Friday, July 25, 2008

How to make the front desk person hate you in three to seven easy steps

Go to a work retreat at a lovely country club in Charlottesville with your future husband.

Wake up all leisurely, and realizing you have the whole day to screw around while he and his people make important work decisions. Heh.

Then let your own personality kick in. Which means: find yourself unable to resist checking personal and work email. Which means: you need to access the wireless that the hotel literature says is available throughout the club.

Try connecting to the one network that pops up. Get nowhere. Decide to call the front desk.

A pleasant-sounding person who identifies herself as Cynthia thanks you for calling and asks how she can help you.

"Hi, Cynthia. I was wondering if you could tell me how to get on your wireless network."

"I'm not sure. Let me connect you to someone who can tell you."


Music music music. Click.

You've been disconnected. So you dial again. Same pleasant greeting.

"Hi Cynthia. I just called about Internet. I think I got disconnected."

She apologizes and says she'll find the person for you.

Music music music. And then you get connected to a random voicemail box.

So you hang up and call back.

Same greeting, slightly less pleasant.

"Hi, Cynthia. I got connected to someone's voicemail."

"OK. Hold on a moment."

You hear buttons being pushed. And then a recording that says, "If you'd like to leave a message, press one. . ."

And so you call again. And there is no answer. You let it ring and ring and ring. And finally it picks up. A recording. "Thank you for calling the country club. . ."

You can tell me you don't have the answer, and that you will find it for me. That's OK. You can tell me that the person who has the answer is not around, but you will help me as soon as possible. That's OK, too. I'll go have breakfast in the meantime. What you cannot fucking do, without thinking that I'll call you every 30 seconds if need be, is keep hanging up on me or putting me into voicemail.

No, no, and more no.

You slam your phone receiver down hard several times. This makes you feel marginally better. You wait a minute or two. And you dial again.

Cynthia answers. With a very perfunctory greeting.

"Hi, there!" you say. "This is the person who has been trying to get on the internet."

This time she tells you what you need to do. So maybe she wasn't avoiding the phone but rather, was off finding the answer to your question.

You tell her you've connected to the only network available, and it says you're connected, but your browsers won't go anywhere. In other words, you still can't get onto the Internet.

She tells you something must be wrong with your computer.

At which point you feel compelled to tell her that no, really, no. There may be many things wrong with many things, but currently there is nothing wrong with your computer. Every other hotel's wireless has worked for you. Hilton gives you a screen to log in. Do they have a screen that should pop up?

Yes, they have a screen. If it's not popping up, it's not working. She will send the bellman to see if he can help.

You turn off your computer. You turn it on again. You reconnect to their wireless. And this time, the magic screen appears.

You log the fuck on as fast as possible.

You call the front desk.

Cynthia answers, with a good deal of irritation and loathing in her voice.

"I just wanted to tell you I was able to get on. Thanks for your help!"

She says you are welcome. But in a tone that suggests she'd rather you fell off a bridge.

You decide not to greet the person at the front desk when you walk by for breakfast. In case she recognizes your voice.


  1. i'm sorry but most people in c'ville are uppity anyway. it was just a matter of time before she showed her true colors.
    enjoy the gorgeous weather today!

  2. Good idea to just nod instead of speaking. You don't want to find something nasty in your room later!

  3. Hahahaha thanks for this! You were much nicer than I would have been... the damn Masshole coming out in me...

  4. aaah... computers. Don't you just love them.

  5. haha. Yeah, you are much nicer than me. After the second time being dropped off into voicemal, I'm sure I would've paid a visit to the front desk and nothing...nothing...would have ended well. ;-)

  6. Nice of you to let her know you got online.

    Many are quick to say when they have a problem few tell you when it is fixed. Cynthia should have been pleased you kept her in the loop.

  7. Oh C'ville. Its my new home. I moved here last year. Excited to see the mention in your blog! :)


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