May 17, 2013
The Imponderable will return next week, but if you are looking for an Imponderable, then ask yourself what the heck I was supposed to get out of this trip.
We were stuck in a far off hotel. Because the Company event was so big, people from all over the country converged on Wilmington, only to be disappointed with Wilmington. In the weeks before the event, we were never given clear direction on how to bill the Company for the hotel so we would, just for kicks, go online and watch as hotel after hotel got booked. Finally we got the go-ahead and we booked. The four of us booked individually instead of our team supervisor simply booking four rooms. This was a problem.
Although we all went online to book at the same time, somehow the other three members of my team got rooms at the corporate rate while I was told that the last three rooms were just booked. To make a long story short, I ended up getting a much better room than they did. (Allan Keyes grew hot with jealousy over it in this post.) But honestly, for an overnight it was way too much of a room. It was so big that if it had a kitchen I would have lived there. It had a Jacuzzi, a pair of flat screen TV’s, and a view that was to die for.
Sorry, I mean a view that made me want to kill myself.
I took this picture from the bedroom. This was the view from half the hotel. The other half had a worse view.
The hotel itself was awesome- indoor glass elevators, sweeping chandeliers, elegant piano in the lobby, all new and beautiful with indoor views of the restaurant and lounge. The hotel had to be good because if it was a dump no one would have stayed there. It was in the middle of nowhere. Literally
It was at the intersection of two highways and a swamp.
I mean that literally and truthfully. The hotel was a gleaming spire in the middle of fields of weeds and swampland. After we arrived (40 minutes later, taking the Bataan death march of van rides) we went straight to our rooms and agreed to meet in the lobby for dinner later.
Everyone else was enjoying the admittedly limited nightlife of Wilmington, walking around the pier, eating in nice restaurants, catching a movie or shopping, and we had zero to do. We had a quiet meal together in which my boss began her sentences no less than infinity times with “I know you think I don’t like you and annoy you but…”
But the food was good.
After we ate it was only 7:00 and what was there to do? Nothing, I went outside on the hopes that there might be a 7-11 nestled against the hotel, or even an interesting hobo, but there was nothing. On two sides there were highways cutting through the fields and on the other sides swamps. So at 7:30 was in my room enjoying the Jacuzzi, then by 9 I was asleep in a gigantic bed with maybe 25 pillows strewn around me.
Checkout time was 7 (for us so we could take that van ride back to the center) and what did we do the rest of the day? Honesty, I won’t bore you. Suffice it to say I caught up on my sleep that afternoon.
Going home I was hoping to get a seat on the other side of the train so I could see what was on the other side of the rust belt but the only empty seats were on the same side. Much as I liked the scenery it was getting dark and I read- really read this time- The Exorcist until we arrived in New York, then I took the N train home.
Bad as it all was, the worst part was the next day back in the office when I saw all the work that had piled up in our absence.
The Good: The hotel room- Jacuzzi, super-king size bed, jumbo TV
The Bad: Everything else
And I never did tell the rest of my team that the Company paid for me to have a hotel room five times better than theirs. I consider that payback for the rest of the trip.
My actual room, Jacuzzi not shown