Motel Drama and Woodstock in Salt Lake City

Let me start by saying that it takes a lot to rattle me or upset me; especially when it comes to Motel 6. I have very low expectations so it's hard to underdeliver. But they managed to offend me on all counts here in Salt Lake City.

There are a few Motel 6s in SLC, so I'll be more specific. It's the downtown one, on W 600 S.  I've stayed there before and didn't have any issues but this time, I was struck by the unpleasantness of the experience from start to finish.

At check in, I was ignored at the front desk. I walked in and there were two employees at the desk. Both were occupied but could easily have made eye contact with me.  Nope. They could both have managed to give me a smile. No.  An acknowledgement that I existed or that I was standing at their desk. Nope. They continued with their tasks.

It wasn't as if they were completely immersed in their tasks, either. One guy had the gall to be having a personal conversation with another employee who was just on the other side of the office partition. In my mind, she was another offender, who could have made some sort of acknowledgment of me. But neither she nor the guy she was talking with bothered to look at me.   The other guy was on the phone and clearly working on someone else's problem, so I understood the delay. But I could not abide the absolute snub. Especially considering he TWICE hung up and took another call saying "Motel 6. can I help you." without so much as a glance in my direction.  "My direction" by the way was about 18 inches in front of him.

Then they didn't honor my reservation request of a ground floor room. "Is that OK?" he asked flippantly. I surprised him by saying "No. It's not OK." I didn't make the request just for the fun of it.

Anyway, I canceled my second night there and climbed the stairs to my room for the night.

It was very hot inside. Like sauna hot. I soon realized that although the fan was on, it was blowing hot air, not conditioned air. It also smelled like a smoking room. There was an ashtray provided, which also gave me a strong clue that I was given a smoking room. Disgusting. Oh and of course the windows are permanently sealed shut, so I was trapped.

I made it through the night by leaving the door open a crack. There's a latch that allows it to be secured and still ajar. But without cross ventilation, not much breeze was making it in the three inch opening. Did I mention that the fan in the bathroom didn't work?

The first thing I did when I got to the room was to look for another motel for tomorrow night. I found one only 15 minutes away that I had stayed at before and didn't have any negative experiences in. I was happy to be able to leave this dreadful downtown location for the one in Midvale.

In the morning, the joy continued as I was molested by the housekeeper and the manager to vacate my room. I had requested, and been assured that I was allowed, a late check out, but it was hours until 2pm and they relentlessly knocked on the door. I finally swung the curtains open, hiding my nakedness but letting them know that I was scheduled to check out at two. The same guy that ignored me last night, and then tried to get me to say it was OK to be disrespected, gave me a look like I was breaking the rule. I called out, "i'll be out of here by two". He then held up his clipboar and pointed to my name, where it clearly said 2:00 check out. He looked flustered, didn't apologize, and turned to go.

And finally, about an hour before I was actually loading up the car, an announcement came over a PA system that anyone loitering on the property without being registered or planning to register in a room needed to vacate or the police will be called. I'm sure they weren't talking about me, because I saw several homeless people setting up camp on the front lawn.

I was just happy to get out of that ghetto.

 I had an hour before I could check in in Midvale, so I stopped to get a burger at a place suggested by Siri. I blogged about it here.

At the Midvale location, most everything was much better. The desk clerks were busy but did manage to notice I had walked in and tell me that I'll be helped as soon as possible. They gave me a ground floor room as requested and I don't see any cameras or PA loudspeakers around this property.  It seems much less like a low security prison and more like a place in the hospitality business.

At first I had a hard time with the wi-fi, but then it snapped into place and now seems to be working fine, albeit spotty.

I fed River and still had plenty of time to rest before leaving for class downtown.

The weather today is strange. It's about 100 degrees, but there are dark clouds in the sky. While I was feeding River I could feel the heat but not direct sunlight. And It was raining ever so slightly so that it felt more like I was experiencing pins and needles nerve pain. But it was only the occasional cool raindrop hitting my skin through the hot weather.

I hadn't been to the space before, so I looked online to suss the parking situation. It was a downtown location and the parking looked sparse so I allowed some extra time for traffic and then some extra time for parking. I didn't hit any traffic and parking around the corner was the best I could do, so I ended up arriving to the space with well over an hour to spare.

For about fifteen minutes, I let River run and roll around on the grass near where I parked. Then we walked over to the bench on the sidewalk in front of the space and hung out there until my host, Lisa, showed up. She went up, with her mother and daughter, to get the space ready as River and I continued to enjoy the fresh air and watch the city move by. At one point, a big German Shepherd got a bit too close and caused River to snap, but I calmed him down quickly and all was well.

We had a small space in a dance complex. Dance was everywhere. It reminded me of my dancing days and the times I have spent renting studio space in dance complexes.

The students gathered for class and Lisa introduced me, but I wasn't feeling it from the group. I was looking for an energy of anticipation and interest, but the feeling I was getting was more like trepidation. In fact, two of the seven students had positioned themselves such that I couldn't see them.

So before I started to speak and set the focus, I said "let's make a circle." They dutifully did, but still something seemed missing. Then I was inspired to say let's move the circle and start side stepping to my right. Once the group focused on moving the circle together, then I felt like I was ready to begin addressing them and get class started.

They needed a bit of encouragement, but on the whole really seemed to take to and enjoy all of the freedancing. I think we might have been a little crowded in the room if we were doing choreography, but as a Woodstock Experience, the crowded room seemed to add to the magic.

It was hot and we couldn't get the air conditioning to work so I suggested we just "surrender to the sweat." Instead of fighting it, accept that we were going to be dripping sweat and just go for it.

By the end, we were dripping sweat, glowing and exuding love and peace. I asked us all to keep that feeling flowing as we stepped out of class.

Afterwards, I let River run and play on that same patch of grass out by the car before we drove back to the motel.


Anonymous said…
Marcia again,

What a tough experience at the downtown motel.

You are a great guy!

Thanks again for your sharing your insights:)

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