The Market Comes Back!Okay, so I got my panties in a bunch. When you have been home for ten days not working and waiting for the phone to ring, you tend to get a little nervous. Within a few hours of having absolutely nothing on the schedule, I had made contact with a new broker and booked four weeks of work (possibly five!).
The Gift Of Kidney StonesThat frantic call I got last Friday about the instructor who was developing kidney stones ended up becoming a "go ahead" for me. The rate was acceptable (although nothing to write home about considering travel expenses). I was not too excited about teaching this awful Sharepoint class, but what else did I have to do?
So a few hours later I was shoveling a couple shirts, ties, and clean undies into my suitcase and preparing to drive to Maryland. The drive was a full seven hours, but I was up for it. I must have left close to 4:00PM and arrived at my hotel right at 11:00PM. The hotel of choice? Motel 6! I go for the cheapest hotel possible when I travel. Why? I have the following reasons:
Why To Choose a Cheap Hotel
- The sheets are just as clean(?) as the expensive hotels
- Better hotels give you free cereal, and a muffin (but charge you $20 extra per night for it)
- The "free" in-room coffee that those 'nice' hotels provide, tastes like shit!
- If you have an iron in your room, it closely resembles something made by Fisher Price. You should just plan to bring your own.
- The nicer hotels often "provide WiFi", which means they expect you to pay $10 a night for it (while you can drive to a hot spot and *steal* your access for free!)
- Nobody want's to sleep at a "shitty" motel, so you generally have the whole place to yourself
- Those nice hotels give you 100 channels. But fifteen of them are Weather channels, and another thirty five of them are "pay per view" movie channels
- Cheap hotels ... don't cost much
This Motel 6 was a whopping $60 a night (plus tax). That seemed pretty damn high to me, but everything else in the area was at least $20 more. When checking in, the guy at the counter asked, "you want a room in the front, or the back?". Having looked around the hotel before walking in, I knew that the front faced a strip mall and a car dealership. Figuring I could probably pick up a WiFi signal from there I agreed to the front. As he was ringing me up I looked down and saw a sign on the counter. It looked like it was made in Word, and had clip art of a little choo-choo. It read something like this ...
This hotel overlooks a live railroad track. Trains come regularly at intervals of 20 to 30 minutes. If you feel that the noise may bother you, please request a front facing room.
Looks like a made the right decision with that front room, eh? About getting settled into my room and climbing into bed the entire room began to shake like an earthquake, and a train came roaring down the valley behind the hotel (horn blaring). I did my best to ignore it, and sometime around 1:00 or 1:30AM I must have finally blocked it out of my head and passed out.
I awoke at 4:00AM to the sound of some woman downstairs from my room who thought it would be okay for her to have a conversation with her buddies, and maybe have a few beers. They laughed, they tossed things around. They had a good time. I eventually turned on the air conditioning fan to drown out the noise (which worked). The following night ... I slept like a LOG!
The class ended up being a real bitch to teach. Microsoft took a seminar (I think) and added some free labs from their website, and then packaged it as a "course". It is the *worst* course that they have ever offered (hands down) and I had the grand pleasure of delivering it. The evaluations for the course were of course pretty awful, but being the "nice guy" that I am, I managed to pull of a good instructor rating (which is required for getting paid!). I will think twice before agreeing to teach that class anytime soon. Although in the meantime, I think I might set up a sharepoint server just to play with it. Sharepoint is nifty!