Monday, February 9, 2009

Elevator 13 Drama at Blissdom 09

You have to have a little drama at a Blissdom 09 conference right? I got to take part in that bit'o fun on Saturday night. Let me put this into perspective first.
We stayed in the Hotel Preston in Nashville TN for our conference. Our rooms were lovely and beds were comfortable. We didn't have to walk forever to get to our conference sessions. However....when it came to the elevators...there was much to be desired. There were 2 very small elevators for the entire hotel. After each session of our conference you had to line up...and I mean line up... to wait for a ride to your room. Picture 200 woman waiting to get on 2 small elevators. Do you think that as in most situations when those elevator doors put only 7 people (which I guess was posted on the inside of the door, but I never saw until after our most unforgettable moment of Blissdom)in at a time or would you get as many as you could fit on the elevator so others wouldn't have to wait so long? ( pile in)
So now fast forward to Saturday night after waiting for these elevators for 2 days...we finished up the Girls Night Out party (lots of fun...thank you!!) and headed to the elevators. Doors opened and everyone got on. Ali and I were the last two and they invited us in and said they would make room. We had started the decent up and all of a sudden we had the floor drop out from under us for a moment. It was enough that 13 woman screamed in unison! Then the realization that we were stuck hit pretty quick when we weren't moving and the doors weren't opening. Hello???!!
The one closest to the elevator phone ...Heather ...did as we have always heard you should do and tried to call the front desk for help. She was getting no answer. So the next step was to call the front desk. We had one calling a friend in the hotel from her cell phone and asking her to go and tell the front desk we were stuck....another one looking up the number of Hotel Preston on her phone and someone else calling the front desk directly, and I do think there were a couple people twitting for help. I on the other hand pulled out my handy dandy little Flip camera that I just got and decided to film a bit. Not any help in the moment of crisis.....but fun now that we are all safe and back home.
We had 13 people packed like sardines into this elevator (limit 7 people....but we were under the 2400 lb weight limit and that is what really matters.) There were lights that were sooooo hot glaring down on us.
Listen carefully to what was being said by some...sounds like we were going to have a little hoopla for the dirty bloggers (thank you Chris Mann for asking who writes the dirty blogs) to blog about!!

Emotions ranged from laughing and trying to keep things light to fear for some. Although we were between the basement and first floor...being packed into a tight space with little fresh air and hot lights beating down on you can really do a number on someone who is the least bit claustrophobic and some who maybe didn't even think they were claustrophobic. I think the unknown of how long we were going to be in there also can do a number on your head. Ali and I were right by the doors and they were a little cooler. After we had been standing there for a little bit we offered to move and give others a chance to be where it may be cooler. I intended to be the one to move because other than sweat flowing freely down my otherwise non existent cleavage (Ali...I think you really should have won that award for best cleavage at Blissdom!!) I was fine. But as it worked out the woman that came up front was closer to Ali. It worked like a Rubik's cube to try and move. You couldn't move into that slot until someone else moved first.
Here is the video Blog roll of the now famous (and watch Heather's Queen of Shake Shake's blog because she is working on the getting the movie deal for us....we have to figure out who would play our parts can leave your suggestions for that in the comments!!) elevator 13!!

In this next clip we are like close to 40 minutes into it and still trying to stay cheerful...notice how shiny we all are....ok....we were glistening (as one put it in the elevator) just a bit!! Nah....we were sweating like pigs!!
Oh....the pregnant woman that was so claimed we had with us....we did. But she was not birthing twins as we were stuck in that elevator as was rumored...and we weren't on the 120th floor and no Chris Mann was not with us...darn it...heck, we would have been happy to be stuck in there for even longer if he was.)....she is however 3 months pregnant...Miss Ali of Alidotes! (Love ya roomie!!

When we pressed the button to try and find out what was going on, we would get a response....but they weren't real good at checking on our status inbetween...and I don't think they were at all excited to hear from us when they did...I think they were a little scared of the hormones of 13 woman trapped in an elevator to want to talk to us much....
We were told that the elevator man had been called...and was working on it. When he first got there he opened the basement doors and we caught a glimpse of him....not sure what he got glimpses of..but he never spoke to us (again...I think very afraid of us) . He just closed the door without a word and kept on working. We felt him or someone (evidently the manager was also helping) on top of the elevator...little scary, as we were being bounced around a bit at that point as they were working on things. We didn't know that the elevator won't fall (of course the next day I talked to my hubby who says they can't fall....even if you cut the cable there are safety mechanisms in place in the walls that will stop the elevator from falling....But as I told him...but we only see what is in movies and they fall in the movies!!)
I am still waiting 2 days later to hear back from the manager who had to talk to his manager who had to talk to someone else to see if they were going to do anything to try and turn this "not so lovely experience and memory of their Hotel" into at some form of a positive experience. Wouldn't you think it would be worth it to them to keep bloggers on the positive side for their Hotel's reputation?
Here is a brief glimpse of our freedom. We had no idea when the doors were going to open, so my purse being on the floor almost flattened Ali as she tripped over it getting out. (Thank goodness I didn't hurt the pregnant lady!!

