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Thread: Hotel Safety

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default Hotel Safety

    I'm wasn't sure what forum to put this in. Please feel free to move it if you think it's appropriate.

    Last weekend I attended a conference. As usual, my tightwadness made me look for alternative lodging than the host hotel. I found a Motel 6 just a couple of blocks from the host hotel for about 1/2 the price.

    After checking in and going to my room, I had a bizarre experience. Someone banged on my door. I looked through the viewing hole in the door and there was a guy out there I had never seen. Kinda scruffy looking. He banged on the door again and then said my name. What the heck? How in the heck did he know my name? I was sure glad that I had used the sliding-bolt lock in the door handle and that little secondary "lock" that hooks from the frame to the door so someone can't open the door past that point.

    Anyway, I needed to leave in just a few minutes to get to the conference and I was a bit frazzled and nervous to leave the room. So I called the front desk. The clerk there was very helpful. He temporarily closed the office to come to my room and escort me to my car. He informed me that the security guard is on duty starting at 10pm and that I could have an escort from my car to my room if I wanted. I did. So, when I returned later that evening, I parked by the lobby, waited for the security guard to stand in the parking lot and watch me park, and then walk me to my room. I also had him wait while I went into my room and looked around to ensure it was safe.

    Of course, after he left, I immediately used both locks described above.

    In all my travels, this is the first time I was nervous. And, since personal safety, especially for women solo travelers, is often discussed on this forums, I thought I should relay the courteous and prompt response to my situation from the hotel clerk.

    Neither the clerk or I could figure out how he knew my name. There was nobody in the lobby when I checked in to overhear anything. Quite frankly, the guy was saying things like "Judy, what's up? Let me in." I almost wonder if it was a coincidence and he had the wrong room. Who knows?

    Just wanted to relay a way to deal with this type of situation and to commend the fact that a low-paid clerk at a budget hotel was so attentive to my needs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default weird experiences

    Judy,

    I can relate to what you say in your post, I've been through several weird experiences before. You acted the right way, you didn't panic and focused on what you could do. Panicking is always useless in any kind of situation and especially in dangerous ones. I often managed to get out of bizarre situations because I didn't panick. Even when I'm scared to death inside, I won't show it on the outside. I guess we need to repeat it again and again : always lock the doors of your vehicle and motel room. And even at home, you never know. When I was living in Montreal by myself a few years back, I came home one night to realize the back door of my apt was unlocked and that the light was on in the kitchen while I knew I didn't leave it on when I left... A pretty scary experience I can tell you, and in Montreal you can't count on your neighbors if something happens!

    Gen

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default

    Judy,
    From what I read, I assume you didn't open the door or make any reply. My plan when ever I stay at motels (even motel 6), is that if there is someone knocking at the door, besides the pizza dude, I pretend I don't exist.

    I do want to point out though that I have stayed at Motel 6's MANY MANY times, and have never had a problem.

    Brad

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Brad, of course I didn't open my door. My concern was that I was leaving immediately to attend a meeting. If this flake was out there wandering around, I didn't want to get jumped going to my car. Hence, the call to the front desk asking for an escort to my car. If I didn't have to leave right away, I would have still called the front desk to let them know some whacko was running around pounding on doors.

    I stay in budget hotels, including lots of Motel 6, whenever I travel. I'm cheap when it comes to spending money on a place to hang my hat. The few times I've stayed in nicer hotels, usually when it's been a business trip and the company is paying, I'm no more comfortable in a fancy-swanky place than I am in a cheap place. And I've never had a problem before, ever. I certainly didn't write this to warn people away from budget lodging.

    Gen, I agree that not panicking is the best way to deal with such situations. If you must, panic after it's over. I actually tend to get more angry, as in "you're not gonna mess with me, you jerk" angry. And I always have in the back of my mind that I'm not gonna let people see me sweat. I simply refuse.

