I was surprised to come across this postcard, from the “Absolute Worst Business Hotel I Ever Stayed In”. What possessed me to keep it (and not even mail it to myself) I’ll never know. Must be my predilection for postcards.
One of my advertising assignments was the launch of Chun King Frozen Oriental Entrees. As was often the case, a factory tour was part of the learning-about-the-product process. Chun King Entrees were one of many products manufactured at the world’s largest frozen food plant in
I was traveling with my two clients, one senior to the other, but both men. When we arrived at 8 PM at the hotel where we were supposed to be staying, somehow there was no reservation for me. “No room at the inn”, was the message from the person at the front desk, “but there’s a motel down the road”. Rather than offering to double up, or even helping me look into it, my clients looked at me, handed me the keys to the rental car, instructed me to “be back at 8 AM”, and disappeared into their respective rooms.
My memory tells me I went to the car, drove down the road and into the parking lot of the motel, along with the semis and pick-ups, off the interstate. I remember being a bit uncomfortable as a young woman on her own, in a motel with doors facing the parking lot and flimsy windows opening onto the walkways. I stayed at cheap, dirty, questionable even sleazy hotels all over Latin America when I traveled there. But somehow I was flabbergasted that my clients gave not a moment’s thought to safety or security or even common courtesy on a business trip they had asked me to accompany them on.
It’s often a conflict – being treated like an equal in business and being seen as a woman. I can’t imagine that either of these men would be comfortable with their own wives being sent alone to a rural motel, in the dark, at night, in a place she'd never been. Can we have it both ways or is that asking too much? What do you think? Have you ever been in a situation like this?