Jeff Cutler – not a killer

November 12, 2006

Recently I read a column on about writers who write about writers and writing.

The point of the article was essentially that most books and writing by writers about writing were crap.

I agree with that sentiment but it’s hard to reconcile because I’m currently sitting in a hotel ballroom at a writers’ conference. And since it’s the Mystery Writers of America – CrimeBake Conference, I feel compelled to kill someone or at least think mean thoughts.

But if you’ve been listening to Bowl of Cheese, you know I’m kind-hearted and never bitter or sarcastic. So let me tell you about my hotel room.

Overlooking the Lowell Sun newspaper building and a couple Middlesex Community College buildings is a charming DoubleTree Hotel.

I was in room 319 last night and if I had to stay there again, my prior comment about killing might have come true.

It seems that the hotel has been set up so that smokers are corralled into rooms on the first and second floor. This is genius because smoke doesn’t rise and stink up the rest of the nine floors…oh, wait a minute…yes it does.

So I was on the third floor in a room that smelled like a barroom on the south side of Chicago. While I waited for the pleasant scent to permeate all my clothing I decided to take some photos of the room.

I got shots of the cracked bathroom tiles, the loose electrical outlets, the stained furniture and the magic marker on the desk and sidetable.

Then I decided to look under the bed. Well, since the conference was all about mysteries, you’d think I’d find a body or a severed head or at least some evidence of a killing.

Nope. All I found was a cranberry juice bottle full of cigarette butts floating in a pool of either chewing tobacco juice or blood.

Needless to say I took a photo of that – see the Bowl of Cheese blog for that photo – and then I called the front desk.


What do you think happened?

You’re wrong. When I pleasantly spoke with Jerry, the night manager, I was told that he appreciated my business and if there anything he could do that moment, he would. He also said he’d speak to housekeeping and he would get me a new room in the morning.

AND he said he was comping one night of my stay. All I could say was thanks as I hung up the phone incredulously.

This was the first time in the last three years that I have been pleased with customer service. I’m not a person with unrealistic needs, I just want my sales people to understand and speak English, my food to be properly warm or cold, and the service I pay for to be completed.

So now I can’t go on a killing rampage at the hotel. My clothes and body will be fresh and well-rested in the morning. And I’ll probably tell more people about my experience at the Mystery Writers’ conference at the Lowell Doubletree than I would have, had I found a body under the bed.

Keep thinking…