I have worked away from home for years so hotels are my home and sometimes things remind me that this is not the way that everybody else lives their life. There is a small group of us that use the hotel that I am currently using, some are from my company and some work for other companies in the area, we are the true residents of the hotel. Hotel living has taught me how to pack all that I need into a single bag, it has taught me never to worry about locking the door at home or turning the gas off and it has allowed me the luxury of always being a visitor to home. Hotel living is certainly not for everybody but it is for me and when I was stuck at home post accident it all felt very odd.
The thing with being a hotel resident is that you learn the staff and their ways, you learn the odd things about living in a business, because my contracts are long ones you actually watch staff develop. When I returned from the accident the hotel staff had been told about it by my colleagues, each and every one of them has stopped me and had the conversation and when I think about it that is probably more conversations than I have had at home! I get Christmas and Birthday cards from the hotels that I use, I get the gossip on who dislikes who, who pulls their weight and who is leaving. I know every room in a hotel and know which rooms I don’t use because the heating is rubbish or its noisy. I have walked into furniture and doors when my mental map picks up the wrong details in the middle of the night; when the Holiday Inn in Derby gave me odd-numbered rooms repeatedly followed by an even-numbered room I got up to use the toilet in the middle of the night and walked straight into a wall because the room was the other way around.
My memories of events and news are linked to hotels so you know when people say they remember being in the front room when their son took his first steps or their daughter said Dad for the first time? Well I remember being in a hotel in Ballymena for the first and Ballymoney for the second! You may wonder what triggered this random post, well it was talking to the night porter this morning who was recounting the crowd from a training course that were in the bar until 2am. We were debating how these late night drinkers would look in the morning and it occurred to me that they are the target audience of hotels, the sales teams and the course attenders that treat it as a big night out and meet breakfast with a hangover. It is this target audience that leaves rooms trashed because they won’t be remembered, I always leave my room tidy,turn the AC down and open the curtains because over the years I have learnt that the maids like that and let’s be fair they spend more time amongst my possessions than I do. Like some middle class housewife I make sure that I leave the room as clean as I can for the cleaners and that’s because hotels are my home, so when your on a course and get smashed in the evening go quietly past 280 I have an early start.
Having said all of that, I am still looking forward to living above my pub……