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poet, technologist, cynic, father of five, child of chaos, punker, prankster, patriot, punster, leftist, latino, japanophile, audiophile, beer drinker, quiche eater, dog walker, soft talker, deep thinker, shallow sleeper, introvert, covert operative in a parallel universe.

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    extra special bitter
    hops are bitter. life is bitter. coincidence?

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Hampton Out - or Boycotts, Part II

    It was the beginning of an acutely stressful time. To make a very long and flagrantly biased story short, my ex-wife had been evicted, leaving my children to spend the summer with us. But I digress...

    It all began on an up note: my oldest daughter was graduating from High School, and I was happy to make the 5-hour trip to be there. I checked into a Hampton Inn the night before the ceremony so that I would be well-rested for the late morning commencement. Dressed up in my favorite suit, I was quite the proud father. I was a bit puzzled when I noticed that I was the only person dressed up in anything approaching formal attire, but that only made me all the more determined to glow with pride.

    Following the obligatory hugs and handshakes was an exhausting flurry of activity. My kids packed everything they would be needing for the summer into my van and the six of us collapsed into beds, cots and sleeping bags back at the Hampton Inn.

    I should interject that I had stayed at many a hotel during my business travel days, ranging from lowly motor lodges to indulgent resorts (depending upon who was footing the bill), and that the Hampton had emerged as a clear favorite for its perfect blend of comfort and economy. Free local calls made it easier to navigate around a temporary home, and free continental breakfast made for a good kick-start to what were often very hectic days.

    The kids and I woke up the following morning and descended upon the lounge for our continental breakfast. It was a nice touch given our sad goodbyes the night before and the long day ahead of us. We took showers, packed up our suitcases and hit the road.

    Emerging from the van on the ferry ride across the Sound, I realized that I had left my suit (correction: my favorite suit) at the Hampton. I quickly called the front desk, hoping that the room had not yet been cleaned. I was told to call the housekeeping department later in the afternoon.

    A few hours later, I called the housekeeping department and was told that it was closed for the weekend, reopening on Monday morning. I called the front desk back to explain the apparent misinformation I had received earlier, and was quickly transferred to someone who said that my room had been cleaned but that no lost garments had been reported. I was told to call Lost and Found on Monday.

    That Monday I called the Lost and Found Department and was told that the suit had not turned up. Inquiring into my options, I was told to wait two weeks, after which I would be encouraged to file a claim against the insurance company for the Hilton Hotel Group, which owns the Hampton Inn franchise. I checked in several times during the course of those two weeks with increasingly less patient front desk staff, at which point I was more than happy to file a claim.

    It took another month for the insurance company to get back to me. It was by mail, in what was clearly a form letter, announcing that the loss I had incurred was not the responsibility of the Hilton Hotel Group or any of its affiliates, and that the matter was closed. I wrote the insurance company, the Hilton Hotel Group and the Hampton Inn in Islandia, New York to express my extreme dismay that they would encourage and reward theft in one of their establishments, and vowed that I would never spend another sheckle in any of their hotels as long as I had any power to make a decision in that regard.

    Five years and many hotel rooms later, I’ve stuck to my word...


    Blogger TK said...

    but what does this favorite suit look like?

    so many words, esb. it's nice.

    3:45 AM  
    Blogger extraspecialbitter said...

    mcbickle - a much younger me, and my long-lost suit, can be seen here. Yes, I am doing an impromptu jig for the camera.

    9:00 AM  
    Blogger cy said...

    ah yes, the service industry...

    but i am sure mr. bitter, that you look just as lovely in all other suits, jiging or not.

    3:24 PM  
    Blogger cy said...

    wait, are there two g's in jiging/jigging?

    1:38 AM  
    Blogger TK said...


    cy: let's just go with zhigging. it sounds more oddly eastern european.

    2:29 AM  

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