I’m convinced now that we go away on vacations because of some kind of weird peer pressure. Think about it. When you declare you’re going on vacation, the natural response is always “Where are you going?” If your response is,”Oh, I’m just going to stay home and relax…” well……dull.

I’ve been bragging for weeks about my vacation. Italy and Croatia! I planned to blog my adventures every day and take tons of pictures. I’ve been on vacation now for 3 days. I’m sitting in an airport hotel next to Dulles. I won’t bore you with the details but this has been the trip from hell so far. I actually prayed for the world to end yesterday – not even that happened as scheduled.

Last night I had a meltdown and today I am feeling quite Zen about the entire thing. Here is what I have learned:

1. Service levels in America are at an all time low. This recession has done the opposite of what I had hoped. Instead of people embracing their jobs, lucky to still have one, they are surly, sloppy and scared.
2. As much as I love rewards programs I have experienced the effect they have on employees. Case in point – I am Marriott Gold. When our flight to Rome was cancelled we were sent to the airport Marriott. I did not have my Gold card with me (didn’t think I would need it) and the desk clerk said no problem – she would look it up. Apparently she did not. Last night when we tried to charge our dinner to our room the waiter said we had the room number wrong. Mark went to the front desk and was informed that we had to move to another room – one door down.

It should be noted that this is when I lost it.

Seems they had a big group that reserved a block of rooms and when we checked in after sitting on the tarmac for 3 hours and then were told our flight to Rome was cancelled and stood in line for 2 hours to find out we cannot get out of DC for three days…….oh sorry, wasn’t going to bore you with the details…..anyway beeotch did not look up my Gold Card number!

We moved all of our stuff to the room next door. THEN I called down to ask about a fax I was supposed to have received and casually asked if my Gold number had been entered yet. She said it had not and she looked me up. Suddenly the world changed. Apologies all around and get this – come back down to the lobby and we will rekey you so you have access to the Concierge lounge, etc.

This is when I lost it. I really just wanted my points for the three night stay – I expect that everyone will be treated well at a Marriott. I have blogged numerous times about how much I love their service. This is the first time it has been horrible. Apparently their policy is to only treat the elite well. The rest of you can go to hell. This was a real eye opener for me.

I live in the Land of Enchantment. 300 days of sunshine a year. I have a lovely home and now a wonderful little doggie that is so excited to see me it makes my heart ache. Last night I fantasized about just being home for the week. Waking up when I wanted to – taking hikes with Mark and Dexter. Watching movies. This is the last vacation I think I will ever take – where I leave paradise to subject myself to long lines, crowds, surly service, hotel food, living out of a suitcase and…wait for it……starting tomorrow. The Euro.

Stay tuned.

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