Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Four-Star Infractions

Never would I dare complain about being housed in a Four Seasons hotel, especially in downtown Toronto, but I can't claim to feel completely comfortable there either. Some aspects even go so far as to irritate through their histrionic efforts to maintain such a high standard of comfort. For someone whose ideal concept of lodgings consists of a drafty cabin with a wood-burning stove on some lake in the middle of nowhere, this experience is excessive squared. I would be happy in a Hilton, Hyatt, Radisson, or whatever — but again, I'm not complaining.

It all begins the moment you walk in the door. Someone rushes over to spin the revolving door for you. Even if they're a good 20 paces away for your one, they'll be there. I've tried to trick them a few times already, hovering in the lobby as if waiting for someone, then dashing for the door. To no avail; they make it every time. "Good afternoon, sir! Pleasant day?" But I'm not a sir! Nothing about me other than the pervading complement of Y-chromosomes even approaches sir. And I'm perfectly capable, willing even, to open my own doors.

Turning up the nettlesome factor, we come to turn-down service. Should you happen to leave your room around evening time, as most people do unless they haven't a problem paying $200 for a chicken leg with some fancy-sounding sauce, the housekeeping drones come on in and prepare the room for bedtime. This generally includes closing the drapes, folding down a corner of the bed, turning on a light or two, and switching the radio on to some saccharine, "relaxing" station. But before I leave, I set the room exactly as I want it to be when I return: shades open, specific lighting, no music, pants on the floor. When I return and the room has been reorganized in a matter prescribed by the housekeeping manual as appropriate for evening hours, I get the distinct feeling that my space has been violated, someone else has been sleeping in my bed, and it is not relaxing.

Perhaps the greatest infraction occurred this morning while I was out on a run. I had left the "Do Not Disturb" sign hanging on the door, which, last time I checked, means do not disturb. Are we all on the same page here? When I returned about an hour later, I found that housekeeping had again used their golden key to enter my room and clean. Of course, all I had done since the last time they had cleaned was sleep, brush my teeth, and throw some dirty clothes on the floor, so all they did was make my bed, lay my toothbrush on a towel, and fold my dirty laundry (what!?). Must've been pretty boring. I was slightly shocked, but then remembered that a similar thing had happened to a fellow bandmate at the Four Seasons in Vancouver. She had gone down to the gym, left the DND sign hanging, and while changing out of her gym clothes upon return, housekeeping came barging on in. When demanded of an explanation, they said they'd called the room but no one was there. So it only means "Do Not Disturb" if we're in the room!? What if I'd been sleeping when they called? Out for a cup of coffee? Showering? Naked and sprawled out on the floor? Surely these eventualities haven't escaped without consideration.

Aside from the above, however, everything has been wonderful. While a little excessive attention might offset one's sensibilities, it certainly doesn't leave any lasting scars. I've learned since Vancouver, and requested that the ass-wiping homunculus be discharged for the duration of my stay. He readily complied, but only after I threw him a looney. Maybe by the next stay I'll remember to decline the services of the omnipresent helper monkey.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Were I that fellow, I would've abandoned my duties for nothing short of a twoney and a case of ketchup-flavored pringles. Seriously.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well David...

Your dirty laundry freshly folded, photos of you in leather pants (I thought they looked bovine in origin, but I could be mistaken) whilst belting out ML ballads, Dennis Quade, and multiple anonymous blog-ites reading about the Four Seasons with its...what are they called...ah yes..."turn downs."

Hmmm. Seems you are an actual ROCK STAR. How's it feel?

Sorry you had to experience Winnipeg. It's one of the only major Canadian cities without an NHL team (the Jets left years and years ago). Sadly, I believe the populace is still in mourning. But truly, that does serve as an indicator of Canadian economic health, and Winnie is definitely Poohed. Eh.

Back to your multiple Anonymous readers, I thought perhaps (if I am to continue to read and comment) I should create a moniker for myself. As I have already confessed, I had that bit of a crush on you in high school, so I thought maybe "crusher" would be apt. But mid-type, alarms sounded in my Geek-lobe and I remembered that was the name of the Doc and Will Wheaton’s character on Star Trek- TNG. Nope...better not embarrass myself by letting on I would ever know such a thing:-).

I spent a few winters living out in the middle of the woods with a dinky wood stove for heat, as you said you'd prefer, so perhaps "smokey?" And they were some of the best years of my life...

I'll let you decide...:-)

Keep writing and I'll keep reading...

Later, Rock Star, and don't forget to have fun.

1:09 PM  
Blogger David said...

Ha, I was just about ready to suggest that all those identified as anonymous at least take a number. I think Smokey works well enough, why not run with it?

11:07 AM  

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