In Which I Break Down

I’ve debated for thirty-three months whether or not vocalizing about shoddy service or facilities qualifies as the type of complaining that I long to disdain.  This morning after checking out of a dirty, flea-bitten hotel at which persons who are seemingly regulars (friendly with and possibly friends of the counter employee) park in the disabled spots without tags or plates, I called the 800# and waded through three levels of disinterest (“You have to talk to Guest Relations and they only work Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 5:00”) before finding a supervisor willing to listen while I explained my issues.

She ended the call by stating that she would honor my request that she e-mail my concerns to guest relations.  She had resisted that request quite vociferously but I calmly persisted.  I wanted to believe that someone at the hotel chain cared about the rights of disabled customers.  I had not focused on the run-down state of the property, the fleas that jumped from the carpet, or the dirty bathroom floor.  I would not have told the desk clerk about those things; and I did not.  I wanted her to address the handicapped parking both when I checked into the hotel and when I checked out.  I would have overlooked the shabbiness of the place as being my fault for not vetting it.  The clerk can’t help the disrepair; but she can monitor the use of the handicapped spaces.

Since she said, multiple times, that it was not her problem, I told the 800# lady all of it.

I did not get upset, raise my voice, or make any personal comments about anyone.   When the reservations supervisor (the only one who would listen) said she would ask “guest relations” to open a complaint, I told her that I did not care about myself.  I did not want a refund or an apology.  I wanted her company to address the issue with the facility having no regard for the rights of their disabled customers.

She did not get that.  She kept insisting they would “open a complaint for you”.  That’s not the point.  The point is to address the pervasive disinterest in providing accessible accommodations which I encountered at their location.

Therein lies the rub.  We end up complaining about our little individual realities because no one will deal with the global issues.  On the receiving end, the call-taker narrows the focus because they have grown accustomed to self-centeredness on the part of their customers.  They figure I must have an angle.  I want a future free room (good  grief, no) or to have the woman reprimanded.  I don’t want either.  I want any disabled person brave enough to book at that hotel to be able to pull into the designated handicapped spot without having to fight the front desk.  I want a curb cut by the ADA room (there was none) and a designated handicapped space by the ADA room (not one of those either).    I want a disabled person who doesn’t happen to have a law degree and a big mouth to be treated courteously when they point out the remissions which present barriers to their stay.

If asking for those things to be accorded to the next person is complaining, count me in.

It’s the twenty-fifth day of the thirty-third month of My Year Without Complaining.  From the Corner Coffeehouse in Ferguson, Missouri, I bid you good morning.  Life continues


4 thoughts on “In Which I Break Down

  1. Ruth Roberts

    I’ll be standing right next to you. I had a problem with handicap spots at a grocery store and they told me there was nothing they could do about nonhandicapped people parking in designated places. It was rainy and cold. There was no where close for me to park. The store told me even the police wouldn’t ticket the cars. I wrote to the corporate office but they didn’t think they could do anything either. Bah humbug. No one can do anything because no one wants to. Thank you for standing up for justice. Elie wiesel said…

    All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

    1. ccorleyjd365 Post author

      The clerk at this hotel said, “It’s not my problem, it’s the police’s problem.” I said, “then call the police”. She said, “If you’re so worried about it, you call the police”. I said, “Ma’am, you’re the hotel representative, you are the person who would be enforcing the violation, not me”. She said, “it ain’t my problem and I am not calling the police. If you’re so worried about it, you call”. I find it astonishing.

  2. ccorleyjd365 Post author

    Just for grins, I searched the St. Charles ordinances. As I suspected, and as I told the employee, it was SHE who had to make the report, not me:

    Section 350.395
    Towing of Vehicles.
    [Ord. No. 11-163 §1, 8-17-2011]
    The owner or person in lawful possession of any off-street parking facility, upon notifying the Police Department or any Police Officer, may cause the removal of any vehicle parking in violation of Section 350.390 from a space designated for physically disabled persons if there is posted immediately adjacent to, and readily visible from, such space, or in a conspicuous place at each entrance to the public off-street parking facility, a sign not less than seventeen (17) inches by twenty-two (22) inches in size with lettering not less than one (1) inch in height, which clearly and conspicuously states the following: “Unauthorized vehicles parked in spaces reserved for physically disabled persons or disabled veterans and not displaying distinguishing placards or license plates issued for physically disabled persons or disabled veterans will be towed away at owner’s expense. Towed vehicles may be reclaimed at the City Police Department or by telephoning the Police Department.” . . .

  3. Sara Rittman

    First, I’m relieved that the title didn’t mean that you had a break down.

    I would encourage you to follow up by contacting guest relations on Monday or emailing them today. They don’t get enough complaints in the public interest to have a procedure for that. If you want the right people to get your message, contact guest relations.

    Having said that, the best way to make your point is to post a review on a travel website and tell people the name of the hotel whenever you talk about it.

    Now for the pure legal stuff, I wonder if you were a “person in lawful possession” as a guest of the hotel. Not that I would want to try to argue that particular position to the police.


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