Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Bates Plaza Motel

Did some traveling for work this week and have once again realized there's no place like home (or at least a well maintained hotel). I spent the past five nights in what my co-workers and I dubbed "The Bates Plaza Motel". I'm sure, once upon a time, this was a lovely stopping point in northern Minnesota, but sadly, those days seem to have passed.
Night #1:
My first impression of the hotel was pulling into town at about 11 pm on a Wednesday night, checking and being directed to park in the lot at the back of the hotel. No problem. Shawn, my counterpart and the driver of the Focus, pulled into a likely looking spot and we prepared to see our home for the next five nights up close. I opened the door of the car and began to step out only to have my foot land on something significantly softer than parking lot. Indeed, my first step landed me on a dead pigeon that burst into a feathery blizzard upon contact with my favorite pair of Chucks (and the only pair of non work shoes I had with me). I'll admit it right now, I screamed like Jamie Lee Curtis and dove back into the car. After Shawn and I both recovered from about 10 minutes of gasp inducing laughter we found a new place to park and proceeded with our original mission.
I didn't have a roommate the first night and thank goodness because the ear splitting screech that emanated from the bathroom door hinges with even the slightest of movement would not have made me any friends as I ended up making use of the facilities several times that night (no more 24 oz cappucinos for me...not five anyway). I dutifully left a nice note for housekeeping asking for someone to take care of the screech in the morning before leaving for work.
Night #2:
My new roommate in tow, we returned after 14 harrowing hours opening a new restaurant in a town that was crying out for something new. We entered the room to find an equally nice note from housekeeping that THEY had left a note for the handyman about the bathroom door. The handyman's participation was noticeably absent as the door screeched louder than ever, perhaps knowing it was going to have to make the most of its ability to make noise while it could.
We spent some time downstairs with a few more of our counterparts and some of us headed outside for one last smoke, my roomie had already gone up to bed at this point when the fire alarms began to ring throughout the hotel. Interesting, we made the decision to stay outside and have another smoke while this turn of events was sorted by the frantic looking staff. At this point, a rather unsteady and disheveled looking guy came tearing out of the hotel and when asked if HE had pulled the alarm by one of our group, he responded vehemently and in language that's I'm not putting here. Okay then, that seems to be the end of it, alarms are off and the night manager's face has resumed its normal color. Time for bed. Well, not quite. I got as far as entering my room when the now familiar fire alarm began to ring again. My roommate, desperate for some sleep, asked if there was an actual fire to which I was able to say no to the first alarm and explain about the angry drunk that ran off into the night. Apparently, he came back...twice. After the alarms rang through the Bates Plaza Motel the third time in an hour, my roommate sat bolt upright in bed and announced "That's it, I'm in hell." Yep, and I'm your roommate. The angry drunk was eventually apprehended and stuffed into the back of a cop car, never to interrupt our attempts at sleep again.
Night #3:
We arrived back at the Bates after another record setting day, hopeful that things would be quieter that night than the first. They were, and darker too as my roomie's lamp not only burned out but then fell apart in her hand when she went to turn it on...okay. A phone call to the desk and one of the chefs from the restaurant downstairs appeared at our door, lightbulb in hand. By now, we had also discovered that the phantom handyman had not de-screeched our bathroom door, much to our dismay. Taking matters into my own hands, I asked the chef if he had any Pam type cooking spray in his kitchen and if I might borrow a few squirts. He appeared puzzled and apprehensive, but returned minutes later, Pam in hand. Screech solved, but a butter scented puddle on the bathroom floor...I'll leave housekeeping a note.
Night #4:
Passed without incident but for an angry drunk guy telling us not to look at him as we gathered outside for a smoke at one point...and another dead pigeon on the sidewalk in front of the building. Short life span for pigeons in that town...

Here's hoping the hotel next week isn't quite as deeply weird as the now legendary "Bates Plaza Motel."