Tall, Dark, and Mysterious

2/8/2006

Doppelgangers

File under: Know Thyself, Welcome To The Occupation. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 7:21 pm.

On the buisiness trip:

  • Guy who tells me that it’s “nice seeing [me] again.” Again? I say. Not that I doubted that I’d run into him before; I remember having seen people far less often than they remember having seen me, and I often feel tremendouly guilty about this. However, the last time this guy supposedly saw me was “at the conference in Edmonton”, and I was never at the conference in Edmonton. But he swears he saw me, or at least, someone who looked just like me.

    People tell me this disturbingly often, and I can only assume that not all of them think that “I know I’ve seen you before” is a functional, if not especially clever, pick-up line. Apparently there are plenty of people who look just like me floating around, but I’ve never met any of them personally.

  • Speaker who looks exactly like a ten-to-fifteen-years-younger version of my father. Same height. Same build. Same colouring. Same gait. Same haircut. Same glasses. Same style of dress. This is slightly jarring.

    More jarring, though, is the fact that this dude could not possibly sound less like my father. No, whenever this guy opens his mouth, he speaks in a lispy, slightly breathless, gay-guy-from-crappy-sitcom tenor.

    And file under “just plain strange” (or “race is a social construct”, if you’re so inclined): though I’m a mutt and I can’t reliably enumerate all of the nationalities that feature in my bloodline, I am fairly certain that there is no genetic explanation for my parent looking like some guy named Sanchez.

The customer is always…something

File under: Know Thyself, Welcome To The Occupation. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 6:51 pm.

The room in the somewhat swank hotel where I am staying on business was not ready when I arrived two minutes after check-in time.

Now, I didn’t mind one whit, because I mostly just think about hotels as places where someone else changes your sheets and cleans your bathroom, and I pretty much figure that once you’ve got that, it really doesn’t make much sense to gripe about the timing of the sheet-changing and bathroom-cleaning, you know? Gift horses and misdirected gazes, is all. But I am clearly not a member of the class of hotel patrons that the staff at the somewhat swank hotel has been trained to serve, because the woman at the check-in counter immediately shifted into damage control mode as soon as she had discerned the state of my room-to-be: We’re so sorry! Your room was not available at three-oh-two, so here’s a gift card for a free shoe shine! And another that will allow you two hours at our luxury spa, free of charge! And here, take an exercise kit that we usually provide only to our preferred customers, of which you were not one five minutes ago, but you are now! Because you have been wronged! By us! Oh, and while you wait, go get yourself a drink at the bar - at no cost to yourself! And if you want to enjoy one of the pay-per-view movies that we offer this week, you will not see the charge on your hotel bill!

Eyes widened in anxious anticipation. Expectant stare. Is there anything else we could do to pursuade you to forget this unpleasantness?

At this point I was so disoriented by this wholly unnecessary song and dance, that my ability to adjust my behaviour to my surroundings took leave of me completely. “Well, to be honest,” I deadpanned, “short of giving me a free upgrade to one of your luxury suites - no, I’m afraid there really isn’t.”

Without a word, the clerk nodded, pursed her lips, and briskly entered some data into her computer. A minute later, she handed me a key and dispatched me. It was only after I arrived at the door to my temporary residence that I realized that there was no reason for my room to be ready so soon, and oh my god there are two bathrooms in this place and I need a pair of binoculars to watch TV in here.

It did come to my attention, however, that even the preferred customers who spend, I swear it says this right on the door, seven hundred dollars a night to stay here, still have to pay for their own high speed internet connection on top of all that, ten goddamned dollars a day.

I considered calling the front desk and asking for that charge to be waived, but I thought that might be pushing it.