Saturday, April 25, 2009

Breakfast For a Light Bulb

Some people are completely without shame. Listen to this.


On the way to our French house we stopped overnight at this Ibis Hotel on the outskirts of Albert in the Somme. For those of you who are not familiar with the Ibis chain I can say that it is a lowish-budget one of more than decent standard. This place in particular, is very well run with welcoming and helpful staff. We stayed there for the first time last July when they had just opened. The restaurant offers a small menu of good food, and most guests choose to eat there in the evening, often after having had a drink on the terrace watching the sunset.

When we arrived we were given a room on the bottom floor in this totally smoke-free hotel, another reason for staying there. The rooms are nice, no-frills and modern. One modern feature is the energy-saving light bulbs, which give out a lovely warm glow.


However one light fitting would not work, and we soon found the reason. There was no light bulb. My wife, whose French is much superior to mine, went to the front desk to report the missing bulb. While I was waiting I was studying a leaflet lying on the table, which promised action and problem solving within fifteen minutes, otherwise you would be their guest, as in "no charge."

They certainly lived up to that promise. A young man came equipped with the right tool and sorted it out in a flash. It turned out that a previous guest had stolen the light bulb, but failed to steal the second one on the other side of the bed. Look at this picture.


Can you see the little screw inside at the top? That is meant to be taken out before you remove the light bulb, but some greedy low-life had managed to yank it out and, on top of that, damaged the other bulb attempting to steal that one as well. So two expensive light bulbs had to be replaced. How low can you sink? I have heard of people stealing towels and other items, mostly as souvenirs, but to steal light bulbs?

Maybe somebody wanted a free breakfast and stole something of similar value as compensation. I do not know, but the hotel staff certainly lived up to the company promise and they were as baffled as we were. What are some people like?



oreneta said...

Some people are such freaks. Honestly.

matthew_in_ham said...

Weird. I take the soap that I started to use but that's it. I even left the cute plastic duck in the Helsinki Hilton!

Protege said...

How odd! You are right, this seems quiet low, unless some guests had some sort of difficulties finding the "off" switch to the lamps and decided to remove the bulbs instead.;))
I know btw the hotel chain you talk about, I have stayed there too and was always happy with the service.;))

swenglishexpat said...

Oreneta - I mean, who would do that?

Matthew - Plastic duck? You'll get away with the soap though, or do you think they collect them and melt them down to make new bars? Because then the scene changes. ;-)

Protege - If they cannot find the off-switch they need their heads examined! No, just greed! It's a brilliant chain for a stop-over at a decent price.

Veronica said...

.. _.. .. _ _ _ _ ... !
No I have not gone completely mad; guess what today is?

swenglishexpat said...

Veronica - Sorry, I read your blog first, so I spoiled the fun a bit. When people (in the UK at least) hear the name Morse, they think of Inspector Morse I guess. Interesting to read that an expert Morse coder beat the text message on the mobile phone!

GutsyWriter said...

That made me think of people who steal bath robes in expensive hotels, when they sell them at the gift shop. I'm sending your post to my friend Kimberly, who just published a book, "Going Green is good for Business," and is interested in what Europeans do to save the planet. Her blog is:

swenglishexpat said...

GW - Thank you. Well, stealing light bulbs certainly is a peculiar way of demonstrating one's green credentials!

LadyFi said...

That is weird! Maybe we are seeing a modern environmentally-friendly wave of 'taking the hotel towels home' after hotel visits?

swenglishexpat said...

LadyFi - ...but it is still theft, which the rest of us have to pay for. :-(

Anonymous said...

Delightful picture, good scheme& text.

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