July 21st, 2014

Detcon 1

We all had a good time at Detcon 1. This was through no fault of the hotel, where as nearly as I can tell, they had hired the rejects from Arby's to man the front desk and handle housekeeping.

When we got in on Thursday, after unloading to the Dealers' Room and parking the van, I immediately went to the front desk to check in at around 5 PM. I noted that I had four guests in the room and needed two beds and was told that they had me assigned to a room, but it hadn't yet been cleaned. They swiped my credit card, took my cellphone number, and told me that I'd get a call when the room was ready.

Having heard nothing by the time the Dealers' Room closed at 8 PM, I headed back to the line. By 8:30 PM, I got to the front of the line with the same clerk who -- after much tapping at his computer -- announced that he had a king room for me.

"I have four people in this room."

"We'll get you a rollaway."

"I have four people in this room. Two adults and two children. And you told me at 5 PM that you had a double-double room for me that just needed to be cleaned."

"I told you that I had a king room for you."

"You did not!" (And he hadn't.)

At this point, the manager interceded and I got my double-double, probably the one that the guests at the next station were trying to swap for a king room. Since there was a rate differential for "view rooms" and the clerk noted that I should "enjoy the view", I strongly suspect that they were trying to avoid actually giving view rooms that were available to people who had reserved double-double rooms at the standard rate.

I could be wrong, of course.

We dropped off our luggage in the room and went to the food court by a long and meandering path. Arriving, we grabbed dinner from Subway, which had the advantage of being open and not being Burger King. :) When I got back to the room, I noticed that there was no soap, so I headed down to the desk and waited in the shorter 11 PM line where I was supplied with the missing critical toiletry for a room with two little girls in it.

I noticed when going to bed that there was no Do Not Disturb sign either and decided to chance it. This worked out for us, as they didn't seem to arrive to clean our room until after 4 PM, but not so well for the similarly situated filkertom and Leslie who were awakened at 8 AM by housekeeping.

Housekeeping was scattershot about replacing things all weekend. On Saturday, they took the soap from the shower (I had gotten two bars from the desk and dedicated one to the shower as being much more satisfactory than the provided shower gel) and discarded it, while managing to not replace the towel that should have been left hanging in the shower. Ah, well. We still had two and the girls don't shower on a daily basis...

Other than the hotel follies (which included a remarkable circular design that left me confounded periodically), the convention was a wonderful time. The programming was good, the SpaceTime Theater show went well, there was a shorter path to the food court that I discovered on my second trip there (along with a wonderfully pleasant staff at the coney dog vendor there), Angie was wonderfully helpful in running the Dealers' Room, and sales were good. And Katie and Julie loved the Children's Programming, which counts for a lot, and had fun playing with Mia.

My only complaint about the filking was that the open filks started very late, usually at midnight. When you have to get up to open the table at 10 AM, this seems even later. :) I understand the desire to get as many filk program items, concerts, and theme circles scheduled as possible -- as in, I understand how this happens -- but it meant I could only manage an hour to an hour and a half before I had to head off to bed. (I had intended to show up on Thursday night, but I was just exhausted after the load in.)

But it was a good time.