I have never written about the wonderfulness that is the Hilton Executive Lounge, which, due to my husband's constant travel and stays at their hotels, I am welcomed into. Up until today, I have considered it a sort of adult Wonka Land, with amazing pastries and sandwiches and drinks and hot tea and snacks like mixed nuts without the peanuts. In Prague, there was a complete afternoon tea, in addition to everything else. And they were spotless and friendly. But I never wrote about them before because in typically French fashion, I took them for granted until I found something to complain about. (I don't really want to be this way, but the hard wiring was done in the womb, I'm afraid). I am in Fort Worth, Texas at the downtown Hilton and just wanted a cup of tea. No problem, I slipped my special key into the elevator and got access to the 15th floor. I used my key again to get into the Executive Lounge. Something was amiss - there were dirty plates on the tables that went with the comfortable chairs, there were no clean forks, and there was NO HOT WATER!!!
Sounds pretty bad, but I understand being overworked and understaffed, so waited politely for the one attendant , who was at the bar. I should have known it would not go well, when she told me after I handed her my cup, the she wasn't going to go get it "right now", implying that I needn't stand by the bar waiting. She then went back to chatting up the two marginal males and I went and sat in the comfy chairs and waited with the dirty dishes. 10 minutes later, she was still chatting and I left, taking with me the $5 tip I would have given her for the water. She of course, came after me telling me that she was now ready to get me my hot water. I told her that I had to leave because I was going downstairs to complain about her. Was I surprised when I got downstairs and was told that the night manager was already upstairs in the Executive Lounge? The attendant was undoubtedly doing damage control, but at least when the manager came down to the lobby, my hot water showed up too. As basically malcontent as I am, I rarely ever publicly register my complaints, since I hate to be seen as malcontent. And I must admit that I don't feel any better about it, but hope my point that women should be treated as being just as valuable as customers as men are, wasn't lost.