Reasons to hate Reading #8

My hotel nemesis has been undergoing a refurbishment of the rooms and corridors for a couple of months now to improve the ambience of the place.  Nothing about hiring more staff so you don’t have to sit at breakfast for 20 minutes before you can attract someone’s attention to order tea or coffee though.  Likewise, having someone else available to answer the room service line and pass on a message when a Christmas Party night are swamping the bar area with pre-dinner drinks so there’s no need to constantly redial it for 35 minutes when someone lifts the receiver and immediately hangs up to stop the ringing noise seems to be beyond them.

What it does mean that some rooms get new 32″ flat screen TV’s in place of the 1990’s 20″ portables (each of which seems to randomly not have one channel that the others do, although if there are colleagues in the same place you can turn this into a perverse game of Top Trumps for example, a claim of  “I have no Channel 4”, would be thrashed by the response “I have no BBC 2 and can’t see the faces on Channel Five for snow!”) as part of this.  Note I say “some rooms”.  Others just have the same portable, albeit it an updated model as the remote is exactly the same as before.

The curious thing about this entertainment centre enhancement program is that all they do is swap on television for the other.  The cabling remains exactly the same even if you see much more of it hanging over the top of the unit it sits on due to the reduced footprint of the hardware.  This makes it even more baffling that channels which were previously available in the room on the old set have vanished altogether on the new one.

It’s not just that they’re in the wrong order either. I found BBC 1 eventually somewhere on station seven but going right through the list the other “council telly” channels with the exception of BBC 2 (on button two) were entirely absent.

As if to confound things even more, each time the TV was turned on it appeared that the channels available, their order and location had changed!

Still, the Onion Rings they serve have been very tasty, so it’s not all bad…


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