Service with a smile

Written 11 January 2001

Although the company's US headquarters are in Maryland I normally telecommute from Rhode Island. However, sometimes it's necessary for me to actually join my compatriots in cubicleland. This week was such a time.

Normally I stay at the Courtyard Marriot that's perhaps 50 yards away from the office, but for various reasons I'm staying in a different hotel this time. I got in after midnight on Sunday and went to bed not too long after that. That night I noticed that the bed, a double bed, was surprisingly uncomfortable. Nonetheless I got to sleep relatively quickly and dreamt the dull dreams of the unimaginative.

Monday evening I examined the bed a bit more closely and discovered that there was a hard ridge running lengthwise down the middle of the bed, and that to either sides of this ridge the mattress was oddly concave. I dropped off to sleep, my subconscious mind hard at work trying to figure out what could be causing this. I did not sleep well.

Wednesday evening I pulled up the blankets and sheets at the foot of the bed to determine what was going on. I discovered that instead of a single double-bed mattress there were two twin-sized mattresses fitted carefully into the frame of the double bed. This seemed odd enough to me that I decided to call the front desk and see what they had to say about it.

The front desk answered. I described the situation and asked if it was normal for there to be two twin bed mattresses in a double bed frame instead of a single double bed mattress. The front desk person said, "Let's see. You're in room 905, right?" I was. "That's one of the handicapped rooms. The bed there is special." I waited to see if there was more to the explanation, but apparently not.

"Uh, ok," I responded, and retired, vanquished.


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