There is a scene in the movie “Pretty Woman” where actor Richard Gere’s character tries to open his hotel room using a magnetized card key rather than an actual key, causing him frustration in trying to get the card to work during which he mutters “I miss keys.”
“Pretty Woman” was released in 1990 and those card keys have been in use in most hotels since that time, at least at places I have stayed. However, over the last five years or so I haven’t traveled as much as I used to so I’m not up on what’s new in the world of travel with things like hotel room keys. That all changed when I recently stayed in an upscale hotel in downtown Denver with a contingency from Brush. When I checked in I received a key that looked a lot like the standard hotel card key, however I discovered when I got to my room there wasn’t a slot for the key in the door. I looked at the key and it had some small pictures on it indicating the key should be swiped on the room door handle. This turned out to be a somewhat tricky and, yes, a little frustrating when it wouldn’t work the first time, or the next time or the time after that. Eventually I did get the darn thing to work, however during that whole weekend I don’t think I ever got it to work on the first try.
You also had to swipe the card in the elevator if you got on the elevator on the first floor and you were going up. I don’t know how many times over the course of the weekend I forgot to have my key ready when I got in the elevator and had to rely on a fellow elevator passenger to swipe it for me or ride up in the elevator and back down again and start all over.
However, what turned out to be the biggest challenge of all during my hotel stay was the alarm clock in the room, although I wouldn’t really call it a clock. It was much larger than the standard alarm clock and looked more like some sort of device you might find on a spaceship what with all of its gizmos and buttons. It also had a place where you could “dock” your iPhone or iPad, both of which I have, but have long guessed I am not using to the fullest of their abilities. I am not sure what the advantage of docking these devices would be – I guess to listen to your own music you may have downloaded. (I am sure you younger, more tech-savvy people reading this are shaking your heads at my lack of techie knowledge.) However, at the time I was viewing this space clock in bewilderment all I really wanted to do was set the alarm. For the life of me I could not figure out how to do that, so I decided to use the alarm on my phone instead.
I do give myself brownie points for attempting to even mess with the clock because the next morning I asked members of my group if anyone else had found the clock challenging. One person said “I decided to not even attempt to use it. I just called the front desk for a wakeup call.” For now that’s an option, but who knows, wake up calls or phones in rooms or even a front desk could also soon be a thing of the past like the slot in the door for a card key.