I have a major problem with all hotels.
They think we’re stupid.
Like, super stupid.
Like, don’t-understand-that-when-a-Mom-says you need to take a nap because you’re sleepy actually-means I need you to take a nap because I’m temporarily tired of you stupid.
My main beef with hotels is this ever-present piece of literature – a variation on which every hotel now gallantly leaves behind for its guests.
This one is especially good because it has the two takeaway phrases in all caps. The rest of it really drives home the point but they wanted to make sure that just in case you skimmed it, you received the guilt trip they’re trying to carve into your soul.
WASH THE TOWEL, KILL THE PLANET.
But no. See, we’re NOT stupid, hotels. You do not have top level executives that have bleeding hearts for the worthy cause of the conservation of the planet. Your top level executives are only interested in a different kind of green. And we all know it.
You want to buy less laundry detergent. And hire less launderers (is that a job?). And wear out less towels and sheets. This is what you are interested in.
But environmentalism is such a convenient excuse for you. Just like the pleather industry was saved by the growing trendiness of veganism and the resulting term “vegan leather”, your own industry was prevented from becoming washed up by blaming it on the planet.
Don’t think we can’t see that. Just don’t.
(But as a side note, all of the airline’s PR companies should totally copy and paste. “Sorry, we cannot serve meals on this flight because RAIN FORESTS. You must pay for your checked baggage because POLAR BEARS.”)
That particular hangtag was a the hotel we lived in while our house dehumidified. Since we stayed there for five days, it gave the children a chance to explore all the facets of our room, including the above hang tag. With regards to it, I got to overhear a precious moment between my children.
Noah: “Ali, what does this sign say?”
Ali proceeded to read him the entire hang tag, then offered the commentary: “See, it’s our responsibility to save the earth and not get our towels dirty.”
So maybe the hotel is just trying to guilt four and eight-year-olds, which is working. But, as their mother, I do not take lightly my responsibility for their full education in cynicism, so I quickly stepped in and explained the hotel’s actual angle of profitability and staff reductions.
“You love the maids you’ve gotten to know, right? You don’t want them to lose their jobs because YOU decided to reuse a damp towel, DO YOU??”
(But we did reuse our towels, because we’re good earth citizens. And Ali wouldn’t let me place my hatred of hotel propaganda over the saving of the planet. Ugh, firstborns.)
Signage in hotels is often special, though, and that hotel also had a couple of other gems. Such as the no diving sign, warning of the grave consequences of sprouting bright red Guy Fieri hair if attempted.
And my favorite, the pool sign that blatantly discriminated against my friends with 5+ children. Or told them that they have made unsafe and insecure choices in life. Or both.
(I checked with said friends, and some of them agreed. It is neither safe nor secure to have more than four children.)
But this past weekend, we stayed in an especially fantastic hotel with regards to signage.
It was a Wingate by Wyndham, which isn’t a brand I’m terribly familiar with. But I was irritated right off by their inconsistent use of the letters Y and I. Couldn’t it be Wyngate by Wyndham? Or Wingate by Windham? They’re just asking for us to be confused.
The first sign I saw was the list, in descending order, of all Wyndham-brand hotels. I find these types of lists both informative and embarrassing – informative because you can quickly find where you fall on the food chain of their brand, and embarrassing for the chain because you find out just how low they’re willing to claim as their own.
That’s right, Wyndham Resorts. You’re just fifteen steps above a Knights Inn. Which is basically the same staircase. Which means you just paid $500 for a stay at the Knights Inn.
(Also who would have thought that a Super 8 could be four steps above anything? And the HoJo is three steps from the bottom? Remind me to never EVER get within 800 feet of a Knights Inn.)
We arrived in our room to find out that Wingate is excited-like-it’s-2008 about having wi-fi,
And that they put this thoughtful sticky note on the bathroom mirror, so that when you step out of the shower, you can KNOW that you look like you deserve some magic.
Even the staff was fantastically special. We desired to sleep in, so we put out our Do Not Disturb sign, as one does. We left our room at 10am for the day and removed the hang tag.
As I was walking down the hall toward the two housekeepers, one was flipping out.
“I cannot POSSIBLY vacuum all of these bleepity-bleep rooms! I just don’t have time for this bleepity bleep! What the bleeping-bleeper-bleepit do they think they’re doing, scheduling us like this?!”
I got within five steps of them when they checked up, smiled, and said, “Hello ma’am!!”
Housekeeper Number Two said, “What room are you in, honey?”
“Okay…lemme check my list here…”
Feeling quite fearful of them dragging their negativity into my room and spewing it all over my pillowcase, I said “Oh it’s okay. You don’t have to clean our room.”
But then Chris, who missed the first half of this exchange, walked up behind me. “But if you have a chance, that’d be great.”
Housekeeper Number Two looked up at him and said, “OH – you were the room that had a Do Not Disturb sign on your door this morning. And you see, I marked it right here on this list. So I’m afraid we cannot clean your room today. Because I already marked it. On my list.”
I agreed with her that this made perfect sense and hurried Chris onto the elevator before he asked for toilet paper or some other rage-inducing item.
But when we got back to our room that evening, I unapologetically hung our other hang tag. Yes – the one that has a variation in every hotel – just for funsies.
That’s right, Wingate. I see your ridiculously unrelated guilt trip and I call your bluff. I don’t mind killing a white fluffy bunny so I can have clean sheets today*. GO KILL ME A BUNNY.
*No superfluous linens were received nor bunnies were harmed in the making of this blog post. The writer does not encourage the death of any bunnies, regardless of the super high threadcount sheets they can be made into.