Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Benefit of the Jerk Gene

So, dear Fatters, I am posting today after a lot of annoyance and upset. The hotel I booked in Ottawa made promises it didn't keep. We arrive in an accessible room (barely) with a tiny bed for one - Joe ended up sleeping on a cot on the floor. After much complaining we got things as settled as we could. I went down this morning to do a blog and wham ... their computers were down. Enough was enough. I got the front desk to contact another hotel within the same brand - a hotel we knew and we managed to get transferred there.

The great thing about a wheelchair, I discovered, was the ease of protest.

Let me explain.

Once they made the transfer they informed me I'd be paying a rate of 80 more for the night. Now, I had booked a room with two queens, we got a single. I had booked a wheelchair accessible room, the door was too narrow to get through. I had expected an accessible bathroom and got a tub with a bar in an impractical location. I had checked to ensure there was a computer for guest use, there was no computer. I figured, it was up to them to make me happy, up to them to get me what I needed.

Well, they figured it was up to them to get rid of me and my complaints. And they nearly had, they could taste my departure. But now we were haggling dollars (I don't need people sending me money - I can afford the room rate, this was principle). Finally I said, "I'm in a wheelchair I can sit comfortably right here in front of the reception desk while you all figure out a way to give me the same rate. You have made a mess out of my weekend. You are making me move hotels. You promised and didn't deliver. I'm really OK with waiting ALL DAY."

Then I leaned back in my chair, grabbed my sippy cup of tea and took a long draw, and relaxed.

They panicked.

It was fun to watch.

A line up was forming behind me and I didn't frigging care.

Guess what, I got the rate reduced AND I got an apology.

More that that, I can write a blog up for tomorrow. I've got a good and upbeat one but first, now, I had to gloat.

Because sometimes being a jerk pays off.


Teresa said...

Good for you!!

Anonymous said...

I'm struck by the fact that they had a single bed in the "accessible" room, as if disabled people would never share a bed with anyone else. WTF?

Anonymous said...

LOL!! Good for you! Hope you have a nice weekend and visit!

Brenda said...

You GO, Dave!! I would have done the exact same thing, and loved it, too!! (Isn't it delicious?!?!)

Lisa said...

Freaking Fantastic, especially the tea sipping. What a lovely vision.


Anonymous said...

I think THEY were the jerks. What you did was basically a form of protest for your civil rights, and you have a human right to do that!

Thought it would interest you to know (I just learned this myself): Facebook group allows more than 1000 groups or pages dedicated to mocking people with disabilities, particularly people with Downs Syndrome or intellectual disabilities. For example, some post pictures of people with Downs Syndrome so people can laugh at them, or use words such as r*tard in the group name, etc.

Facebook does have a terms of use regulation that prohibits the use of Facebook for hate speech, or groups dedicated to hating other groups. Yet it allows these groups to continue.

People are joining a new Facebook group to protest Facebook's failure to enforce its own terms of service when it comes to hate speech against people with disabilities. For people who already have a Facebook account, it takes only a second to join, then you can scroll down the screen to talk with other participants about the situation and what people are doing about it. For people new to Facebook, it only takes a few minutes to set up an account and is free:

One Sick Mother said...

It's a shame you had to use your inner jerk to get what is only fair and right.

(but it is good that you have an inner jerk to fall back on)

FridaWrites said...

I like the way you handled the situation. That made everyone else do the work. Really, you shouldn't be charged more for their mistake (and leaving poor Joe without a good bed).

Thanks for the information, Andrea.

foodie4access said...

I don't think you were a jerk at all. They were the ones who reneged on EVERY promise they gave you and try to ruin your weekend.

I applaud you for sitting down for your rights!

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Go Dave!, it really naffs me off when a hotel or whatever advertises and promises one thing but then don't produce, and accessable who designs these places i actually wonder if disabled people are ever consulted or are these rooms designed by people are not disabled and think ah thats what a person who is disabled needs. i'm not disabled but a care for people with learning disabilities/ physical disabilities i just wonder sometimes

Anonymous said...

Well done Dave, I'm glad you didn't back down.

Thank you for the link Andrea, I didn't know that was an issue on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

I just joinedon facebook Andrea, thanks for that. I have already joined banning the "R" word on facebook.


Anonymous said...

You go, Dave!! I need to take lessons in assertiveness from you. I start out strong, but then usually cry and fold. Bad.

Ettina said...

On the CBC show WireTap, hosted by Jonathan Goldstein, he said his mother will try to return 15 year old clothes, without a receipt, to a different store than the one she bought them from. 'She sees it as a battle of wills.' And she often gets the refund!

Anonymous said...


Whatever happened to good old- fashioned customer service?
It's as if you should be surprised when you get exactly what you ordered rather than being surprised when you don't.

Pining for the good old days!

E: )

Theresa said...

You drank your tea, how great! response to the comment about facebook, people should know that at the bottom of the group page you can report a group...perhaps if enough people report these groups, facebook will take appropriate action.