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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

1 comments | Sunday, February 18, 2007

Worst things happen when you least expect them.

Last night, I had a very bad experience with my housing accommodation. So bad it was that it could even be credited as the the worst experience I ever had in all my far-away travels.

I was locked out. In a more understandable manner, it means, I was not able to enter my own residence hall in the middle of the night (I mean, early dawn). I work till wee hours in the morning and usually wrap up things around 2AM. Many would ask me why I do it. The best answer I could give is that, I am a night owl. Work efficiency reaches its peak when I get to work alone in a quiet night when there is no one I see and talk to. I could get problems figured out, ideas organized and book chapters reviewed. The silence of the night is my ever loyal companion.

It was around 3AM when I decided to go home and sleep. However, to my surprise, a note was posted on the door telling all occupants to report to the front desk to have the keys changed to new ones. The residential management replaced the security locks during the day for all doors around the hall. So I went to the lobby hoping to get my new key. Another surprise waited for me. Front desk was closed. Nobody was around. I was left with no option but to return to the office and sleep there. With my inside fuming with so much rage, I went back to my office, opened the PC and sent an email to the resident director, the residential staff and one for the international office.

I told them I was upset for them not posting a warning or anything like it in advance. I was furious in my email that I told them I wanted to file a complaint against the one responsible for this. It was a sure lapse of judgment. So, there I was in the office trying to find a place to sleep. I tried sleeping while sitting. It didn't work. Finally, I cleaned the desks for papers and books and squeezed myself into it, praying too that I would just be fixed in my sleeping position and never change, otherwise, the floor would have a big laugh when I fall.

I couldn't sleep. The office was beginning to feel like a refrigerator set to a chilling temperature. It was very upsetting!

Here is part of my email:

If you change keys without warning, why wasn’t there anyone at the front desk to attend to those who, unfortunately, weren’t able to read your note that was posted very late? Shouldn’t there be someone that would at least man the desk overnight?

I want an explanation for this. I also would like to file a COMPLAINT for this treatment. Because honestly, I cannot sleep in this STUPID little chair!!!!

I am writing this because I know I have the right since I paid full for my room for four months. All I need is a good management and a proper dissemination of information.

At around 8AM, I went back to the front desk and saw no one, still. Thirty minutes after and finally a guy with a very hoarse voice came out and entertained me. Furious, I told him about my disappointment. He said that there was a need to change keys since a guy (probably a maintenance guy) lost his set of keys and those keys could access almost all the rooms in the hall. He further said that I needed to talk to the proper authority, that is, to the hall director.

I slept inside my room finally and woke up around 2PM. When I checked my email, I had this:

I would like to apologize for the situation that you encountered. The lock change was necessitated by situations out of my control. The warning signs were posted all day, and the doors were not locked until 11pm. The desk was staffed until 3am, however I do not have staff present this weekend to staff the desk further. The desk hours for Saturday are Noon to 3am, and Sunday from 3pm to midnight. If you are not able to make it to the front desk during these hours because of your work schedule, please feel free to contact me on my cell phone at 605-690-9032 and I would be more than happy to arrange a time that is convenient for you to exchange your old security key for a new one. I am also working with my staff today to change all of the signs to contain more information to clearly explain how to contact someone after hours to get a new key. There is a procedure in place, and I apologize that it was not clear to you how to access staff after the desk closed. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact me via email or phone, or to set up an appointment with me through the front desk.

I accepted his apology since I understand their intention about the sudden decision of changing the locks. However, it would never change the fact that I haven’t slept a wink the whole morning and that I ended up shaking in cold, sitting inside the office while eating a cookie from a vending machine to ease a hungry stomach!

I emailed back:

The reason is commendable since it involves securing the hall for a possible intruder that might ransack the rooms. Nonetheless, in an emergency like this, all possible options must be exhausted and thought of so as not to endanger the residents indirectly. The solution must not become an additional problem.

The problem I saw was the failure to post on ALL door entrances the information of whom to contact to when locked out. Had I seen a post, I would have dialed the number and asked for help.

I ended by saying, "this is the worst experience I had and I am sure I cannot forget – very tormenting, emotionally and physically!

I still have to wait for a reply from the international office though. I'll update you about this soon.



Anonymous James (dcjay) in Washington said...

Bummer. :-)

February 18, 2007 5:31 PM


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