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Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Wednesday Hodge Podge
1. What is a pet peeve you have when vacationing?
(Warning: this will sound like an ADA rant!)
My biggest pet peeve while vacationing is when you make a reservation, secured with a credit card, and when you check n your room is not available. This has happened more than once to us. When you make a reservation and reserve a handicapped room, there had better be a handicapped accessible room there when you check in. This happened most recently at the Holiday Inn in Farmington Hills Michigan last weekend. I made my reservation with the hotel, not through the general reservations line, 2 months before. When I made the reservation I told them I needed a wheelchair accessible handicap room and they confirmed that they made my reservation for the handicap room. When I wheeled in Friday night and checked in they gave us keys to a regular room. I called the front desk and asked to be switched to a handicap room I was told they had overbooked the handicap rooms and didn’t have any left.
See the problem I have here, is my credit card is my guarantee that I’m staying there that night and they will get the charge for the room. It’s also their guarantee that the room I reserved will be there no matter when I check in, especially because if I don’t, they’ll charge my card anyway. “We overbooked the handicap rooms” is NOT an excuse, not ever. That’s not my problem, it’s theirs, and it’s a big problem too. But Friday night it was my problem. It only starts with a toilet that is lower and with nothing to grab to get up and goes on to qi hallway that’s too thin to maneuver a wheelchair and basically no usable shower. I mean, come on, what do most people rent a hotel room for? When I travel, a hotel room is someplace to sleep and take a shower. I couldn’t use the shower and access to the bed area was tight and had to be approached without the wheelchair, making it dangerous.
They did have an opening in a handicap room Saturday and switched us. That meant moving all of our belongings to a different room. Not that I’m not grateful to have a room that was easier to move around in with a usable shower and a toilet that I didn’t need assistance to get off of, but the added inconvenience of switching rooms only increased my dissatisfaction with their incompetent booking practices.
There are some simple things the need to do, things that should be required. First is that a guaranteed reservation includes a guarantee of a handicap room if it is requested at the time the reservation is made. Second is that if there are reservations made for handicap rooms, those requests will be honored regardless of someone requesting a handicap room upon check-in; if there are no handicap rooms left after filling requests made for those rooms, even for guests who have not yet checked in, there are no handicap rooms available. The same is true for reservation; don’t take a request for rooms that don’t exist. If there are 20 handicap rooms and 10 have been reserved, when another potential guest asks for a handicap room, they must be told there are no more available.\
I am sending a letter with my experience last weekend to the hotel manager, and cc it to the corporate office, American Association of People with Disabilities and Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service.
2. Would you describe yourself as a light packer or do you need everything in your closet plus the kitchen sink?
I pack fairly light, mix and match clothes and accessories and use the soap and shampoos in the hotels instead of carrying all of it with me.
3. What's the best lesson a child ever taught you?
Appreciate the world at your own level, but look up and look down to get the whole story from everyone’s perspective.
4. Share one piece of advice you'd give a recent graduate as they attempt to enter the job market?
Respect and treat everyone as an equal. Your entry-level coworker today might be your boss one day or you might be theirs and you’ll need their cooperation. A company needs a team effort with all levels working together to succeed. Quality in everyone’s input is essential.
5. What's your favorite lemon something?
Lemon Pez, no kidding there, and Limonata Italian lemon soda.
6. Flat sandal, wedge, heel...your favorite footwear?
7. What do you like best about a beach holiday? If you're not a beach lover (GASP!!) what do you dislike the least?
Sunrise if it’s an easy-facing beach, sunset if a west-facing one. But I like sunrise the best of the two.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I’m so glad I’m not claustrophobic! Yesterday was a Cleveland day. After stopping in the way out of town to have standard maintenance done on my manual wheelchair, tighten scr3ews and the brakes, I had a neurologist appointment and a physical therapy appointment at Cleveland Clinic. All of my tests are good and there’s no sign of further physical problems. YAY! I need to have another brain MRI done to be sure the medication that makes me feel so good is actually doing its job in my head. Periodical MRIs will be a way of life for me now. The last brain MRI was 45 minutes stuffed in a tube and told not to move. It’s a great time for meditation!
We got in the habit of baseball in the Cleveland area when we are in town for a doctor appointment. Last night we went to Canal Park in Akron to see the Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians AA) against the Erie Sea Wolves (Detroit Tigers AA). It was a double-header after rain the day before and we got there in the 6th inning of game 1. The Tigers had better win it all this year. The Aeros took both games and the Sea Wolves, well; the current Tigers have a little job security a couple levels down!
The next trip to Cleveland Clinic will be after baseball season. I hope it’s sunny enough for trains and barns and we find some good Pumpkin Spice!!