Friday, January 22, 2010

Hotel Hallway Guarantee

I get up and do my 5BX exercises, still really simple to do in half the allotted time, but they say not to skip any levels. Then I have paperwork to do.

Naturally I left some of the information I need for my weekly report in the plane yesterday, so I had to go back out to the airport and get it. I meant to get it while shovelling off the airplane, but didn't. I swear I should have a checklist for getting out of bed in the morning.

  • 1. Consciousness -- ENGAGED
  • 2. Left leg -- OUT OF COVERS
  • 3. Left foot -- ON FLOOR
  • Repeat steps 2-3 on RIGHT.
  • ... and so on.

It would have to be Transport Canada approved, of course, which might in the end require me to have an extra leg. By the time it went through the approval process I'd be retired, anyway. Nah, TC isn't really that bad. It's just traditional to pretend they are.

Documents retrieved, it's now paperwork time. I should do this every night, but then it's actually quicker to get the forms out once and do it rapidly all at once. Date, client name, aircraft ident, aircraft type, airport of operations, province of operations, forestry department work order number, hotel name, hotel city, hotel cost, hourly billing, pilot names, pilot base, contact numbers ... I swear I don't even know what all the blanks are for. I don't have to fill all of them out every time; I just have to remember which ones I have to fill out. Occasionally I try to get ahead, but that guarantees that whatever I fill out in advance will be wrong. We'll move to another airport, yank the plane and send in a new one, or send me to a different client. My name will end up legally changed or they'll redo the calendar and skip February. And then I scan the pages and all the receipts, PDFize the result and e-mail them to the boss.

This is much easier than the old days when I had to photocopy and fax all the receipts, often requiring me to either convince hotel staff to copy them or to let me behind the desk to copy them myself. Nowadays the only copying I have to do is a logbook page, because I can't shove the whole logbook in a miniscanner. Usually it's no problem having the front desk make a copy. This time the desk clerk wants 25 cents for the copy. I manage not to roll my eyes, and go back to my room for the quarter. I don't even retaliate by asking for a receipt.

Paperwork complete, I do pilot in hotel room things. Write postcards, read blogs, write e-mail, watch TV, work out some more. All kind of at once. I've completely lost the ability to do one thing at a time. (For example, I'm currently cooking, watching TV, writing this blog entry and reading webcomics. That's right, I'm switching back and forth. I have to switch between this window and the one with my notes in it anyway, so what's another step on the way?)

After the workout I decide I need something out of the vending machine, so I grab my hotel key and my change pouch and walk two rooms down the hall to the vending machine. There is nothing in the machine that I want. I should have figured that in the first place. But you see this is just the set up for the one thing that is guaranteed to happen when you leave a hotel room in your underwear. Okay, it's not underwear exactly: it's a pink Nike workout bra and shorts, but they are shorts that emphasize freedom of movement, not coverage. And everyone who has ever lived in a hotel knows what happens when I put my key in the hotel lock. The red light goes on. The lock does not open.

So now I have to go down two flights of stairs to the lobby and wait at the reception desk while new arrivals are assigned rooms and the clerk reprograms my key.

Yeah, sorry, my day was less exciting than yours. It's also close to minus thirty out there at the end of the day. I guess this is a 'love your office job' post.


Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Funny! I hope you looked at the new check-ins like they were WAY OVER dressed!! I bet you made some new friends.

Ward said...

re: multitasking, you may have N.A.D.D.:

Rands In Repose

Luke said...

*wolf whistle*

Peter said...

Rather than copying the log book, why not just take a photo of the log page and send that?

Aviatrix said...

I've done the photograph-sending thing before for documents, but without a tripod and proper lighting it's hard to get a page-sized thing in focus and square.

Halfway through writing this comment I went off to another tab to read what NADD was. I think my 2011 resolutions will include a single digit cap on things simultaneously in progress.

gmc said...

" I've completely lost the ability to do one thing at a time."

Happily I have a male brain with only a single channel. If I try to multi-task I just derail and get lost... But it seems I try to make up some days by going 4 times faster... phew... Ease!

Critical Alpha said...

Avi, Dear, we've talked about this bra, green hair. Dear you must do something about these Fashion Mistakes.
Love Aunt CA

ps: the verification word is bouszr - they can't spell but that's what I'd be if it was -30 outside - a boozer.

Jim said...

Re multi-tasking: It is all easily explained by Mark Gungor

dpierce said...

I normally have a half dozen windows open, too. But I'm not sure if that's multitasking, or just having a short attention span.

I've gotten in the habit of holding my hotel room door open before I leave the room, and swiping the card to make sure it works. (Of course, knowing my luck, it would stop working in the 3 mins it takes me to buy a drink.)

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, let me count the number of times my hotel key has timed out. What a pain in the rear and usually in a big east coast city.

rw2 said...

Generally I like your posts because they contain interesting content. This one was boring content very interestingly written. That's a much harder goal to achieve!

Anonymous said...

What I really love about the Hotel key reprogram dance is the lack of request for ID. I can see it if you are clearly memorable, such as Aviatrix was, and obviously incapable of proving her ID. It would have been a candid camera moment if they asked you to get someone to come down and verify you were who you said you were.

I was in Tel Aviv once on business for three weeks, at a hotel with antitank barriers and gun wielding doormen. I went through the Hotel Key reprogram dance several times with different staff, and they never once asked for ID.

Many of the chain hotels I stay at don't even want the cards back afterwards. Next time they fail to ask fo ID, I'm going to take out the other old room keys and ask them to program them for various room numbers. My guess is that they will do it without even realizing what they are doing...

CeridianMN said...

Am I the only one that read through this and was left wondering which webcomics?

Aviatrix said...

Ceridian, I think that was the day I discovered goats: the comic strip.