    Anyway, I've never ever had any experience with a real dangerous situation. I've never been jumped or mugged or anything like that. I hope I could hold my head together if something like that ever happened to me. I think part of that is having a plan. I tend to always plan a bit ahead for such possibilities. I don't know if that is the nature of being a woman and always knowing that I'm a tad vulnerable, or what. Example: I look to park my car in areas where there is good lighting and a clear route to where I need to go. If I'm carrying something heavy, I hold it in a way that I can swing it at someone's face. If I've only got my wallet and keys, I hold my keys between my fingers in a way that I can jab them in someone's eyes. I'm not paranoid or scared. It's just more of a matter of routine for me. Hope that makes sense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default good job

    Hi Judy,
    As a lot of people have mentioned, I have also stayed in a lot of Motel 6's. Not a single problem. But you never know.
    Maybe this guy got some info from the hostel you chked out!!!
    This is a lesson for all of us. We can/should be careful at all times.
    Btw, where did this happen? In WA?

    Cool.

  6. Default Possible coincidence

    Judy,
    The way you describe it, it sounds like it was probably more a coincidence and a mistaken room number than anything else -- but of course you never know, and it pays to be extra careful.

    I had the same kind of thing happen to me at a Motel 6 in Flagstaff a couple weeks back -- although the two people knocking on my door at 11:00 pm were not yelling my name. It seemed they just had the wrong room.

    I think you did the smart thing by calling the desk.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Yeah, the wierd part is that he knew my name. I do think that was coincidence but my name is all that common either. To be honest, he may have been saying Julie. It was hard to know for sure.

    Just to repeat....in no way do I mean to imply that Motel 6 or other budget hotels are unsafe. I don't believe that's true. I've stayed in way too many of them over the years to believe that. This could have happened in virtually any hotel.

    My intent was to illustrate how important it is to keep your wits about you when traveling alone. In other words, don't be paranoid, don't be fearful of doing things that will make your trip fun, but keep your personal radar honed and have a gameplan to keep yourself safe.

    If I had not needed to leave the room right away, I wouldn't have called the desk at all. I would have just settled in with doors locked. The fact that I did need to leave and that the side of the hotel my room was on was where there was no traffic or activity and the walk across the parking lot to my car was fairly dark with rather poor lighting made me realize I should take that extra precaution. A better safe than sorry situation.

    I would stay at that hotel again in a heartbeat if I needed to be in that area again for something. I don't blame the incident on the hotel.

    BTW, Cool, it was at the South Everett Motel 6 in WA state. I sent an email to the hotel commending the clerk for being so helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default I stayed there!

    Judy,
    I stayed there when I visited WA last month.
    I have never come across these situations; hence I did not know how I will react to them. Now, I know how I should.
    thanks Judy.

    Cool

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    It was a new one for me, too!

    I think main thing to take from this is that it's always a good thing to be aware of your surroundings and it's a good idea to play brief scenarios in your mind on what you would do if an emergency situation happened. There has been quite a bit of study into what separates survivors from those who die during emergencies. One interesting study had to do with a plane incident a few years back where the plane had trouble in the air and had an emergency landing. I believe this occurred in the Canary Islands. Anyway, many passengers died AFTER the safe landing when they didn't get out of the plane and it exploded.

    Survivors interviewed later pretty much all indicated that they had taken the time to read the emergency information, to note where the emergency exits were, and to do things like count the number of seats they would have to pass to get to those emergency exits. They had done this scenario-playing in their heads. So, when they had to get out, they knew what to do and did it. One lady who survived had not done this but her husband had. He grabbed her hand and led her out. She said she barely recalls any of this because she was in a state of shock. She looked back at friends traveling with them to see if they were coming and they were sitting in their seats with a look of shock on their faces. They died...as did dozens of others who also just sat in their seats in shock.

    So, I guess, the moral of the story is to not live in fear or a state of paranoia but, rather, to just be aware.

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