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Efficiency Means Tough Decisions For Quirky Traveler

October 15th, 2013 · Tags:Hotels

Travel is a funny thing. So many variables. Then, if you get other people involved in arranging your schedule, your priorities, your budget … man, what a mess it can be.


As I galavant around — from time to time — I have a rare opportunity to go home and take a break before the project is finished. And then, after a few days off, I return immediately to the same job. For instance, I just had a 10-day reprieve from the Dirty Gig in Dillon, Montana. Now I am back.


Sounds simple? Nay not so. You see, there is the baggage conundrum. What I mean? It’s a dilemma. Do I take the bags or not? When I travel, I am reimbursed for luggage fees, but who wants to carry a 59-pound bag if they don’t have to. If I were only gone a day or two, I would just keep my hotel room. But for 10 days, that would be pretty irresponsible.

One option is to pack all the belongings/clothes/snacks in the suitcases and check them at the hotel front desk for a few days. But hey, the hotels can’t even get the programmable keys to work half the time. Do I really want to trust them with my favorite skivvies and such?


Another option is to pack the bags, and leave them with someone in the office at whatever project I am on. Kind of like moving in to share a room in someone’s office. This option is okay … until (yes this has happened to me) … until you take your break and go home, and then get reassigned to a different project. Someone at the old project has to find your bags, bundle up your bags and ship your bags. They don’t like that. HA … and then, in such situations (this has happened too) by the time the bags reach my home, I am already off to a new assignment.


Ha … see … it is not all carefree:)



Well, I am not complaining, I just find all this interesting.


Anywho … like I was saying, I was granted a few days off, and packed my stuff to go home. I ended up leaving my stuff in the clients’ office. Well, that altered the equation again. The office was one direction, the airport the other. So I had to pack my things two nights before I left, so i could work all day on the last day, leave the stuff, leave the job, sleep and fly without a second trip to the job. (Follow that?) That situation is also complicated by decisions on which clothes do you wear the last day, and how much stuff can you fit into your one small carry-on bag … a bag already filled to the brim with computers, camera, GPS units, etc. It’s a pain and requires a little planning. I hate planning.


AND there is always that one item you forgot. This time, what did i forget? I forgot that I had my beard grooming scissors in my overnight bag to carry on. In this crazy post 9-11 era, I don’t think you can carry scissors on a plane. If you can, someone hasn’t thought that one through, nor have they seen “Psycho.” So … me being quirky me, I like my scissors and didn’t want to lose them. They fit my hand just right. But, I didn’t want to drive 60 miles round trip just to pack my scissors in my luggage left behind. I didn’t want to ask the hotel to just hang on to my scissors for 10 days.


Ha … what to do? A normal person throws them away and writes it off. Me? I devise a top-secret, super-duper scheme to keep the scissors.


I decided to hide the scissor in my hotel room. (OH … I should have pointed out that I had already learned I was returning in 10 days to the exact same hotel and they were putting me in the exact same room … probably because they don’t like me). I said, “Hey, how about that nice room directly across the hall, you know, the one with the jaccuzi?” No dice. Back into plane jane #225 they booked me.


But, this fit my plan perfectly. I could hide my scissors in the room. Oh, it was no longer a matter of a $15 pair of scissors. It was a game of skill. You see, I have found some weird stuff in hotel rooms. I have seen weird things in weird places hidden in hotels.


Lost Found At Hotels


So I know things are hidden there … so the trick is to be more tricky than the last guy. Game on!


There is the obvious threat that the hotel staff might take them … and lets see, I was going to be gone for 10 days … let’s say the hotel is running at 70 percent occupancy … and it is a queen bed, so probably on one person most of the time … I’d say there were only the potential of seven or eight guests … who for the most part will not be looking in odd places.


Where to bury the scissors? Have i mentioned the artwork in my Montana hotel? I find it odd. On the wall is a very generic wooden, varnished frame with non reflective glass and a print of someone’s very well done painting of a majestic, snow-covered peak, with lots of trees and a creek in the foothills, etc., etc. It’s a decent work of art, replicated en masse I am sure and stuck there on the otherwise empty wall of a hotel done in generic autumn tones. Blah. Bet you can’t guess what is on the adjoining wall, directly over the earth-tone bedding of the little queen size they have me crowded into?


Did you guess another copy of the exact same mass produced mountain, suitable for no-frills framing. You’d be right, if you had. Is this a visual pun for “Twin Peaks?”


Who hangs two identical pieces of cheap art to brighten a room? And further more, if they do, who hangs then side by side on adjoining walls. Too weird … I bet there is something hidden behind one and the other is a decoy. Probably a wall safe. I didn’t check. It could be a trap for me …. someone just hoping I will hide my stuff behind one of these two pictures.


I digress …


I lifted up one of the two identical end tables on either sides of the bed, and threw the scissors under there. If they were gone when I returned, so be it. But if I found them there when I returned … I win this fun little game.


No …. doesn’t take much to entertain me …


But I was playing to win. How could I draw the attention of the housekeeping folks to keep them from tidying up under the end tables. Is it end tables or inn tables … whatever?


I don’t know why I thought something would come over the hotel staff and possess them to clean under a table. They hardly clean the bathroom sink. But … just in case, I created a little diversionary tactic. A few weeks ago at The Dirty Gig there were famous visitors — Turtleman and Banjo Man from “Call Of The Wildman.” No … they were not in my hotel room, but I had two autographed photos of them. On the opposite wall of the room, away from the scissors, i placed the two hand-autographed 5X7 glossies, suitable for framing, in the corners of the two frames of the two mirrors on the wall. Ha … it kind of continued the repetitious artwork motif.


Who wouldn’t be drawn to the Turtleman and Banjo Man like moths to a flame … and be strategically lured away from the scissors?


Ha … I figured by the time I returned to Montana, I would probably forget all of this nonsense. So, I carried the quirkiness even further. On the day I left the scissors in Montana, I punched in an appointment reminder on my iPhone calendar, somewhat cleverly designed to send me a notice as soon as I got off the plane on the day I returned to Montana.


“Are you not entertained?”


Ha .. those who know me, quirkiness and all, probably would expect me to look at the iPhone reminder, when the time came, and say … “What is this?,” never remembering any of what you just read.


But, I returned to Montana, landed in Bozeman, picked up my rental pickup and was headed to Dillon when I felt that telltale vibration in my pocket. “I’ve got mail” Or … actually … you know … I had a reminder that said “Scissors!”


I drove the two hours to Dillon, checked into the same hotel … got the key for the same room and said hello to the same front desk clerk I had now seen daily, for almost 90 days. I found humor in her comment when she said I looked familiar … Doesn’t miss a trick that one …


And how special … she gave me a gift bag with a bottled water and a Peppermint Patty … and yes, the Wi-Fi code, which had not changed in at least 70 days.


So what do you think? How’d it turn out?




Know what I sayin?