Not entirely food related, but nonetheless awkward… and I had to share.
Last week I tried to sneak into a hotel pool. To set the scene: Daniel and I were in Austin for a big IACP Conference, in which he was a featured speaker and I was — sort of not invited. And it happened to be hot as hell in Texas. Plus I’d heard that a nearby hotel had an amazing rooftop pool and didnt check for your room key. It would almost have been stupid of me not to sneak in.
So I packed my day bag and walked over. Got through the lobby ok — no one seemed to notice. Took the elevator up to the 8th floor and, feeling cocky, even started talking to the other passengers (“Wow, the continental breakfast is amazing here — have you tried it?“). Then the 8th floor bell chimed and I stepped off happy and fancy free. This was so easy — I should do this everyday! Two girls in sundresses (obviously hotel guests) directed me to the pool and reassured me once again about the room key. “Just walk in…no one asks”. Perfect.
I waltz through the glass doors marked Pool This Way and casually past the main desk to the sunny outdoors, and I could almost feel the warm sun on my face when I heard the worst sound imaginable: “Would you mind showing me your room key”? My stomach dropped, and I turned slowly to find a super cheerful member of the hotel staff annoyingly smiling at me. I stood frozen for a few seconds, weighing out my options, and finally decided that the best way to proceed was to lie. And here is how it went down…
Attendant: “Can I see your room key?”
Me: “No….well, I left it in my room. And now, consequently, that means I am locked out. Oh crap.”
Attendant: “No problem. What is your room number?”
Me: “Hmmm. That is a fair question. I cant remember.”
Attendant: “OK, what is the name on your room?”
Me: “Oh, yes.. very smart. Good thinking. Um, It’s Daniel Klein”
Attendant: “There is no Daniel Klein that is staying here.”
Me: “Wow. Thats so strange.”
Attendent: “Uh huh.”
Me: “Yep. Strange.”
Attendent, slightly pissed: “(sigh)…Why dont you just go ahead into the pool and bring your card next time.”
And with my tail tucked neatly between my legs, I walked into the pool area, feeling like crap. I knew I was lying, I knew that she knew I was lying. I couldnt bare to be there with all the guilt; with all the hotel staff staring at me, judging me. So I left. Any type of hotel pool that makes you feel badly about not technically being allowed to swim there is not a pool I want to be in. I called my sister on the way out — seething with embarrassment. “Don’t worry, I doubt she thought you were lying”, Jenny reassured me… “She probably just thought you were someone’s prostitute”. Didn’t make me feel that much better.