…I got stuck on a “talk about what the worst guests ever are at your hotel” chain on YouTube (long story, short version is that I do the whole Reddit thread reads as background sound when I’m trying to relax) and the chain hit hotels.
And, I started thinking about Imperials as hotel guests and…well, mixed bag is what I’m thinking of if they check in to the local Holiday Inn or a five-star hotel.
On the plus side? They (usually) won’t be destroying property, trying to have concierge to get them cheap hookers and blow, be pissed off because the TV in the bathroom is only 40", the sheets aren’t free-range organic silk picked only by barely post-pubescent virgins…they pay their bill on time, tip the housekeeping staff well, clean up after themselves, and don’t cause problems…usually.
The minus side? That usually thing. God help you if you cut corners somewhere, your staff does the whole “sheets aren’t bloody, just make the bed and fluff the pillows” thing, sweep debris where nobody can see it unless they look (most Imperial guests will actually inspect), hide charges on the bill, etc, etc, etc…
I realize our esteemed author doesn’t want to stick space elves on Earth, and I can understand that. But, it would be kind of hilarious to have a travelog series of one particular Eldrae making…commentary about traveling the world.
trying to have concierge to get them cheap hookers and blow
Obviously not. Only the finest hookers and blow, and damn the price!
(The massive shootout that occurs when it turns out some lowlife cut his cocaine with fentanyl and then refused a refund is merely the cherry on a cake that will keep the diplomats busy for years. This is just what you get when your drug dealers don’t have any professional pride.)
the sheets aren’t free-range organic silk picked only by barely post-pubescent virgins
They may, however, wish to speak extensively to housekeeping (and then management, and then management’s management) about this concept they call ‘thread count’. Because they have very sensitive senses, and can bloody tell when there are 600 tpi and when there are only 500-some, and don’t even try sneaking in multi-ply yarn to inflate it.
Ah, like Dilbert’s father, then…
(Scott Adams has made it clear that Dilbert’s father has never left an all-you-can-eat restaurant because he clearly hasn’t had all he can eat…)
“How much whiskey are we going to need this time?”
“We had an Imperial citizen get in a shoot-out in Baltimore last night.”
“And, before you ask, he did do the whole ‘understanding United States law’ exam thing and passed. So, he did know, technically.”
“Stop sugar coating, start pouring, and talk. What what the crucified fuck happened?”
“Okay, so he went down to West Baltimore to score some cocaine, and he did. Turns out the local dealers had cut it, a quarter with fentanyl.”
“Shit. Imperial contract law in action. Dealers were probably promising that it was the pure Bolivian marching powder, they took the money on that basis, and…he shot the dealers, right?”
“I forgot, this was a four fingers pour. Keep going.”
“So, our Imperial citizen goes down there, finds the dealers, and talks with them. Only shot them with that whole laser-tazer thing they use and broke a few bones to get them to tell them who he could talk to about a refund. Was willing to just have his money refunded on what he didn’t snort, not a complete refund. After all, West Baltimore, they might not have had a sniffer.”
“Fair enough. Lemme guess, this is where he shot people.”
“Well, the first set.”
“…I am not liking where this is going.”
“So, our pissed off Imperial citizen-shareholder decided that since clearly the locals couldn’t run an orgy in a whorehouse, let alone a drug-dealing operation in West Baltimore…”
“…he decided that it was time to exercise some entrepreneurial spirit and took over the operations there. How bad?”
“He’s been down in West Baltimore for eighteen months.”
“Ugh…okay, how much of the market did he corner and why didn’t anybody notice that the drug trade was being run by somebody that had a fucking clue? For a year and a half?”
“Fifty-point-one percent. After all, he didn’t want to have a monopoly position. And, nobody noticed because he had a whole truckload of clues. Murder rates, death rates from ODs, homeless rates, mental illness, and general violence went down by nearly twenty percent. He’d set up something like…three, four dozen shell companies to wash the money, all of his employees paid taxes on their income, had Imperial-level medical care and education, he was in the process of tearing down some of the worst blighted buildings in the area, had four of the projects renovated and you know what Eldrae OCD is like when they decide to renovate something…”
“How in the hell did he get caught?”
“Sheer luck, if I’m reading this right. His organization was tight as hell. Made the Barksdale operation look like a kiddy lemonade stand.”
“Okay, let me guess, all of the crimes we can get him for can fall under fines and maybe a proper temporary PNG. Can’t even put him on storage here, can we?”
“Fines, time served, and a twenty-five year PNG out-system. Has to be on the first ship to head out a gate-any gate-once he gets up to the Quito Counterweight.”
“Make sure whatever ship our happy enthusiast is on is something quick, cramped, and uncomfortable. And, I want it made clear-and checked under a verifier-that he didn’t fork himself. If there’s any doubts-and make that clear to him as well-I want him in psycho to make sure he didn’t redact the memories of a fork of himself.”
“Paperwork here for you to sign and thumb.”
“This is a three finger pour case. What’s the fourth finger?”
“Four of the alderman in Baltimore have filed amicus curiae briefs. We’re pretty sure he only paid for two of the alderman. The other two actually want to have him around. Competence on that front makes them look really good when they run for re-election.”
“…and, that’s the fourth finger. Without lube. Nobody from the House or Senate calling?”
