Whenever I travel, I run into a few things that always puzzle me, so I thought I’d put them down here. Nothing really significant, nothing Earth-moving... just a few tiny, minor things.
Where to put the towels
Every hotel, now, has joined the “save the world” network. Even if that really means “save the hotel’s money by washing your towels less often,” I still approve of it because it does conserve water, and, no, I don’t need the towels washed every day. &deity knows, I don’t wash them every day at home.
But the puzzling part is the instruction card. They all say about the same thing; this is what the one in the hotel in Boston says:
Together we can save millions of gallons of water from chlorine and detergents.
Leave towels you wish to re-use hung up or on the rack.
Towels you leave on the floor will be washed.
Conservation takes care of everyone.
Help us make a world of difference.
So the question is this: What do they do with a towel I leave on the vanity, or on the bed?
It’s not hung up or on the rack.
It’s not on the floor.
Maybe it’s just the computer geek in me, who thinks that anything unspecified is undefined, but I always wonder about the fate of those towels I leave sitting next to the sink.
This is the thing where the housekeeping staff will come ’round in the evening and pull the sheet and blanket down so the bed is ready for you. But... how hard is that for me to do myself? Why would I particularly want them to do it?
And, especially, why do they come around at 8 or 9 in the evening, bang on the door, and ask me if I want it? If I’m out, I suppose there’s no harm in their coming in and turning the bed down, but if I’m in my room then, I certainly don’t want them bothering me with it.
Is everything all right?
Speaking of not wanting to be bothered, we get to the “Is everything all right?” call. That’s something that more hotels seem to be doing, wherein they call your phone (or send someone to your door, which is what the Boston hotel did) a half hour or so after you check in, asking if the room is OK and if you need anything.
That might seem fine, but... if there’s a problem, I know how to get in touch with the front desk, so I don’t need to be disturbed. And there are times when I’ve been travelling for some significant part of the day, or I had to get up for an early flight, or both, and when I get to the hotel the first thing I do is have a lie down, maybe hoping for a light snooze. The last thing I want is to be awakened a few minutes after I’ve dozed off.
I can put the “do not disturb” sign on the door to protect against that intrusion, but most hotel-room phones lack a DND button, and I never remember to unplug the phone cord.
 I also like it that they’ve stopped throwing away the partially used soap bar. That used to irritate me, but these days I can happily use the same bar all week, and they’ll leave it there for me.
 And I guess that means that I don’t follow instructions well.