the company” attitude that bothers me. Err’body hatin’ on the corporations these days. The same corporations that employ you, make you able to feed and clothe your kids, send said kids to college, and keep a roof over your head. I’m not championing the cause of corporate greed – just saying the shrillness of the cry should probably be dialed back a few clicks. Biting the hand that feeds us and whatnot. Like it or not, even if your opinion is that corporations don’t pay enough in taxes, they do create a shitload of tax payers, and that is much more important.

There are some interesting things that happen in this job, and a whole new set of observations to be made by jackasses like me who consider themselves astute, but don’t know what the word astute really means and are too lazy to look it up.

Back to my previous point about people being promoted well beyond their level of competency – somehow this became an initiative at Holiday Inn.

If my crappy picture is unreadable, the pillow on the left has a nifty little cozy belt around it, faux-fastened by a comically large plastic button, attached to which is a heavy gauge plastic screenprinted thing that says “Soft”. The pillow on the right, on the other hand, has a nifty little cozy belt around it, faux-fastened by a comically large plastic button, attached to which is a heavy gauge plastic screenprinted thing that says “Firm”.

Solving a problem that has plagued hotel goers and society in general, namely how we could possibly discern between a soft pillow and a firm one, has fallen to the geniuses at Holiday Inn. Sure, I could reach out and feel the pillow with my hands, but I don’t have all night. I’m just glad that the company is spending resources on the important stuff. Nobody really needs a decent internet connection.

On the subject of pillows at hotels – can we please stop the madness? There used to be a couple of normal pillows on the bed and I don’t remember starting a grassroots movement to change that. Suddenly pillows are square (my guess is that it is a normal pillow crammed into a small pillowcase to save money) and they seem to multiply like tribbles. I am looking around my room right now and there are two beds for some reason. Maybe one is soft and one is firm, but how am I to know unless they embroider a delightful belt to go around it and hang a sign from it? Between the two beds there are over 400 pillows. About 396 of them end up along with their belts and placards in a pile on that weird upholstered chair in the corner that would glow like Japan after an earthquake if you shined a spoogelight on it. Along with the pillows you will find that useless book of information you already knew about the hotel and its surrounding attractions, the phone (after I have used it to call and ask why the internet doesn’t work), and the five or so table tents on every horizontal surface encouraging me to buy movies, join the rewards club, convert to mormonism, or to throw my towels on the floor if I hate the rainforest and all of the adorable little animals that hop and prance therein.

Another stupid marketing thing. “We care about our use of water and soap because it hurts the feelings of hummingbirds and lemurs when we don’t act environmentally conscious.”

Bull. Shit. Let’s rewrite this with a little honesty –

I speak for all travelers (really, I talked to everybody who has ever traveled and they all agree) when I say that what we want in a hotel is as little foreign-ness as possible. It’s weird enough spending 4-6 days a week in a bed that is not your own. Why do we have to exacerbate the problem by using a toilet that makes a noise like the catapult on an aircraft carrier when we flush it? While your showers are no doubt water savers, the benefit is lost when I am faced with a faucet/shower head combo that looks like MC Escher learned to weld. The ten minutes spent trying to figure out how to adjust the temperature followed by the five additional minutes trying to make the water go to the shower head sort of clear cuts about an acre of rainforest.

So as travelers, we are already sort of micro-traumatized by the very act of traveling. A motion detector in the ceiling that turns off the air conditioner when I leave the room is going to get someone hurt. I also don’t really want to turn on the television and have to navigate to a place where I can watch actual television. All I need out of your television is a place I can hook up an HDMI cable and Net me some Flix.

And maybe check out some internet while I exacerbate.


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