Thursday, June 07, 2012

Turning On Made Easy

In the good old days, you walked into your hotel room and turned on the light via the switch near the door. Usually that meant that the light in the ceiling went on. You next walked over to the night table and turned the switch on the lamp near the bed. And voilà, there was plenty of light.


Well, things have totally changed. The idea of simply turning on a light with switches in the traditional, logical places is a thing of the past.

Today, when you walk into your room in a deluxe hotel, the light switches and the lights themselves are rarely in the same places. You are never quite sure which light is where and how you’re supposed to turn it on. A carefully constructed communications diagram is desperately needed to direct guests to the right switch.

Let me give you one scenario. Enter the hotel room. Place the “key” (in the shape of a credit card) in a slot on a wall near the entrance. No one has told you to do this…you figure it out because, if you go directly to the lamp near the bed, the light will not turn on via the switch. The credit card near the slot will turn on most of the lights, but not all. There are a slew of switches on the wall with no indication of which switch is for which lamp or other light. In fact, the switch could be on the wall or in a push button on the base of the lamp or a switch encased in plastic on the wire hanging from the lamp. The light for the bathroom may be nowhere near the bathroom, but even if it is, you have to figure out if the bathroom-only switch will work without the master key being inserted, particularly if you get up in the middle of the night and you have no need for the master switch.

Ok. Ok. I’m sure you’re tired of reading this chatter. I suppose the hotels think this new approach is cool, as it is electronic and “remote.” But why not a bellman explanation when he takes you to your room…or a lighting diagram…or just a booklet titled, “How to Master the Lights”!

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