Monday, January 26, 2004

My Moment on Reality TV (1 of 2)

About a decade ago, I was meeting my mother for a weekend in New York. Her plane was late, so I had to do the checking in at the hotel all by myself. Mom had told me to ask for upgrade. I was still pretty young, hadn't travelled much, didn't think they handed out upgrades for just ASKING, and was sure they wouldn't hand one out to me.

But, y'know, I follow directions. I got to the hotel and checked in and asked if maybe, perhaps, could they... y'know...?

Well yes, they could. The receptionist called over to the bellman to escort me to my room.

This was the first problem -- I didn't have a buck to tip the guy, and had prepared to just carry my bag myself. The bellman was insistent. Escorted me up to a high floor. We walked down the hall. He then unlocked a hidden door which led to a private elevator. Took me up to a higher floor. Unlocked a room.

A huge room. A phenomenally huge room. I mean, it had a grand piano in it. WAY OVER THERE. Spiral staircase leading up the bedrooms. Dining room table for twelve. Not a small place.

OK, even *I* know there's a mistake here. An upgrade is one thing, but this is the Really Rich People Suite. I don't belong here. But the nice bellman (who graciously waved off my fumbing attempts to tip him) assured me there was no mistake. He leaves.

I want to call the airport and check on my mother's flight. There's no convenient phone book. The phone rings. I pick it up. I'm told a mistake was made. ("Duh," I think.) The mistake, they say, is that they sent my butler to the wrong room. Can they send up a fruit basket to make up for the delayed butler? Yeah, sure, whatever. I'd rather have a phone book, actually, but I don't mention that.

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