I arrived in Minneapolis last night, 8 PM local time, to find my hotel overbooked and them sending me (“walking me,” in the trade) 30 minutes away to a grim business park hotel in the middle of freaking nowhere. This, after the Coop paid in advance for my room. It was the closest I’ve ever come to going ballistic on a staff person. Hadn’t eaten since noon, &c &c. So I apologized for the difficulties he was having, which changed the dynamic – his at least – if not the reality.
So then after checking in at said grim distant hotel, I walked about half a mile, maybe a mile, along an interstate to get to a Chilli’s to eat something. Imagine a six-lane interstate, then a fence, then a sidewalk(!), with me walking, wanting to break something, perhaps using explosive devices or something that makes a really loud sound.
Got up this morning at 6:10 and showered to get a 7 AM shuttle back to my main hotel. They wanted me to wait until 3 PM check-in, but I started in on “missed client work yesterday, must prepare for my seminar this morning,” &c, and rather than get into it she just upgraded me to an executive class room at the same price. It’s an awesome room, but what really pisses me off is that there’s no way it was checked out and cleaned at 7:45 AM – meaning that they had it last night. When I insisted last night that there was indeed a room available, just upgrade me and I’ll pay, they assured me there wasn’t.
So I went to register for the conference, (insert long bizarre story about the Minneapolis Skyway and commuters walking through closed department stores to connect to distant office buildings; deserves a whole blog entry or something) and ran into Mark G. from Brattleboro, so we had breakfast from this freestanding kiosk thing in the hotel meeting room area. Ordered a bagel. They told me I could bring it across the aisle to this other place to toast it, but when I brought it over there the guy looked at me and said, “I ain’t got no toaster. They shouldn’t tell you that.” Like, hello, WTF? I was truly dumfounded at that point.
But we had a good conversion anyway, while I ate my thawed and un-toasted bagel, with peanut butter from a little plastic thimble, like jam-flavored sugar comes in.
So then back at the ranch after breakfast, I couldn’t get online – it turns out my in-room Internet connection box had no AC adaptor, and I had to wait for housekeeping to bring one up. Luckily I could debug the problem, because when hotel housekeeping gets a call about Internet problems you can hear the desperation in their voice. It’s way outside their comfort zone.
So really I’m just getting my groove going, and trying to dissipate the anger so I can get into the idealistic CCMA vibe. I’m in a pretty good mood, considering.
The Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference begins tonight. Likely it will be worth it!