Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

So my husband is in Omaha until December. Last week I decided to fly from Bermuda and surprise him for his birthday. I made the decision pretty late and all the seats on the most direct route were taken or the ticket price was outrageous. So I decided to get the cheapest ticket which, of course took me through Philadelphia and Chicago before getting to Omaha. Usually Bermuda to Newark then on to Omaha is the most direct route.

I am very happy to report that there were no incidents going and my arrival was a complete surprise for my husband. He didn't have a clue!

The return journey home was event-free except for the incident I am about to relay. I promise you I am not making this up nor am I embellishing the details and I will not change the names to protect the guilty.

I knew that on my return to Bermuda I would have to overnight in Philadelphia. No problem I called and made reservations at Four Points Sheraton at Philadelphia Airport with confirmation that I would be arriving after mid-night. My credit card secured the room and I was a happy camper.

Got to Philly - waited for the shuttle for about ten minutes. Not bad at all. Walked into the lobby of the hotel. The front desk clerk was on the phone and looking a little harried. She was dealing with a customer complaint on the phone and trying to book me in. After about 20 minutes I was given the key to my room and proceeded to the elevator which whisked me to the fourth floor. Found room 453 and walked in. I noted that a dead roach greeted me but I thought - well at least it is dead.

As I entered the room I felt it didn't have that crisp freshly made feel to it that hotel rooms usually have. I looked around to determine why I felt that way. The pillows - they were squashed down and not straight and neat. Had someone been in the room and laid down? I continued to look around. I went into the bathroom - yes someone had been in there. There was used soap in the soap dish and the soap wrapper was on the counter. I looked in the sink and there was dried lather in the sink - where someone had washed their hands.

I looked in the bath tub and found two insects lying there waiting for their towel, valet, I'm not sure what.

As I shuddered to think that my room hadn't been cleaned properly something on the floor near the window attracted my attention. I walked over and bent at the waist to get a better look. There was something dead on the floor with ants all over it.

My skin was crawling and on my way out the door I grabbed my luggage and bolted for the elevator.

I talked with the front counter clerk and explained my situation and demanded another room. She disappeared for about seven minutes in the middle of serving another customer. When she returned, I noted the white towel in her hand but didn't think too much of it.

She finished serving the customer in front of her and gave me another room. I took the key ever hopeful that I could finally lay my head down and get some well deserved sleep.

I walked into the new room and knew instantly that someone had been laying in the bed because it wasn't even made up properly. I walked to the desk and there was a roach eyeing reproachfully as it casually made its way home.

I didn't even both to put my bags down I hightailed it out of there but not before taking pictures as my empirical evidence.

Meanwhile back in the lobby the front desk clerk who wasn't having a good shift looked at me and I am sure mentally shook her head and cut her eyes. By this time I had my husband on the phone and was regaling to him my adventure thus far.

Again I explained my situation - the young lady wasn't surprised because I think when she disappeared for those seven minutes she had gone up to the room, moved out the guests who were complaining and decided to reassign their room to me in hopes that I wouldn't notice the extra guests who weren't paying their share of the room.

Finally she sent me to their sister hotel - Sheraton Suites which was across the street.

I have traveled around the world and except for that time in Zimbabwe out in the bush when ants invaded my toothbrush (and I had to made a life changing, character building decision - throw away the toothbrush and not brush my teeth for weeks on end or pick out the ants and wash off the brush with the water from my waterbottle) I can categorically say I have never had to deal with an insect infestation at a hotel I had to spend the night.

I will be writing to the Sheraton hotel chain to describe in detail my teeth gritting, skin crawling experience.

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