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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Difficult Hotel


The J.W. Marriott is not a regular, but its doctor is not a friend, so I don’t turn down its calls which arrive now and then.

Driving downtown, I had no worries about the patient, a toddler with a cough, but recalled that visiting the J.W. Marriott could be a frustrating experience.

Sure enough, the parking valet ignored a request to hold my car, gave me a parking slip, and drove the car deep into the bowels of the hotel.

The elevator required a room key. I waited for a guest, but apparently new technology makes it impossible to piggy-back on another’s key. I walked to the front desk and asked to use the elevator. This struck the clerk as an odd request.

An elderly man in a suit, carrying a doctor’s bag, and claiming to be a doctor might or might not be telling the truth. She politely quizzed me on my motives, phoned the room to confirm, and then asked me to wait while she summoned a security officer.

The officer remained at my side until the guest opened the door. After the visit, I returned to the lobby and handed over the parking slip to be validated. The desk clerk stared at it as if she had never seen one and then excused herself to consult the manager.

I waited several minutes until she returned to hand back the slip and explain that the hotel “was unable” to validate parking.

Downtown hotel parking is brutally expensive, and I remembered the same difficulty during earlier visits. Everyone hates hotel parking; cashiers are immune to arguments, so I simply scribbled “hotel doctor” on the slip, shoved it through the window, and hurried away to stand at the curb. No one ran after me, and after five minutes my car appeared. 

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