I travel a lot for work so it’s safe to say that I know my way around a hotel. I titled this writing after my recent trip stay at the Residence Inn in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you enjoy the kinds of adventures that Harrison Ford portrays in the Indiana Jones films, I highly recommend a stay at the aforementioned hotel.
After a VERY tough week at work I finally got to sneak out of the office thirty minutes early. The only thing I wanted to do was get back to the room, kick off my shoes, and watch the snowy 27″ TV from the comfort of my foam cushioned sofa bed.
Then I remembered that I needed to find a UPS store to ship a package that had been accompanying me on my travels for a few weeks. No problem, I’ll just get online and find the closest UPS store. One problem… no Internet. I did have problems connecting when I first checked in but I was able to use the wireless Internet in my room for the two nights leading up to this.
After trying countless configurations of disabling, enabling, switching networks, release, renew, rinse, lather, repeat, I gave in and decided to call the tech support number. This pains me every time I have to do this but what choice to do I have? The support representative is polite and after a bit of troubleshooting she decides a wireless bridge is needed. I got the usual “call me back if that doesn’t work.”
A knock on the door and what should appear but a man with a case and some wireless Netgear! Seriously a Netgear wireless bridge and a crusty CAT5 cable. Just for giggles I tried this contraption and as expected it did not work. I decide that I need to get this package shipped sooner than later so out I go to find the UPS Store.
About two hours later I had completed my task of finding and doing business at the UPS Store and I had also spent a little time grabbing a bite to eat.
Back to the hotel room to jump on the Internet and get some work done. Still no progress on the Internet. I decide to call back based on the advice I had been given by the tech support representative. This time I get to talk to an unpleasant fellow who is obviously upset that I have interrupted his life. He insisted that I give him the phone number of the hotel I was staying at. I continually told him that I was at the Residence Inn in Indianapolis. That seemed to be enough for the previous representative but not this character. He is a ten digit kind of guy. No more, no less. For this reason and also for a bit of clarity this worthless tech support clown will be known as ten digit guy or simply TDG.
I was able to connect to a wireless network and get an IP address, I just couldn’t go anywhere. When I originally connected I requested a public IP address. I usually do this because it seems to work best for VPN type applications that I am required to use on a daily basis.
Upon seeing that I had a public IP address TDG was excited to report that he knew what the problem was. TDG went on to explain that if I had public IP address I could not get on the regular Internet, I could ONLY connect to a VPN. I started to explain the flaw in his logic but was interrupted by his angry instance that I was wrong for having ever chosen the public IP option. I knew he was wrong and even though he was being extremely rude I really didn’t want to argue with him so I thanked him for his time and got off the phone.
To the front desk! I took the tech support flyer with me and put it on the front desk and said (possibly accompanied by a few colorful words) that I have a real problem with not being able to connect to the Internet and I especially did not appreciate being treated without respect by TDG!
The front desk attendant who was very good at being apologetic said that he would call the tech support group and find out what the problem was. I waited for a few minutes then told him that I would be going back to my room. Front desk guy who will be known herein as AgentO agreed to call my room when he had some news. I tell him that I would also like some Marriott Points (a traveler’s holy grail) to make me feel better. AgentO agrees to my terms and back to the room I go.
I get to my door and the stupid security latch that SHOULD only be able to be applied from the inside is latched! I have noticed since I have been staying in the room that the door sucks. It’s obviously in need of some repair including the very loose security latch.
Back to the front desk! I inform AgentO and he assures me that maintenance can get into the room. While I’m glad that maintenance can ‘break into’ my room, I’m sitting there thinking, what is the point of those things then?
AgentO tells me that maintenance has successfully broken into my room (well not in those words) and offers, well insists, that he accompany me to my room to make sure everything is working now. He reports that the Internet should be working as well.
We get to the room, the security latch has in fact been compromised and the door opens. AgentO then walks in and asks me to try the Internet. Success! Houston, we have Internet again!
Again AgentO is very apologetic and asks if there is anything else he can do. He offers up some ice cream from the overpriced pantry. How can I turn this down? Off he goes to the Marriott store for some freebees. He comes back with a good sized bag of goodies. Well done AgentO… well done indeed.
Finally ready to get to work I sit down and guess what… no Internet! At this point I have done everything I can by going through AgentO, it’s time to go back and face TDG!
I call for the THIRD time to tech support and make sure that everyone I talk to knows that this is the THIRD time I’ve called. Finally I get back to the first tech support agent (why didn’t she get a nickname?) who gets me back up and running.
BUT… It gets better!
By this time I have been using my hard to come by Internet for a few hours and am just about to hit sleep timer and go to bed. I hear what sounds like a shower running and I just shrug it off.
“Gosh, that sure is a loud shower” I’m thinking to myself. So I get up, just to check of course. Surely I won’t find anything amiss. WRONG! You forget who you are dealing with! This is the Residence Inn of Doom!
Apparently AgentO failed to inform me that the hotel would be installing a swimming pool in my room where the kitchen floor once was. I called the front desk fully expecting to talk yet again with AgentO but was surprised to hear a new voice. This time I get a gentlemen who will be known as the NightShifteR.
NightShifteR tells me that he will be right over to check out the quickly expanding puddle. Not wanting to wait too much longer I pull out the full size refrigerator to see if it is the ice maker that is to blame. Sure enough the small plastic tube that supplies the ice maker has a small hole and water is spraying all over the place.
I call the NightShifteR back and tell him what I’ve discovered. He assures me that he is on his way. Obviously not since I’ve now had time to pull out the refrigerator since the last time I heard “I’m on my way.” Falling back on my vast plumbing experience, most of which was gained by watching This Old House reruns on PBS, I start to fumble around under the sink looking for a valve. Following the plastic tube I find the valve and quickly turn it off. Problem solved! Well not really. Problem stopped! That’s better.
NightShifteR arrives with maybe two bath towels and starts to work drying up the floor. He quickly realizes that he has underestimated my ability to flood a kitchen and asks for more towels. I go to the bathroom and bring the skilled mop’er the standard issue bulk white towels.
NightShifteR then starts to tell me about all the other times this has happened to him during his tenure overlooking the evening hours at the Residence Inn of Doom. Apparently a lower level room was damaged during one of these not-so-rare ice maker water line breaks. Then there was the time the couple was sleeping on the oh-so-comfy sofa bed and got sprayed when one of those troublesome ice maker water lines broke free from its obviously ineffective hose clamps.
So what can we say about the now infamous Residence Inn of Doom? Well if you plan on making your way to the greater Indianapolis area then you will want to take a few notes.
First off you really need to watch your Internet signal, if you aren’t careful, your signal will grow weak and you might even lose your packets!
Next, watch out for booby traps like those false-security latches. If you aren’t careful with these things you can lock yourself out of your room. Or at least until some maintenance guy comes and disengages the false-security latch.
Finally, be prepared for sudden precipitation in the forms of flash floods or possibly even torrential downpour from a booby trapped ice maker water supply line.
Que the music… Duh de duh duh… duh de duh… duh de duh duh…