Morning couldn’t come fast enough. I packed up everything in my room with the intent of not staying in it another night, depending on how things worked out. On my way out, I went to talk to the person at the front desk regarding the discussed refund. Well, the wonderfully helpful and apologetic young lady from last night was replaced by “Florida’s Textbook Karen”. She condescendingly informed me that since my reservation was made through Hotels.com, that I would need to go through them to receive my refund…and then, she’d still have to approve it. Realizing that this discussion wasn’t going to be a fruitful one, I said “Okay, I will”, and headed to my car for my first day on the job site.
I walked into the office where I was to work for the next several days. This office has its headquarters in Manhattan, so many of the people here, I had spoken with before. Many of them have put in helpdesk tickets and phone calls over the years, so it was nice to put names to faces, and vice versa. With that, I got to work.
I won’t bore you with technical details, but suffice it to say that there was a lot to do. I got to my first milestone, and then headed to get some food. A local Cuban restaurant had its Wednesday special as arroz con pollo and…whatever those delicious plantains are that I can never seem to make. I was initially planning on getting something a bit different, but this was easily the best arroz con pollo I’ve ever had, and the staff was nice. The late Ralphie May (and later Gabriel Iglesias) have sketches regarding Cuban coffee, so I definitely had to have some. It’s strong, it’s sweet, it’s got no milk, and it does indeed come in a cup the size of a shot glass with a handle.
Back to work, and another round of setup was underway. A nontrivial part of it had to do with untangling some of the mess; their old IT person set things up pretty well given the circumstances, but it was time to improve on this without making a mess. More nerdy things, along with a bit of waiting until everyone else left for the day.
During that time, I made a couple of phone calls; between Hotels.com, the CFO of the client who was covering the hotel, and the staff-recommended hotel nearby, I had new reservations, a green-light to cover the cost, and my dispute underway for the old hotel. It was nice to know I had somewhere to go that night…and that it wouldn’t be Hotel Chlamydia.
The computers I was working on were nearly ten years old, and weren’t high-end units at the time, either. This made the work very time consuming; a delivered Papa John’s pizza was dinner, and its consumption was the only respite once the staff left. Despite only having eleven computers in the office, attempting to do all the work in parallel is a surefire way to make sure that a step is skipped on one computer or another. One computer failed at step 1; I knew it needed to be the first thing on my list the next day. It was 2:30 in the morning when I left. I took a moment to provide some documentation to my coworkers back home, along with a note for the office manager, in the event there was a show-stopper at 8:30 in the morning when they arrived. I knew it’d be 10 before I would arrive.
When I checked into my new hotel room…it was the polar opposite of the room I’d stayed in. The room was spotless – there wasn’t a surface I wouldn’t be comfortable eating off of. Everything had a contemporary styling, there was a kitchen area complete with a dishwasher and a two-burner stove, and the bathroom was immaculate, stocked with Paul Mitchell shampoos and conditioners. I’d felt the hotel was a bit more expensive than I was hoping to pay, but I can most certainly say that I got what I paid for – a perfect night’s sleep in a super comfortable bed.