“Not yet. But, it’s only 1 AM.”
Fifty-point-one percent. After all, he didn’t want to have a monopoly position.
I was with you right up until this point. After all, relieving incompetents of their market share is a Good Thing - if people don’t like your legit monopoly, they should learn how to compete!
(Also, we can throw some words about his revolutionary changes to the hooking business, with a bunch of abusive johns being caught dangling upside-down from lampposts wearing nothing but a pet-shaming sign. The mayor wasn’t best pleased when his son was caught that way, and the sign read “Next time, with a dull knife.”)
There’s also the possibility that he was also providing educational services. After all, if the market won’t naturally provide competition, you clearly need to make your own whetstone to keep you sharp. Having that little bit of possible space for competition to come in and keep you from getting complacent is critically important.
Well, there was that one incident where the mayor’s son was dropped off at the local ER, naked as the day as he was born, ID and cards duct-taped to his back in a zip-lock bag, shaved clean of all of his hair, precisely beaten so that every inch of his body has bruises (even his eyelids) without even a single broken bone, and with steel wire wrapped around his genitals in such a way that it…probably wouldn’t be counted as gelding if they ER staff could get it off in twenty minutes or less.
Even the Baltimore PD had to admit the “next time, it’ll be barbed wire” note written on his body in sharpie was a nice touch.
And our local entrepreneur was looking into bringing in a pro from Dover to handle that end, since clearly that end needed some additional work as well.
If it is a similar tightness to an elasticator, you have approximately 10 hrs to remove it and still anticipate a full recovery; 12 hrs until amputation becomes a necessity. Don’t ask why I know that off the top of my head.
I have been working in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, and I have seen and experienced a lot of amazing things. The best part about the hospitality industry is that it is never boring; there is always something new to learn, and each day brings new challenges.
I recently had an incredible experience when staying at a hotel in France. My room was beautiful, with a large window overlooking the countryside and a comfortable bed. I was having dinner in the hotel restaurant when I heard someone call out my name. I looked up to see a man waving at me from across the room. He introduced himself as the manager of the hotel and told me how much he enjoyed having me stay there. He then took me on a tour of his kitchen where he showed me how they make their famous desserts! It was amazing to see how much passion they put into their work!
I can so see them doing the little boutique hotels. Not big chains, unless they had to. The places with the quaint to them, like the hotel that’s right next door to the bakery and you wake up smelling the cinnamon rolls they’re making for the breakfast table that day. Or the hotel that has real history behind it.
“Hey, Jake, how are you doing?”
“Not bad, I think I’ve got this figured out, and I hate to say it, we’re using the wrong model for Imperial citizens coming here.”
“Look, we’ve had…what, seventy, eighty years of cheap air travel, the ideal of the jet-set lifestyle, and everything else? Quick trips, when you think about it. Get in, eight, twelve hours tops on the flight, futz for an hour or so each side at the airport, and then a week or two at most at the destination.”
“Except, that isn’t how Imperials travel. Minimum time to one of the big Empire core worlds, if you did it all by needlecast and resleeve here is, what, a week? Most of that time you’re in transit as a bundle of photons and data packets being carried by a ship through gates. So, we’ve got to think of an older model, the sea-going cruise model.”
“Look, anybody that wants to be satisfied with a quick trip and a quick turnaround isn’t going to be getting far from the towerdowns. Half hour at least if you’re doing the whole resleeve thing, four or five days in an elevator cap each way. And, short-timers aren’t going to get that far away, because of orbital mechanics. So, you’re either doing a lot of quick trips, or you’re here for the duration.”
“Okay, so where does this get into the cruise model?”
“We’ve got an older property near the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto-yes, I know they don’t call it that anymore, but that’s just Berkeley stupid in action-and we’re looking at doing some renovations for short-term guests, that kind of thing, right?”
“Last I heard. I can check on my 'plants if you want.”
“In a second, just let me finish with the idea here. I’m thinking we can go the opposite. Renovate the building so that it’s short-term apartment and living space rentals. There’s an old machine shop that is currently in recevership right behind the hotel, and we can buy that cheap. I’ve got the specs here for an on-site dishes and fabric fabber that can produce clean linens and a full dish set for pennies once you get past the sunken costs. After the renovation, we can set up tour packages, custom travel plans for any Imperial customer that wants something in particular, a lot of the transit options are nearby-BART’s in walking distance, that kind of thing.”
“So, you’re expecting longer-term guests, they’ll be staying for a few weeks, minimum, and you want to have all of the amenities on hand.”
“Top two floors are half- and full-floor units, at least here. The rest are one- to three-bedroom units and studios. We can try this out in eight of our biggest markets, and I’ve already got the anchor ‘quaint’ bits that will serve as the hubs for them to stay. We might even be able to get away with three in the SF Bay Area and Portland, four in LA, four in New York, and two in Seattle. Give them the comfort they expect and want, but not cookie cutter comfort. Limited customization of furnishings, smart walls, grocery delivery in all the major cuisine styles, everything done with the smooth ‘you never notice it unless you’re really looking’ Imperial style that they enjoy. With the option of more noticeable service if you wanted it.”
“You’d be amazed at what is going on with Google Ads keyword searches and Imperial citizens. Assuming some of them aren’t gaming it just to see what would happen.”