Wonderful friend Jennifer send the following email.
She: Your weekend sounds rather mysterious and a little strange. Yes, I think travelling alone would be somewhat difficult for a woman, but remember, you’re not just any average woman and if anyone could have an adventurous time traveling alone, I’d think you’d be a good candidate. But I can also understand how you may tire of the constant chatting with new people all the time and not having someone to share the adventures with. Glad you’re back home and doing the things that you love!
Me: Thank you so much for your concern for me and for being there for me.
Jennifer was referring to what I now call the Fairmont Fiasco. Fiasco is the new word of the day; a thing that is a complete failure, especially in a ludicrous or humiliating way: his plans turned into a fiasco.
The Fairmont Fiasco took place at the Whistler Fairmont. I was there attending the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Canada Day weekend and basically, and in all fairness, the event was very well planned and executed and the vast majority of the Fairmont staff were welcoming, cordial and respectful. But sometimes it takes only one or two – perhaps up to four or five actually. The most insulting and appalling event occurred on the sixth floor. I heard a knock on the door of my room (a do not disturb sign was posted). I opened the door to find a man that was from Security accompanied by another man. Neither gave their name. The Security Man threatened me with expulsion and said that the RCMP would be called if I left my room. I know it sounds unbelievable but my reality testing is excellent. There was no reason I would be leaving my room – it was after midnight and I was planning to go to bed. But what an insult to be threatened in that manner and for what reason. I am 75 years old for goodness sakes. I knew enough not to loose my temper but you can imagine how difficult that was. I did give the two men the finger as they slunk down the hall. I am sure security cameras would have recored that gesture – but the Fairmont has probably efficiently erased the tape. Now sometimes rude and minsogynst behavior takes place in the evening as the brightest and best of staff are usually not employed in the evening. Oh by the way, I was not drunk – restaurant receipts prove that fact – unless they were giving it to me free (very doubtful)
But what happened the next morning was even worse as I attempted to seek an explanation and redress. I was told that Victoria was the night manager but she was the day manager apparently. She heaped insult upon insult upon me, putting me off, refusing to meet withe me, pretending that she did not hear that I was there asking to see her. I kept the public up to date by leaving an Instagram record – it is too painful for me to watch at this moment. I think there were four different recordings. One of my friends, Chris, gets the prize for her comment: “Are you going to sue over a cold hamburger?”
Three members of management staff told me I could not yell or swear in the lobby or in the Mallard Bar but refused to discuss the matter with me in a more private place – such as my room. There is something called risk management – efficient and well run organizations make sure that there are procedures to avoid litigation. I say with assuredness that the Fairmont has never heard of risk management or at lease, Victoria and her ilk have not.
I was inventive enough to call and ask for late check out paying $79 for the privilege. The very least they could have done is to allow late check out for the upset of the day before. The extreme least. So I brunched with my symphony crowd, but missed the concert as I was still upset. Finally at three o’clock in the afternoon June apologized – the very first person to say they were sorry for the insults and injuries inflicted upon me. A wonderful staff person gave me a ride to the Olympic Plaza where I boarded the bus for the ride home. I spoke to Symphony staff telling them that I was planning to sue the Fairmont – the proceeds could go to the
Symphony, I am not sure what I will do at this point. Litigation is a long and painful process, well I know as I was a lawyer for years. Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away. I will never stay in a Fairmont Hotel as long as I live. I will not attend the symphonic weekend which is a yearly event.
I was so depressed on the bus ride home and afterwards. But I am beginning to feel better. And a couple of people reached out to me. Jennifer being one of them. So being a woman is not always a lot of fun. . A book caught my eye at the library. Kassi Underwood’s May Cause Love which addresses “an unexpected journey of enlightenment after abortion. She captures the dilemma: “Either way I choose I was selfish according to somebody. If I had a baby at twenty years old , shame on me for messing up my life. If I had an abortion than shame on me for messing up someone else”s life. If I adopted out, then shame on me for depleting the resources for millions of orphans and billions of people on the overpopulated planet. There is no choice a woman can make without someone thinking she should be doing something else.It was becoming clear to me that the one voice I could trust is the voice of my most faithful, fearless, self.”
That is me – trusting the one voice I can trust = the voice of my most faithful, fearless self. I brought the hamburger home as evidence but was smart enough to put it in the freezer. I am feeling too tired to take a picture of it and send it on to Chris for posting.