Nothing quite like a good hotel room, but we all have our quirks and preferences
Checking out CNN's travel site today I came across a good advice piece on how business travelers should avoid certain things on the road. Included were rooms near a pool (bad chlorine smells don't help a business guy on the road, not to mention the possibility of endless shouts of "Marco" and "Polo") and rooms on the second floor above the convention space, which also makes sense given the proclivity of convention evenings to devolve into drunken debauchery and dry-land versions of Marco Polo.
We all have our hotel quirks, I'd think. Personally, I get annoyed with high-end light fixtures and too many gadgets. I like to be able to find the night light in my bathroom at 3:30 a.m. when I wake up to pee and not have to guess at a panel that looks like something President Obama has in his desk for launching thermonuclear launch codes. I stayed at the Aria in Vegas a couple years ago and hit the wrong button and turned off power to my entire unit, forcing me to call downstairs in a very sheepish tone and beg for help.
I also like clock radios that work and don't require me to spend a half hour researching the instruction book, which they never have anyway. And I like a good desk that's built for work and not raised up so high that only an NBA player can sit comfortably in his boxers and type up the day's notes and file his blog. I'm fairly average in height, but I find many desks are way too high and I'm constantly nabbing pillows from my bed to give me better posture on my desk chair, which often is not even close to being ergonomically designed.
I also hate showers with low water pressure. I don't have to be like Kramer in Seinfeld with the Commando 200 or whatever it was that blasted holes in the wall, but I don't like those Euro-style low-flow things that drip water down your back like those five-cent squirt guns we used to buy as kids at the convenience store.
When I covered the Blue Jays back in the 1990s, the media travelled with the team. We'd roll into, say, New York or Milwaukee at 2 a.m. and get off the bus and walk into the lobby of a hotel and our keys would be on a desk with our names on an envelope, just waiting. (You can just see it, can't you? Carter, Alomar, Olerud, Hentgen, Byers. Kind of poetic, isn't it?). It was a GREAT way to travel.
But there was a running joke amongst the media, which was to see how long it would take before the late great Tom Cheek, one of the Jays' radio guys along with Jerry Howarth, would come back downstairs to ask for a new room.
Cheek was legendary for this sort of thing, to the extent that one of the equipment guys labelled the 6-foot-something Cheek as "the world's tallest free-standing complainer." It was endearing, though. Tom had his quirks, and he insisted on dark and quiet rooms. Legend was he once taped over one of those tiny, yellow/pink night light switches in his room with some duct tape because he found the light too bright. He also is said to have occasionally duct-taped the drapes together so the light wouldn't peek in between them in the morning.
It was funny. But I often miss those days. And don't get me wrong; Cheek was a lovely guy and is sorely missed.