I have returned from a phenomenal conference. ATA knows how to put on a first-class event. I was able to hear several great speakers (CNN’s Paul Begala, for one — he gave some cogent and compelling insight into the US Presidential race). I saw old friends and made new ones. I recorded three podcasts — the first one is already online. Plus, I took over 400 pictures for Connections Magazine. I am still processing everything — as well as trying to catch up — and will have more to share tomorrow, but first, I have a few sundry items to get off my mind:
Both airports (Grand Rapids and Washington-Reagan National) had constructions projects underway. Am I imagining things or are airports more likely to be undergoing construction than not?
I struck out again with airplane food. I think they’re trying to kill me. The trail mix I ingested on the way there had 18% of my recommended daily allowance of fat — per serving. The 4 oz bag contained 4 servings! On the return flight I fared only slightly better with the Pringles (but they did taste good!)
The hotel was great; friendly and professional staff (who used my name whenever possible — and mostly pronounced it correctly, which is not common when I get away from SW Michigan) and smartly decorated and furnished rooms. But how come the more you pay for a hotel, the more likely they tack on extra charges? For a $70 for a room, there is free Internet and local calls (sometimes even long distance), the workout room is included and often a continental breakfast. The room includes a coffee maker (not that I use it), a mini-frig, and sometimes a microwave. However, when I pay 3 to 4 times as much, they charge for Internet and local calls (I heard of one hotel charging for room-to-room calls), there is no coffee maker, mini-frig, or microwave. Breakfast is on your own — and expensive — while one visit to their exercise room is often more than the introductory rate for a month at the gym. I don’t get it.
On the issue of the linens, they crossed the line. A note card informed me that to “conserve water” they would not be changing the bedding — unless I called the front desk.
Lastly, I am perplexed. What name do you use when the maid is a guy? “Male maid” rolls off the tongue, but it’s certainly not politically correct.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.