Comfort Inn, My Ass

I’m taking on a delicate subject. I find that when I’m touching on delicate subjects, doing so in a gentle and soothing way is best. This is a tale of things that should be handled gently, handled in a way that is anything but gentle.

After a long day of travel, I wanted a few minutes of peace before enjoying a visit with my son at his university. I’d selected a Comfort Inn for my stay. I checked in, dropped my luggage, plugged in my iPhone and walked in to the bathroom to take some relief which I really should have taken miles and miles sooner.

I told you this was a delicate subject.

It Gets Worse From Here, Hang On

This is not the toilet paper in this story. It’s really not fair for me to use it as an example. I apologize in advance. (image by TristanB CCbySA3.0)

So after that relief, I reached for the toilet paper. A tug at the end of the roll got the amount of paper I needed. My finger tips told my brain that this was not my usual grade of toilet tissue. My brain was too focused on the task at hand to listen to my fingers. I went on and did what we all do with toilet paper.

Not only was this not my usual grade of toilet tissue, it was nearly as harsh as my usual grade of sandpaper. My brain got the message from my backside that my finger tips had, moments earlier, not adequately communicated. This was really rough toilet paper. How rough? This was the only toilet paper I have used in fifty-three years that…wait, that’s not fair. I should deduct two years or so for potty training. Let me restart that thought.

In more than a half century of wiping my own backside, this is the only toilet paper that actually caused me pain. Yes, it hurt. It hurt me and I knew I was going to have to use it at least one more time before I could declare the job done for this particular event. The second wipe was no more pleasant than the first.

Once the unpleasant task was complete, I took the time to examine the toilet paper still on the roll. I could practically see the wood chips in it. I am not a paper engineer, but I imagine that this particular grade of toilet paper is made by soaking the coarsest grade of wood pulp in water and then drying that mixture in the sun. I suppose it could be rougher if the manufacturer just shaved paper-thin layers of wood from a log using a hand saw, but that wouldn’t technically be paper.

And Then…

I stood around the hotel room for a few minutes. Normally, I like to sit down to think, but my butt was too sore to bear the thought of sitting.

After some consideration, I decided that I should discuss this matter with the front desk clerk, in person. I’m open to the idea that speaking with a stranger about this sort of thing might not be the best choice that I could make. Like I said, I like to sit down to think, so I might have been off my game.

The lobby was quiet when I walked up to the desk. The same front desk clerk who’d checked me in came out and asked if she could help me. I told her that I had a bit of a complaint with conditions in my room. She asked for specifics. I told her that the toilet paper in my room was the most uncomfortable thing I could recall experiencing in my life, and that included the time that I was tear gassed.

The only thing worse than this toilet paper still has cones on it. (image by ForestWander CCbySA3.0)

The front desk clerk’s jaw dropped. I took advantage of her speechlessness to tell her that if I were in prison and was issued that grade of toilet paper I would pursue a civil rights violation against the state and that I had good reason to believe that I would prevail in that action. The clerk stammered “I don’t know what to say, no one has ever complained about it before”.

We stared at each other for a moment. I decided to break the silence. “So?”, I asked. She shrugged, “it’s the only brand we have”. She was out of words. I pressed a little.

“So that’s the hotel’s only answer?” She summarized her previous statements – “no one has ever said this; it’s the only brand we have”.

I told her she’d been a big help. In that moment, I learned something about myself.  I now know that sandpapering my own ass makes me really sarcastic.

I’m about to go to sleep. I’m going to get up in the morning and check out of this place for the next part of my trip. As I drift off to sleep, I’m going to consider my next move.

Mark my words, Comfort Inn and Suites, I will be certain that you learn a very important lesson from my stay with you tonight. My lesson will be a simple extension of the adage that the customer is always right – if a person is so aggrieved by your low-budget toilet tissue that he is willing to discuss the agony of using it with a complete stranger, you should take him seriously.

And maybe offer to buy him a roll of the good stuff.

Readers, help me spread the word!


23 Comments on “Comfort Inn, My Ass”

  1. theresa says:

    It was the “Readers, help me spread the word!” that really got my attention. Clearly this made a lasting impression on you, or at least on your back side. Thank you for your candid sincerity; I’ve been there too. At least you know you’re not alone.

  2. lbwoodgate says:

    You’d have really had something to complain about if the hotel chain was named “Comfort End”. But I do empathize. The tush is not to be put in pain after laying good money down on a room where the word comfort is emphasized.

  3. This post is crying out for puns, hang on…

    – Comfort Inn is often the butt of people’s jokes.
    – That receptionist was a real pain in the ass wasn’t she.
    – You would expect the receptionist to be a bit more Charmin.
    – With toilet tissue like that, they can’t hope to wipe out the competition.
    – You should have kept going with that conversation at the desk, you were on a roll.

    That’s all I got, sorry if they were a bit shitty.

  4. Azaliah says:

    I’ve stayed at scads of Comfort Inns, and I’ve never had this problem. Are you certain you didn’t get punked by a disgruntled employee or competitor’s saboteur? Should’ve taken the roll to the desk with you.

  5. Linda Sand says:

    I also think you got punked since Comfort Inn has been our stop of choice for several years. But having received no satisfaction from the desk clerk I would have bought my own TP before going to bed so as to not have that experience again in the morning. You do have me a bit worried now since we will being staying at some Comfort Inns around Thanksgiving. So thanks for the heads up that I should bring my own paper with me just in case.

  6. NotAPunkRocker says:

    We need to launch a Twitter bomb and get this situation taken care of immediately!

    (was it at least hung “over” and not “under” on the holder, like in the picture?)

  7. You had me at “Comfort Inn, My Ass”.
    Your description of the TP in question reminded me of the lined paper they gave us to practice handwriting in 1st grade. The grace of my letters was sometimes interrupted by the visible chunks of wood in the paper.
    I used to travel with my own roll, but what with the cost of checked bags these days, I’ve had to put myself at the mercy of budget minded chambermaids.

  8. spencercourt says:

    Most times, a clerk has no power to…rectify…a situation.

    I’d have gone up the hierarchy to the manager and if still no satisfaction, then to the toll-free customer service. Being a member of their “rewards’ program helps sinec you then get a special number and those folks know you are a “frequent” customer.

    I think you can still go to the Choice website, send in a complaint and I suspect there will be something, such as perhaps a upgrade on a future stay at any Choice hotel, etc.

    • omawarisan says:

      Ha ha ha! Rectify just hit me from behind.

      Yeah, I’m going to pursue this. I agree that the clerk probably could not resolve the issue, but it seems like something she’d pass on to the boss. It wasn’t her fault…or was it?!?

  9. Ha, you sound just like my husband. He used to hoard Charmin in his room in college.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’ve always been sort of a “what ever is on sale” guy on TP. That’s one of the things I thought about in that period where I considered whether I’d say anything. This is usually such a non-issue for me; if I noticed, this stuff is bad.

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