I am writing yesterday’s rants today because by the time I got home yesterday I was too tired to do it.
We have our Very Big Boss abroad this week, making a Very Important Visit to Another Country. Apparently he made such a good impression some high muckity-muck has insisted he stay a few extra days for yet another meeting with some other Important People. Extending the logistics for a trip to another country is annoying at best, even if we have a language in common, especially when you throw in a 10 hour time difference.
This throws next week’s schedule into total havoc, as VBB has Important Meetings with Important People In Washington, DC. Well, now that he can’t make it we are sending in the reserves - two of 'em. Two Big Bosses now have to turn their schedules upside down.
OK, ever try to get a hotel room in Washington DC on 3 days notice? It is not fun. Apparently, a LOT of people are having Very Important Meetings in DC this week. Of course they are - I believe VIM’s are the main product of the DC economy. Anyhow, one of the BB’s has a favorite hotel in DC (which gives an idea that she travels there a lot). Said hotel has no vacancy. After much phone calling to various properties and entities I finally managed to get her a room at the Ritz-Carlton.
She is bitching about having a room at the Ritz. It’s not her hotel. The fucking RITZ!!! A hotel where the Presidential Suite has actually been used by Presidents!
Oh, did I mention our travel reservation software has these neat algorithims that flag “out of policy” reservations? It does. Guess what - a short notice DC trip is so fucking far out of policy that I honestly think it would be easier to get authorization for a drunken orgy in the building lobby. It’s too expensive. The time between reservation and flight is too short. Every time I push a button the software goes NO NO GOD NO YOU CAN’T DO THAT THE UNIVERSE WILL END NOOOOOOOOOOO! I am having to type explainations and acknowledge warnings that This Will Be REPORTED!!! When I ask it to reserve a hotel room I swear I could hear the software laughing at me. No, you fool! There is no room at the inn - find a park bench! Bwa-ha-HA!
Nevermind the company’s officers have already approved all this shit ahead of time. Oh, no - it’s a computer, it knows better!
Have I mentioned “customer service”? One hotel chain I called I could NOT understand their reservations agent. Just could NOT. I mean, I was pretty sure she thought she was speaking English. And I can usually handle accents, I mean, I’ve spent most of my life in a fairly cosmopolitan city with much exposure to foreign accents. And this is a hotel chain that operates with a French accent so yes, most of the recorded messages have accents and the staff answers the phone with “Bon jour”, but hey, I speak French so that’s not really an obstacle. But THIS chick —! It wasn’t French. It wasn’t Spanish. I think we can eliminate most Asiatic languages because it lacked tones and I didn’t hear any clicks so that rules out the Khoi-San family of languages. I don’t know what the hell it was but I could NOT understand her. Maybe she was speaking Basque with a mouthful of mashed potatoes. Maybe Arabic with a mouthful of fallafel. Holy fuck! If you’re doing customer service to people in the US I am sorry but some dialect of English is required. It doesn’t have to be American English - British or Australian are usually well understood. I would have taken the automated post-call “customer service survey” but I CAN’T FUCKING UNDERSTAND YOUR EMPLOYEES! is, for some reason, never an option.
But, before I left, both BB’s had both airline tickets and a room to stay in.
How much you want to bet that the days they travel there will be coast-to-coast thunderstorms?