Friday, November 6, 2009

The Cast of Characters at the Holiday Inn Viking

During this year, I have been on many work related road trips and thus had to book a lot of hotel rooms. I was gone for six weeks and thus had stayed around 30 nights in motels. I decided to take advantage of the situation and enrolled in the Priority Rewards program for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express motels where I could get free nights and other perks. So when I headed down to St. Louis, I found a Holiday Inn motel close to several of the attractions we were planning on seeing and booked it to cash a few of those hard earned chips.

As it turned out, it was a motel that I had stayed in on one of my trips and the same cast of people were still working there. I guess the cast didn't strike a chord with me on the first time since I had other work related things on my mind but it certainly did the second time around and so I am going to blog on it.

The cast that I am referring too are the people who run the Viking restaurant and lounge attached to this particular Holiday Inn. We hadn't been planning on eating there but since we had $10 off coupons, we decided we would anyway. I had remembered the service being painfully slow but it was raining and we didn't have a full schedule anyway so what they hey.

We were shown to our table by the Forgetful Waitress who as programmed asked for our drink orders which consisted of only the water in which the Splash and Dash delivered to us seconds before we could even get sat down. In fact, in his haste to fill up our glasses, he actually ran into me as I was taking off my coat and for a few seconds, I thought I was going to end up on the floor with my arms still caught in a tangle of sleeves. Mr. Splash and Dash just swooped in and within nanoseconds, had each glass filled to the brim with pools of water around each and a few stray ice cubes which he quickly swept to the floor. On my previous stay and subsequent three breakfast meals with Mr. Splash and Dash, I had learned to sit far enough back from the table so that the rivulets of water cascading from the table would not get me wet. Only after he had safely left would I slide closer to the table.

So we seated ourselves after the coast was cleared and proceeded to wait for fifteen minutes or so before Ms. Forgetful came back to take our orders. Fortunately we could watch Mr. Sweeper slowly cover every square inch of the carpet with one of those non-powered sweepers with a plastic broom handle and a squeaky wheel. Squeak-squeak-squeak was the only thing that could be heard for the next ten minutes until he had finished and left the room.

After our order, we chatted on the decades of our life gone by and those to hopefully come. We got up to loosen our limbs and wait for the coast to clear when ever Mr. Splash and Dash came to top off our water glasses, we took naps, read numerous books and just generally whittled away the time the best that we could. There were only three other tables that had people in them and they were all eating so you would think that it wouldn't take long to whip up some eggs, fruit, toast and hash browns for two and a half people but I am here to tell you that it evidently takes 45 minutes. I suspected that Ms. Forgetful had forgotten to give our order but didn't have any proof. What I do know is that Mr. Sweeper made his second of three appearances while we were still waiting sweeping a floor on which only Mr. Splash and Dash had walked on since the last time he has swept it.

Finally, nearly an hour after we arrived, we finally got our meals and ten minutes later were done and ready for our ticket. This is when Ms. Forgetful really shone because it was another twenty minutes before she came out of where ever she had been hiding while we had been visited yet again by Mr. Splash and Dash and Mr. Sweeper had completed his third trip around the room with the squeaky wheel. If I had had a piece of toast left, I would have tried to sop up some bacon grease and fixed that irksome noise.

An hour and a half after we dropped in to have a quick bite to eat before hitting the road, we finally left the Viking restaurant after stiffing the waitress any tip. Perhaps she remembered me stiffing her for the very same reasons eight months ago when I was there last? The Holiday Inn Viking is a great place to stay and if you have time to kill and $10 off in coupons, the food is better than average. However, the $10 off that left me with only $9.95 left to pay for the three of us, was still worth less than the loss of an hour and a half of my life sharing a room with Ms. Forgetful, Mr. Splash and Dash and Mr. Sweeper. I think I would rather spend the extra $10 and get an hour of my life back especially when in an area of the country I was itching to explore.


R. Sherman said...

It's been a long time since the Viking has been any good. The downturn started when the motel came and it was catering to more to travelers than diners. Believe it or not, it used to be a fairly posh establisment with pretty decent food.


Murf said...

I don't have the patience for something like that. I could feel myself getting more agitated just reading this. are a stand and remove coat kind of person, eh? I'm more of a sit and then remove.

Ed said...

R. Sherman - I've only eaten breakfast there but the last several times, it has been decent food still.

Murf - When you are six-two, any kind of sitting and removing anything is more of a contortion act.

geri said...

I laughed about the taking a nap part. An hour for a meal? In the Philippines perhaps, but here? Not if I had my husband with me hahaha

PhilippinesPhil said...

Gawd! I thought you were talking about eating in a restaurant over here. Geez, i hope someone in charge of the place reads this post. That would be cool if it got some things shook up for the better. Too bad its not acceptable to tip the cooks. The food was good but the wait staff sucks, right? Ergo....

TC said...

Of all the names, Splash and Dash was my fave.

Eutychus2 said...

Could there be a conspiracy between Splash/Dash and Mr. Sweeper .... one creates the mess the other sweeps it up - call it a kind of 'job security' thing?