Here is the blog roll of who was on this adventure:

1) Heather at Queen of Shake Shake
2) Jennifer at Playgroups are No Place for Children
3) Victoria at V-Dog
4) Heather at The Spohrs are Multiplying
5) Emily at DesignHER Momma
6) Amy at Amy in Ohio
7) Hebba at JeepGirl17
8) Shannan at Mommy Bits
9) Ali at Blessed Treehous
10) Jenny at Mommin’ It Up
11) Dawn at Kaiser Alex
12) Cortney at Once a Month Mom
13) That would be me!!

Visit their blogs and say hello!! I will be posting more pleasant things about Blissdom 09 soon because I did have a great time. We got to hear some amazing singers and I learned so much!!!! But I had several people who really wanted to see these exclusive videos!!! (Maybe I will have ET tonight or Oprah knocking on my door? Yah think???)

Update as of 7pm Monday - The general manager did call me. He was only on his 4th day of general manager of this hotel. (But to get that title I am sure he has been in the business a long time and has experience dealing with problems). He is going to have some training for his employees and has a meeting scheduled with the elevator company and owners. I suggested a sign on the outside of the elevators mentioning how many people should get on. Of course it has nothing to do with the number of people, but the weight limit - which he agreed with.
He offered me a very small discount to my bill which I ended up telling him was basically insulting. I told him that it would be like a restaurant giving you your coke when your meal had been ruined. He did add a little more that I still think was insufficient to try and keep a customer happy and feel happy about hotel, but what can I say. (Personally I think the bill should have been completely comped...but maybe I am being unrealistic myself.) He did call and is going to make some changes that will hopefully keep it from happening again and keep future clients happy.


Designher Momma said...

You are the best! Love it! Fun to meet you, even if it was under "hot" circumstances.

Leighann said...

I heard about it on Twitter. But as I was on the 8th floor, I was of no help to you gals. Glad you all got out relatively unscathed. At least you have a good story.

And yes, the hotel should have comped your rooms. Shame on them for not doing so immediately.

Ghennipher said...

Oh gosh...I'm so sorry you ladies were stuck in there so long! I heard about it but had no idea it was so many of you for so long. I agree with Leighann that the hotel should have comped your rooms.

Glad everything turned out ok and that you had @iamchrismann to think about and distract you ;-)

Ally B said...

I'm sorry you all were stuck in there... but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am SO THANKFUL that I was a party-pooper and already in my room! And you should be happy too because I would have FREAKED. Like full on panic attack, crying, throwing up... I'm getting nervous just thinking about it!

But thanks for the story and videos!

It was great meeting you, too!

Amy in Ohio said...

Shew, what a relief that my asshat/wobbler moment wasn't caught on flip!

Thanks Sandy!

Shannanb aka Mommy Bits said...

First - Thank you for letting me move to the front and lean against the cold metal. It def. helped me stay calm!

I still haven't heard from a manager - and I know he has my number as I gave it to him that night. I love your suggestion for the sign out in front of the elevators. This was my second time at the hotel and I'd never noticed the 7 person weight limit before!


Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Ahhhhhhh! I would have freaked. So sorry for you gals. Glad it is over.

Bargain Briana said...

I agree. I ASSUMED the elevator 13 would have been 100% comped and they would have told you that as you were getting out of the elevator.

(They comped me $30 for a room with trash behind the bed, power going out in bathroom, and dead bugs.)

Haven't watched the videos yet but I will! :)

As I have said previously, 250 bloggers, these could have been the BEST thing possible for their hotel if they would have done it right. However, they didn't and now this stuff is out there no matter what they do at this point, it isn't enough.

The Elevator was the grand finale but there were other "little" things they went wrong too!

Ali said...

This was such a riot! LOVE the videos. It looks like you figured out how to upload for NewBaby!
And best cleavage? I'm flattered. I'm sure my husband would agree, but beyond that, who knows.
In retrospect, it was kind of fun to be in that elevator and share that experience with everyone.
Thanks for this THOROUGH post.
I'm linking to it from alidotes tomorrow!

