During my recent visit to New York City, I stayed in a Midtown hotel. The room was overdue for renovations, but it was in a nice hotel. I was very comfortable.
The only glitch was with the reservation, which I learned was incomplete when arriving with heavy bags I’d carried after the E train stalled at W. 50th Street and 8th Avenue.
Initially, I wasn’t allowed to check in. The problem was resolved within a few hours, but after sitting up all night on an airplane I was too exhausted to keep the situation in perspective. The check-in representative and I were polite to each other, which was the only thing preventing the mess from escalating. I thought I was seeing the end of the world.
When you have an experience like that, there’s always a hopeful feeling that one of the good people standing near you will suddenly shout, “LIVE FROM NEW YORK! IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!” Then you can laugh because you’ve been let in on the joke and now everything’s alright. You might even make new friends, whose respect you’ve earned because you survived the hazing.
In this case, it was no joke. I was in the real world, and wanted no part of it.
If you ever stay in hotel rooms reserved and paid on your behalf, please take note. You don’t always have to present a credit card to check in, but special arrangements must be made before you have that privilege. The person who makes the reservation must fill out an authorization form, and not every hotel offers the form.
My hotel room was paid for through an agency whose credit card I’m not authorized to use. Transactions are handled completely over my head, so the only thing I could have done to catch the mistake ahead of time was ask questions. I didn’t ask questions. Well, fuck me. Whatever.
The cell phone came in handy. In hysterical duck mode, I made the appropriate calls to find someone to correct the oversight. Then I checked into my room. The adrenaline surge from dealing with a rough morning made it impossible to sleep during the day, so I went out for food and more exercise. Still, the act of unlocking the hotel room door, walking in and knowing I’d found a safe place motivated me to take a photograph.
The picture was posted on this page a few minutes ago, but I deleted it after remembering that another guest had been reprimanded by someone on the hotel staff for violating the “no photography” rule. She was caught taking pictures of the ornate lobby, and I’m not sure if the same rule applies in private rooms.
No sense in asking for trouble. I’ve had enough of it already.