Thursday, 12 September 2013

Checking in - what are they typing?

I've often wondered what hotel, airline and rental car check-in staff are typing when I'm checking in.  While I rarely deal with airline check in staff these days (I've usually checked in online), this week I've checked in to two different hotels in two different cities and rented a car.

On arrival at the hotel in Sydney the other night, I was very tired.  The drive had taken longer than usual because of road works and Sydney drivers.  It was 8:35pm and I also needed some food.  I didn't get to my room until 9pm.  Why?  Because the guy was TYPING.  What? Surely he wasn't updating his facebook status.  Perhaps he was tweeting or writing a chapter in his novel.  While he was typing, he was grimacing. Was he struggling with syntax? Parsing a sentence or two? Quickly jotting down the next line of dialogue in his award winning screenplay?

I asked him if there was a problem.  He said there wasn't.  He continued to type.  After further typing and grimacing, he left the desk and loped over to a man sitting at a desk opposite where we were standing.  That guy started typing too.  After what seemed an interminable amount of time, my artist in residence, loped back and did some more typing.  

I changed tack and asked if everything was okay.  He said it was. I started to shuffle impatiently as he added a line or two to his sonnet. Then he handed me my keys and announced that I had been upgraded to a suite. I was relieved that I hadn't had my cranky pants on. Twenty-five minutes it had taken!

Fire plume over the Stadium, taken from the 12th floor balcony
 of my hotel in Olympic Park.
Picture copyright divacultura 2013
The suite had everything except a butler and a friend to share it with.  The spa was heaven sent after the physio had prescribed soaking in a bath for my knee.  There was room to sleep, room to work, room to cook (well heat stuff in the microwave), room to relax and room to swim laps in the enormous spa. There was a balcony to step out onto and view the fires in western Sydney.

As I stepped out onto the balcony, a sticker on the door caught my eye.  It warned me that "for my own safety" the door would close and lock behind me.  I gripped the door and didn't step too far out.  I imagined what would happen if I was trapped on the balcony with no mobile phone.  It would be hours before I was found.  It would be the cleaners in the morning.

That would give typing man something to write home about.  It would be a story for his blog that's for sure.

The morning after the fires, from the same spot.
Picture copyright divacultura 2013

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