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

Wow, now that I see what Briana is getting comp'd for, I feel like a cheap hooker who just got beat up by her pimp.

They DO need to have the limit sign on the outside because once you're in, the doors close and what do you do?

onemorebaby said...

How scary! Will you be taking the stairs for a while? Yikes! Btw: Great blog! My family all laughs at me in regards to my obsesive organizing habits! (I see nothing wrong with it at all, lol!)

To Think is to Create said...

So scary, and so glad yall were ok!


Condo Blues said...

You need to have t-shirts made,"I got stuck in an elevator during Blissdom and all I got was a tiny room discount!"

dawn224 said...

oh mah word!

Steve said...

Dear Sandy,

I believe we may have already spoken by phone but felt it equally important to respond to your blog regarding your experience at the Hotel Preston this weekend (I plan to post this same note to the other hotel guests’ blogs that were involved in the incident as well). We are passionate about our guests and know you have many choices when traveling to Nashville thus please accept my personal apology specific to the elevator incident.

I understand from your blog post that you were unable to get an immediate response from the hotel team. We had our Manager on duty at the time working hand in hand with the elevator engineer to insure he moved swiftly in getting all passengers out of the lift. Unfortunately this caused our Manager not to be present when the guests exited to personally insure their well being. I can share with you with confidence we have never had an elevator delay occur when the maximum number of people did not exceed 7 people per elevator and it is unfortunate the capacity posting in the elevator was not read by our patrons.

As a result of this incident and to insure we do not have guests faced with this situation in the future we are scheduling follow up training with our internal management and staff in coordination with the elevator company to improve upon our timeliness in the rare case this ever occurs again.

I also agree with the suggestion to install additional signage outside of the elevators on the lobby and lower lobby level to complement the maximum capacity of 7 patrons that is already posted inside the cabs. We have begun working with our sign company to implement signs in these locations.

My belief is that this situation would not have occurred had it been clearer to our hotel guests.
As a gesture of goodwill on the hotel’s behalf I have taken the liberty of adjusting $50 + tax off of each of the 13 guests’ hotel bill who was impacted by the elevator delay.

In addition, I will personally provide to each of the 13 guests a special rate on a future stay with us and include complimentary breakfast to demonstrate our usual exemplary service from our team and insure a flawless future visit.

I appreciate your patronage at the Preston during the Blissdom ’09 conference and look forward to seeing you in the future.
Please feel free to contact me directly to further discuss your experience – my direct line is 615-367-0339 or via e-mail – and I remain at your service.

Steven Hoida
General Manager
Hotel Preston

Sandy Jenney said...

Interesting that again Steve the manager was mentioning the 7 person limit when he agreed with me on the phone that 7 people makes no is the weight limit that makes the difference and we were under that. I understand that there are rules and I am not saying we should not have followed them, but I had never seen the 7 person limit before we were stuck. As I suggested to Steve on the phone, if they have had as many problems as the other manager told us "This happens every time we have a big group" then why have they not posted a large sign on the OUTSIDE of the elevator to let us know.
He did tell me of the discount on the room, he first only offered $25, when I told him that was insulting he increased it to $50, he did not mention the discount on future visits. I don't know that there will be any at this point. Had this been handled properly the morning we checked out and the room had been comped...there probably would have been. I understand things can happen and the only thing I am really upset about is how it was all handled after the fact.

Denise said...

I am pretty sure I would have been in tears, and having a panic attack as well! Wow...yah.

Kathi said...

I feel so bad for you gals,especially the ones that dont feel all warm and fuzzy about elevators and small spaces.i once had to crawl out of an elevator and walk down 13 floors =) you really were all great sports about it.glad youre ok.kathi (mkdieb)

Chris said...

Thanks for posting the videos & story. Quite interesting & it totally cracks me up that Steve commented.

Sandy Jenney said...

I am pleased to announce that Steve the manager at the Hotel Preston has taken steps to prevent any problems from occurring again at his hotel. He has posted signs on the outside of the elevators with the 7 person limit...he has done training with his personal on how to handle situations like this so that clients will feel attended to properly if something like this would happen again. He has also had meetings with the elevator company to solve the problem with the elevators. He has taken the steps that should be taken when there is a problem. Evidently he has been receiving some nasty e-mails from readers of the Elevator 13 and that was not our intention. According to the organizers of our conference the Hotel Preston did a wonderful job in getting our conference together in every way and they were pleased with the service and attention they received. We had this problem with the elevator but steps have been taken to correct things.

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!