Monthly Archives: May 2013

Harrisburg Trip: Day One

Harrisburg may be the state capitol, but it’s a surprisingly small city. In fact, I spent 10 minutes once with a friend of mine who insisted I was a “fucking retarded idiot” for not knowing that “Philadelphia is the capitol of Pennsylvania” – and he had a “map” to prove it (or it could be the only city shown for Pa and therefore MUST be the capitol).

Anyway, there were no cabs outside the Harrisburg Amtrak which is just as well since it took all of six minutes to get from the station to my hotel. Not only was I somehow not mugged, murdered or molested along said walk, but I also learned that H’burg isn’t nearly as ugly as I’d been told (though that doesn’t necessarily make it pretty either).

Check in was relatively simple and I found out my room overlooked the Susquehanna River, but it slammed really loudly when it shut. Anyway, I go downstairs to try and find something to eat before heading out to the Senators game on City Island.

Dinner took longer than I expected so I made a trip back upstairs. I tried my key in the door, and it failed. It finally opened on the third try, but then it wouldn’t close. It hit the door frame and bounced back open. I tried again, same thing happened.

Fortunately, I ran into the head of security in the hallway on my way to the front desk. He looks at me skeptically (I’m obviously too stupid to know how to shut a door) but agrees to come over to my room anyway. He finds the door is still open and upon trying three times found it indeed did not shut before he finally calls maintenance to “look into” fixing the door.

He leaves, and twenty minutes later, a young black man in overalls arrives and the door swings further open as he knocks on it. He introduces himself as the “acting” building engineer as his boss has “the weekend off,” and like the security guy before him he insists on spending 10 minutes trying to shut a door that will not close just to confirm that said door will not close.

He then tells me he’ll be back in ten minutes to get his tools (apparently, he didn’t need them for this as he thought this was another instance of someone too stupid to know how to close a door). How did he think he was going to fix it, put his hand on the handle and pull in shut and watch it magically close so he can thank me for wasting my time? However, for some reason he insisted I wait in the room as he works until he suddenly changes his mind mid-argument.

“No, I think I know what the problem is and, assuming we have the proper parts, it should only take about 10 minutes to fix. So just stay here, I’ll while I get my tools and I’ll get this door fixed for you…unless they call me for something else.”

He goes on about how there are 300 units in this hotel and only one of him. If they call him for any other issues those will take priority over a simple door repair, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t eventually get done. No, it just meant that this “ten minute fix” would take “up to an hour at most” depending on how many calls he got, but not to worry this was” no reason to switch rooms.”

Fifteen minutes later, the young black engineer was back, but not with his toolkit. Instead he was saying something about calling his boss at home with boss apparently telling him to wait until Monday to do anything so he presented me with the key I “wasn’t going to need” and a message about a free breakfast the next morning in the concierge level (per management).

The door to the new room worked. The key responded on the second try and the door shut normally behind me. The view, however, wasn’t as good, but I could still sort of see the river and hear the postgame fireworks being set off from the stadium (I had honestly forgotten about the game).

Categories: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at