I’m Sorry About The Do Not Disturb Sign ThingPosted: November 11, 2013
I’ve recently noticed that the Do Not Disturb signs in hotels almost always have the same message on both sides. The old signs, with a message on one side to the housekeeper that the room was ready for cleaning, are rare.
While this isn’t a change that’ll end the world, I feel somewhat responsible for the fact that it became necessary. I regret my part in causing it.
Yes, I flip other people’s “Do Not Disturb” signs to the “Please Make Up This Room” side.
It started when I was a kid. I’d noticed the sign in a hotel room my family shared. On the way to check out, I flipped my first sign. What could be funnier than some person having a hotel housekeeper walk in on them sleeping? I didn’t know, so I picked a door and changed its “do not disturb” to “make up this room right away.” It was an impulsive, childish thing to do.
Once we were on the road, I told my parents what I’d done. Perhaps it seems odd that I did that. There was some logic in my decision to tell on myself.
I think, as a rule, funny stuff isn’t funny unless you share it. I shared with my mom and dad. They did not see the humor in what I’d done. There are exceptions to every rule.
My parents corrected me. They told me that changing do not disturb signs wasn’t funny. A long time passed before I pulled the sign stunt again.
Once A Sign Flipper…
Decades later, I was in a hotel. I had a class to teach in the morning. A loud party erupted in the room next door. Knocking on the wall didn’t help. Neither did calling the front desk. The party ended around three.
At five-thirty, I went to work. I re-set the alarm clock for six-thirty, turned it up and leaned the speaker side against the wall. There was an alarm setting on the television, I set that for quarter to seven and turned the volume up to eleven. And the icing on the cake was flipping their sign on my way out so the maid would feel free to drop by.
I don’t know if the housekeeper arrived in time to disturb them. I’d like to think so.
The housekeepers are the innocent victims of my mischief.
As a kid, I didn’t factor that in. I only saw the “humor” of the room occupants being surprised by a stranger in their midst. My ethics have progressed beyond those of an eight-year-old. Sure, the progress has been gradual; some progress is better than none, I think.
So, in addition to apologizing to the entire hospitality industry, I want to apologize to the housekeepers in every inn I’ve ever spent a night in. They’ve been the unwitting pawns in my childhood humor and adult attempts to right hotel wrongs.
…Always A Sign Flipper
My dad told me long ago that a leopard doesn’t change his spots. I know he was trying to teach me a lesson about other people. However, in this case, I have to say grrrrrr…or whatever leopards say.
I’ll still flip a sign now and again. When I do, it is usually when I’m traveling with friends. I don’t have any idea why I find it more acceptable to traumatize a hotel maid by exposing my friends to them. I’ll need to do something about that.
Maybe a leopard doesn’t change his spots, but he could cover them with a sweatshirt…right?