Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Excitement on the Executive Level
In a modern global economy, one where markets across the continents are connected through various modes of instantaneous communication and transaction with technological and media advances, when you have been to one large franchise chain business hotel, you have been to them all. Certainly, outside the tall portrait window of the twentieth floor of a particular establishment, the vista will transform, conform to the landscape of the city in which the assembly-line building was constructed: desert, strip malls, skyscrapers, Pacific Ocean, wide open and empty plains. I am eternally grateful to imbibe these views greedily, as a recycled air conditioned wind sweeps across my hair, a backdrop of large square prints that hang obtrusively and uninspired above the set of double beds. During these first few years of my arguably professionally legitimate career, I have acquired more than a handful or so notches on my business hotel belt; thankfully, these generally come with the frequent flyer miles to prove it. Overall, no single property comes to mind as outstanding, each one fairly uniform in their mediocre breakfast buffet offerings and each one diligent in the requisite and humbly respectful toilet paper triangle fold. Not surprisingly, each also dedicated in the fight for our environment, kindly pleading with patrons, but not enforcing any ecological edicts, to reuse towels from shower to shower. To be honest, as I am often delinquent about laundry in my own home, one of the welcome aspects of busy travel is the prospect of perpetually new and clean towels and linens. After one use, that towel is tossed aside, to the ground. There is some shame, but only a little. Not sufficient shame to cease my wanton towel use, consistent from cookie-cutter room to cookie-cutter room.
Occasionally, however, through a fortuitous force known as random dumb luck and poor scheduling, or perhaps, working in an absurdly regulated and stringent industry, I am promoted to bask in the glories of the executive level when all other hotel rooms are booked solid. Apparently, such an echelon is beyond industry compliance for many typical physician attendees for most pharmaceutical-sponsored events, so, a simple and lowly writer such as myself must make the sacrifice. Last weekend, in Lima, I was called upon to greet this dutiful compliance challenge, accept the top floor executive suite, so that some deserving consultant neurologist could slum it in a lesser room and not cause any regulatory eyebrows to raise. In addition to stretching towards infinity views of a new and exciting city, I was able to singularly enjoy more down pillows than is needed or is necessary for at least five people. Lovely and obscene.
In addition to the copious pillow comfort, I obviously, as is evidenced by the ludicrous accompanying photographs to this jocular rant, enjoyed the simple and well executed luxury of the J.W. Marriot turn down service. The meticulous packing featuring tiny black satin bows was such a beautiful touch. I overcame the exhaustion of jet lag and the hard labor of sitting in a chair at a six hour meeting just to document the conscientious effort. And, those waiting with a suffocating bated breath, my delight did not end there...
Two different flavors: coffee and coconut. Each admirably delicious and worth the calories, calories my bathing suit-averse and disappointingly soft body did not need. Slaving away in a ridiculous cubicle does not, apparently, exclude one from some of the finer mundanes of life.