Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You're Our Guest of the Day!

Last night I arrived at the Doubletree Hotel in Houston to check in for a one night stay.  Traveling for work this week.  I am traveling, as I often am, with my co-worker Jason.  I walk up to the front desk first.  They can't find my reservation.  I immediately assume I have somehow managed to mess up this trip by booking for the wrong night or something.  But I had not.  The girl trying to check me in asks for my confirmation number.  I give it to her.  She finds my reservation...but it's for someone else.  Pete something.  Now the odd thing is, I booked this trip, like I book all trips, through my company, which uses American Express travel. It's a mystery.

So Jason gets impatient while they are fiddling with my reservation (or lack thereof), and asks if they could just check him in in the meantime.  The manager starts on his reservation.  When he says his name, the girl helping me says, kind of under her breath, "Oh! I think he's our guest of the day!"  The manager:  "Yes! You are our Guest of the Day!  We've upgraded you to a suite on the corporate level!  You have access to the corporate lounge!  And we have this gift bag for you, and you'll find some treats in your room!"

And back to me.  Still no room at all.  Jason is smirking at me (he's like that).  Gets his room key and off and he goes.  Eventually, I get a room. But seriously, are you kidding me?  I have no reservation at all, somehow, and he is the Guest of the Day.

Here's the thing.  He always gets a better room than I do, and no it's not because of points, etc.  Well, last night was related to points, but only in the sense that he is a Hilton Honors member.  But umm, so am I.  I can think of three times I've had to change my room because it smelled like smoke, or it wasn't clean, or some other issue, or I have to trek up and down because my room key doesn't work.  Him?  Not once.  And often, after we've checked in I get these stories like "I'm in a suite."  Or, "I have a huge jacuzzi tub in this monster bathroom, does your room have that?"  Of course my room doesn't have that.  As a matter of fact my bathroom is rather small and dark and I don't know how I am going to put on makeup properly in there.  Last night was just the icing on the cake.  It was pretty funny, really.  There I was, all alone in the lobby, trying to just get a room, while he is upstairs, on the executive level, enjoying his freaking cheese tray.  If he didn't lord it over me, perhaps I wouldn't be so bitter.  I'm not really bitter.  I'm just not sure why I am the red-headed stepchild when we travel.

Other notes from this trip.  We had dinner at an Italian restaurant (a nice one, mind you) that had, perhaps, the worst lounge-type singer I have ever heard.  Well, singers, there were two of them.  The woman was really, really bad.  They were older, I'd guess in their sixties.  And at one point?  I kid you not, they sang "Purple Rain."  But it kind of gets worse.  So, people start actually dancing to the awful singing.  In the restaurant bar!  One gray-haired dude that if I had to profile him, I'd say 55, recently divorced, drinks more beer than I do (and that relates to the belly)  - was just rockin' out.  It was surreal.  I kept asking Jason - is this really happening?  Are they playing Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" now?  Is that guy really going to hit on that woman?  It was bizarre.  But entertaining.

I don't like to be away from Sarah during the week like this so I try to make the best of it, and last night was fun, in a weird way.  Now I am in a hotel in Beaumont.  I haven't seen Jason since check-in, but I am sure he has a nicer room than I do.

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