Monday, August 31, 2009

The Tale of the Hotel Key Cards, Bow!

To err is human. That has often been said. But gosh! Why won’t bloopers leave me alone when I’m abroad??? WHY??? After hearing this story, I’ll be the official laughingstock of the entire blogosphere. LOLs!

So okay I’m no stranger to using hotel’s key card of course. Although at times I remember before when I have to repeatedly insert that thing on the door in order to open my room. But that’s pretty fine right? It all happens to us once or twice.

The hotel we stayed at last week has this security feature wherein you have to “swipe” your hotel key card first in the lift before you will be able to press the number of your destination. Brilliant right?? Guests or outsiders can’t just loiter around.

When Ade (my colleague from Indonesia) told me that he’s staying a floor above mine, which is the tenth floor, I decided to drop by his room first then we’ll meet the rest of the guys downstairs at the lobby for dinner.

But that hotel thingamajig just won’t bloody work on 10th floor. I kept on swiping and swiping but it just won’t work. Of course the usual thing to do is try to press other numbers available that is why I landed down to the 6th. Hmm, weird! Was there something wrong in the way I swipe the card or something?? So once again I tried to press up and hoped that another elevator among the three would open. Unfortunately an American couple on the lift joined me so I can only try the 10th once. Else they’ll think I don’t really have an access to the hotel. When it didn’t work again, I pressed for my room’s floor and went up.

Fine, I give up. I was just strolling back to my room and was already about to open the door when I noticed another elevator from the far end of the hotel, which is from the looks of it, is not meant for visitor’s use. I pushed open the door that separates the area from the hotel rooms and pressed the up button. It was then and there that I concluded: my rational thinking has just deserted me!!!

First of all, 10th floor is just a bloody floor away from mine. If there’s really an urgent issue to talk with Ade about something, I can just use the stairs instead right?? I mean, they promote that for healthy living right? They say its good for the heart. But it’s late. I was set for my first day embarrassment in that hotel. Shucks!

Everything happened so quickly. One minute I was just pressing that bloody number 10 on the lift and the next thing I know I was being transported down to what seemed like a basement. When I looked up, the display was showing a B2 when it opened. Since someone is about to use the lift, I had to step out in order to act cool and make it look like “yeah I just landed fine in my destination you know” when I noticed that I was entering a..…erm… employee operations room area. Now I understand the strange look the man outside the lift was giving me.

Oh no, the moment someone sees me without an ID or something, they might think I’m some secret spy, a terrorist or something else (though of course I don’t look like a terrorist but you know what with the recent events or something). I retraced my steps back to the lift and pressed up once again only to find out that the lift hasn’t gone up yet and the same man was still there inside when it opened. He asked,

“Can I help you?”

And at that point I can’t find the strength anymore to explain to him what’s going on with my card or something. I told him my room is on the 9th floor. Gosh, it’s so embarrassing.

Later that night I found out thru the bellboy, that not everyone gets access to the 10th floor. I’m not sure if it’s a special suite or something, I don't care anymore! I just want to forget what happened! He directed me to the reception and had my card updated after validating that one of company’s bookings is in that floor!

All I can say is, BLOODY TENTH FLOOR!!!!

I wish everything ended right there. But came Saturday, my last day of stay, I decided to do a late checkout when I arrived 11:15 AM from Chio Chu Kang coz I slept over in Joy’s place. Upon arrival, I inquired on the rates and learned that it’s quite affordable.

On the way up, I was still thinking if less than 45 mins would be enough for me to shower and pack my things. OF COURSE, NO!! Actually, I can. But since my flight is late in the afternoon, I might not have time to do a very important thing for the day: WORK-OUT! Once inside my room, I changed to my swimwear and dashed to the 3rd floor. Oh, FOR THE LOVE OF SWIMMING!!!

Wow, the pool looked so inviting. I was determined to swim for an hour. And yes I did. Just imagining the calories burned out from those strokes makes me feel good. The sun was hammering down on me but I didn’t care one bit. I continued working out only occasionally I would stop when some guys would join in the pool coz I didn’t want them making small talks to me and learning that I’m a Filipina, they might mistook me for something. And another reason is that I feel so intimidated because they might be good swimmer or something, I always get conscious. :P

Come 12:30 PM, I pulled out from the water. Dried myself for just a bit then went to the lift. OH GOD, NOT AGAIN! Only this time, all floors are not working in my card!! I remember the late checkout; I’m doing this for the first time in my life. But could I have informed the reception first or something????? If there’s one thing I learned from the other day, it is about DO NOT EXPERIMENT, JUST SIMPLY ASK!! But it’s too late, the phone that could connect me to the receptionist is inside the recreation area and a door that requires a hotel key card insert is blocking me to it!! Great!

I could stand here ‘til some hotel staffs see and help me out right? But eventually it would all lead to going straight to the reception to update my card. So, again applying the learning on the first day, I tottered down the staircase. And it was bloody late when I remembered: I. AM. IN. MY. SWIMSUIT! Yay! Yay! Yay! If it’s any consolation, I was wearing my jogging pants as a cover-up. (You see it works as my PJs too!) But what the heck??? My hair’s wet, I’m in a swimsuit (tube type) and I’m going to the hotel’s reception! JUST BLOODY GREAT TO END MY STAY HERE!

Reaching the ground, I surveyed the lobby and to my enormous relief there was not much people in it. It's already past 12 and most of the people have checked out earlier. My plan was to:

a) Smile a breezy hello to the receptionist. You know, just play it cool and stay natural as though VIP persons do this.
b) Inform of my extended checkout and have my hotel key card updated.
c) Leave the reception very, very swiftly.
d) Do not in under any circumstances look to the people around.

The plan took about 30 seconds max and after that I was back to the lift marveling at the size of my stupidity! God, what a fiasco!

And this just totally makes that bloody hotel so memorable for me. Yay!


Nivek said...

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the olnly one with bad luck! Last time I was in a hotel, the keycard they gave me was for an occupied room. I opened the door and saw a woman in their wrapped in a towel. I just ran out and went right to reception. I was so embarrased! But I guess the last must have been too. I was so mad. I did get the hotel to transfer me to the executive suit. I wonder what the lady in the towel did?

Anonymous said...

wow, haha! where and when was this? classic!!! :D

well good for u coz u got upgraded..but urs is not ur mistake, mine is all my fault..:P


Nivek said...

It was in San Francisco. It was at a 4 star hotel too! Maybe you'd Expect this from some dump like Motel 6 or something but not a classy joint.