Once you have been in the military and had to share quarters with others, you pretty much get the idea why as humans, we evolved into families; so we could pick whom it was we had to share a home with. It isn’t pleasant to talk about but the truth is, we all have to use the restroom, we all have our odd sleeping habits which may include snoring or rocking or as I heard on a commercial recently, restless leg syndrome, so honestly, shouldn’t you like the people you have to house with?
This is why I got a big laugh about my arrival in Parsippany, NJ on Tuesday night.
We had several people from my company and many more customers all attending meetings so we all made an effort to make hotel arrangements in the same general area. Unless you were some sort of gold plated traveler like one of my bosses, the Courtyard was totally booked. A group of us ended up with reservations at a Fairfield by Marriott, which was close by. My group of four showed up at around 7:30PM to get our rooms, get something to eat then relax before an early start on Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, the manager of the Fairfield Inn had a slightly different game plan.
As soon as we arrived and before we could even present our beloved American Express Corporate Cards, the manager had an announcement to make: No rooms. But, there were arrangements made for us to get rooms, comp’d in fact, at the Days Inn down the street. While my co-workers groaned, I asked if they had High-Speed Internet. The answer was yes, and I was good to go.
I spent three months on a cot in a cargo container in the middle of Sarajevo with a constantly naked German guy as a roommate, so it is pretty tough to get me riled over a simple change in sleeping plans.
But… When we arrived at the Days Inn just down the street, we all looked at one another and then immediately started looking for the hidden camera and Alan Funt. Please don’t misunderstand; we aren’t snobs expecting a free night at The Palm, but seriously, one of the guys working the front desk, in his best Fruit of the Loom t-shirt, was most likely working on a transmission in the back office in between check-ins. Oh, and there would be no check in from this group.
Forget the looks of the place, but they wanted us to all share a room. Now, back to what I was saying about we as humans choosing who we want to live with… well, none of us felt the least bit offended when, as though we could have been a Barbershop Quartet with our near perfect timing of, “No.
So, back to the Fairfield and upon our entry through the automatic sliding door and past the baby grand in the lobby, we approached the front desk just as the night manager locked herself in the office. Seriously. So now the poor trainee had to give us the good news that they had suddenly found four individual rooms for us.
So, other than the fact that we still had to go and grab something to eat (I had the house Salad at TGI Friday’s, and it was pretty darn good) which meant I didn’t get in bed before midnight, it wasn’t that bad. I mean, really, it could have been a lot worse.