At hotels, we all have a certain aspect of privacy when it comes to the actual hotel rooms. We know that, for the length of our reservation, that is our abode and we are able to enjoy that element of privacy. To help us with that, the hotel gives us their variation of the universal “Do Not Disturb” sign and another lock to keep the door barricaded from the inside.
When I stay at a hotel, I have a routine – I walk in, hold the door open with my foot, and stick the Do Not Disturb sign on the handle before setting about to unpack. I normally do not use the extra lock/latch unless it is nighttime. The bad part about the signs is that they can fall off the handles easily which is why I love the hotels that offer little Do Not Disturb lights or some other permanent fixture to notify people not to knock.
Recently, I was at a hotel for a conference and my expectation of privacy did not really come true! I had just got in after a long series of flights and had a meeting, so I hurried about getting my clothes out and preparing to freshen up. While I was in the complete transition phase of the “freshening up,” my hotel door opens and a man starts to come in! Now, there have been a couple of times when I have had people try to come in my room because they thought it was their room but never had someone actually come in. In this instance, he had the uniform on that I would have placed as being from engineering so I knew it was a hotel staffer. I was startled and kind of was shouting to “please go out.” He kept saying something to me (that I couldn’t understand) and I kept thanking him and asking him to leave right now. He slowly backs out and leaves.
So, I then jump into the shower. I know, the first thing I should have done should have been to hook that latch but, really, could I expect another visitor so soon? As I was getting out of the shower, I hear the door open again and someone walked in. I am really calling out now to please leave. He says he is there to fix a problem. I told him I had no problem and to please leave right now. He asked again if I would like him to leave or stay and I pretty much shouted out that he could go right now. 🙂
To say I was irritated would be a proper reflection of how I felt. I mean, one time I could understand – it could have been a mistake. But to have two people within 10 minutes – that was too much. In all fairness, I did not hear if the second person knocked or not. But, the first person definitely did not knock on the door!
I hurried downstairs to talk to the desk staff before my meeting and asked them what in the world was going on. This was far from a cheap little hotel – it was a really nice hotel which made me feel confident this would work out that people wouldn’t keep walking in on me. 🙂 They ran the entry codes on the door and found that no one had been in the room, except for the cleaning staff two hours earlier! That did not make me feel comfortable! I described again what happened and they went to check something else.
After 15 minutes, they came back and said they found out it was engineering and that they had a work order from earlier to replace a lightbulb in the room. Never mind that I refused the maitenance the first time – they thought they would try again! In fact, both men said they did knock and admitted that I had said I did not want them in. Yet, the first did not knock.
In the end, I had no more visitors and the rest of the stay was perfect! At least it was memorable! I have never had people walk in on me, and certainly not twice when I was in an uncomfortable position. Now, I did have a video camera and microphone in a hotel one time, but that was more about the country I was in than the hotel. Plus, I knew they would probably be there so located them quickly enough that I could dress out of sight. 🙂
Moral of the story – keep that latch on the door no matter what!
Has this ever happened to you?