No Request Is Too Small
Cars & Bars is a storytelling series compiling specific moments, mundane and exotic, from my work as a valet and bartender.
Sylvia Brubaker [not her actual name] recently wrote about her overnight stay at a mid-luxury hotel:
Perhaps giving guests a sleep mask. The rooms are comfortable but several people, myself included, at the conference I attended complained about the brightness of the peephole, around the door and the curtains letting in light on the corners at night.
With the assumed blessing of my hotel superiors, I have taken the liberty to write Ms. Brubaker a letter of response.
Dear Ms. Brubaker,
First things first, you really are to be properly commended—minus that strange use of a comma two-thirds of the way through your overall comment regarding your stay with us.
Secondly, please rest assured: we do our occasional best to provide each room in our hotel with a considerable array of amenities—
- moderately upscale shampoos, conditioners, and lotions
- a terrycloth bathrobe to die for, which, I must say, a few greedy guests have been willing to steal
- both heating and A/C, which, under almost perfect conditions, provide a comfortable room experience much of the time
- a serviceable cable television package (emphasis on serviceable)
- a coffee maker that works, according to our corporate metrics, exactly 72.4% of all mornings
- premium access to a generally average mini-bar
- tourist pamphlets providing information that most anyone can find rather quickly via the Internet.
So it is no little thing to summon the courage to ask for more. And, naturally, we are here to give you more.
Our employees do not like it one bit, but I cannot over-emphasize our Guest Services motto: No request is too small.
In the specific case of our oversized peepholes, you should know: our motto applies rather literally. Unlike other mid-luxury hotels, we mean it when we say: Nothing says hospitality quite like an oversized peephole. (Obviously, we do not actually say this. Our legal team has advised against it. See: Erin Andrews.)
The point is, we are all over the oversized peephole "problem." However, a cost-benefit analysis by our comptroller has revealed that, due to larger infrastructure concerns, it is financially unfeasible to replace each hotel room door with a smaller peephole. We hope you understand.
Still, management felt the need to do something.
You might be happy to know that we have contracted one of the architectural firms at the forefront of the Tiny House Movement. It is very exciting, and things are moving fast. The initial prototype plans drawn up by the architects are truly spectacular. By spectacular, I mean really really small. The firm actually faxed us the extensive peephole plans on wallet-sized photo paper.
Miniature canopies, miniature Phoenician blinds, miniature Bermuda shutters—all of them adorning and encompassing each hotel room's peephole. It is a magnificent vision of the future. Of course, by magnificent I mean really really small.
Whether guests receive access to canopies, blinds, or shutters would depend on the peephole package selected for purchase upon check-in. We believe these peephole options will finally give our guests what they are inevitably looking for: God-like powers over the ratio of light to dark in the universe that is their hotel room.
For the user's convenience, and because we certainly don't want anyone bloodying a hand on the tiny, razor-sharp gadgets, a peephole remote-control will come standard with most packages. Each guest will have the ability to maximize or minimize the canopies, blinds, or shutters according to his or her peephole preferences.
As a funny aside, the architects tell us that the peephole remote-control will be nearly microscopic. Quite candidly, if a hotel guest struggles to find the TV remote-control, he or she definitely will not be able to find the peephole remote-control without assistance from a housekeeper, or possibly a bellman, but not a manager.
Technological advances have made for extraordinary times in the hospitality industry. It is our hotel's conviction that if humanity can exact control over the light/dark aspect of a hotel room's peephole, there is no stopping us along the way to bigger and better things. By bigger and better things, of course I mean really really small lives.
The Guest Services Team