When I was a kid, my sister played B Team soccer, which meant that my family spent our weekends traveling around to watch her play. The most — or only — memorable trip took us to Willits, California.
“Gateway to the Redwoods,” my ass. Willits is an armpit.
Money was in short supply in my family back then, so Mom and I drove up and down the one-block main street trying to find an affordable hotel, which, incredibly, was impossible to find. We finally found the cheapest one, and when Mom asked if there was vacancy, the lady replied, “Oh, you have daughtah? I give you clean room.” One night spent sleeping on top of the covers to avoid the cooties and not touching the walls for fear of asbestos poisoning taught me that you never pick the cheapest place just because it’s the cheapest. Big words coming from a total skin-flint like me.
This week I went to Portland on a work trip, and, of course, but put in the cheapest option — University Place, located on PSU’s campus.
People, please believe me when I say that you do NOT want to stay there. I could handle the total inefficiency of the climate control, the minimum level of comfort, the crappy decor, and the overabundance of men and seeming total lack of women in the building. I could have gotten over the fact that my room was as far as possible from the lobby in an empty-feeling hotel, causing me to double- and triple-check the locks on my doors. What I couldn’t handle was the utter lack of cleanliness.
I walked into my room expecting a boring, bland, uncomfortable room. Instead, I saw a sandwich. A SANDWICH, unwrapped, with several bites taken out!
Ok, no, this wasn’t THE sandwich — but take this one and wrap it in cellophane and put it in your supposedly virgin hotel room, and you’ll get the picture.
I took a deep breath and, not wanting to be a overly uptight person who is too aware of her consumers’ rights, threw the sandwich away. I ignored the lumpily-made bed, too, as well as the coke can full of cigarette butts on the balcony. I warily eyed the giant wet cleaning sponge in the shower, but knew I could deal. When I found that the soaps had all be used, however, I lost it.
The staff handled it gracefully and quickly ushered me to a new room that smelled strongly of cleaning supplies — what a welcome scent at the time! — but believe me, next year, the cheapest option will not be an option.