Friday, August 24, 2007

Road Trip - Part 1

I know...

Oh no - a "Part 1" blog?! This can only mean Jeff is going to bore us with MORE than one anecdote of his last 5 days. QUICK - RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

Not to worry. I'll keep them brief. All 13 parts.

Why? Why did my wife and I drive Brandon 12 hours to the blue-collar capital of the world - Flint, Michigan? Because they have an excellent engineering university there that he is interested in attending when he graduates.

This school is actually a very good fit for Brandon. It's filled with engineering geeks who like to cling together in geek clumps and design geek projects so they can earn their geek degrees and move into their geeky engineering jobs immediately after graduation. It's not for everyone but if you're a... you guessed it... geek, then this is the place for you.

Because Kettering is a co-op college, the students actually have jobs at one of over 500 major corporations during their entire enrollment. They go to school for 3 months, work for 3 months, back to school and work in that cycle for 4 1/2 years. 90% of the students get hired by their co-op company when they graduate and earn $45-$65k right out of the gate. Not too shabby.

The feedback by the students was VERY positive. Everyone we talked to said they love the place and the co-op program. Of course we still have more schools to look at, but so far a big thumbs up for this one.

From the "Well duh, what did you expect?" files:

While we were there Brandon stayed on campus but Charli and I needed a place to stay as well.

NO! Please don't tell me you stayed at a Motel 6!

We couldn't resist. We were looking for a bed for just one night and they only charged $39.99! I mean come on, how bad could it be?

Specifically? Ok let me tell you.

At 11:00 p.m. we arrived in the lobby to get our non-smoking room. Of course our room was NOT a non-smoking room and smelled like it had just been the location for the World Series of Poker championships. Not only that, but one of the beds was unmade and actually missing its pillows.

At 1:00 a.m. our phone started ringing a quick "bring-bring" tone over and over again. It was the front desk attempting to leave us a phone message, but they weren't trained well enough to know that once you do that it makes your phone "bring-bring" until you get up, turn on the lights and figure out how to retrieve your message. The big emergency?... They were trying to let us know we
had a $3 refund coming because our current non-smoking room didn't have a microwave.

At 6:00 a.m. the motel manager woke us up by knocking on our door. Because we had switched rooms after check-in, the night clerk hadn't made it clear which room we were actually in and she was trying to determine which one was the unmade one that needed cleaning. As you can see, she used a very scientific method to determine this. Knock on one of the two doors and if you wake somebody up, you have the wrong room. At 6:00 A.M.!!!

Here are a few other added bonus features from our stay at Motel Sux:
. the front desk clerk could neither speak nor understand English, which tends to come in handy if you work in a customer service position in the US
. the blankets had shredded edges and multiple holes in them
. the blankets and sheets had giant "x"s written on them with permanent marker as an anti-theft deterrent, because these linens are obviously coveted by everyone
. which explains why the pillows were missing from our first room, since they didn't have "x"s on them
. there was only one towel for our double room
. there was only one of those little mini soaps for the entire bathroom and no little shampoo or conditioner bottles

But on the upside, at least it didn't have bed bugs (trust me, I checked). So that's something.

Anyway, consider this my gift to any of you who would even consider staying at one of these places. Just don't.

Unless you want to stay there because you can't resist stealing their pillows.

Motel Sux - We'll leave the phone on for you.


Dan said...

the front desk clerk could neither speak nor understand English

Don't you hate that ... it's so unsatisfying to tell someone to take their motel and stick it up their butt and the only answer you get back is "Que?"

By the way, is it already Friday in Minnesota? Cool!

Anonymous said...

Oh, he is missing the part that after the 1am wake up call they called back AGAIN, apparently to say they were sorry that they woke me the first time!!! Not to mention the part that you can not just simply hang up on a message service, a period of time must pass or it continues to "bring - bring" Until you have picked up the phone several times yeah, real worth the savings....

Sandy said...

You totally crack me up! Seriously -- I have tears in my eyes.

Heather said...

Thanks for the tips. Sounds like a classy establishment. I'm guessing they don't have a lot of people breaking down their doors for jobs there. Just think...these were the BEST people they could find for the job.

Anonymous said...

thinkin' you and Diesel should compare notes -- maybe collaborate on a book about "bad" motels. too too TOO funny!

still... at least you got a grand post out of your "unfortunate" experience, so, clearly, it wasn't all for naught!

oh, and i don't mind hearing about these "college" trips. reminds me of why i'm glad we convinced our kids to attend a community college right out of high school, instead of going off to some fancy schmancy school. too bad we can't get 'em to move away, now. ; )

Julie Pippert said...

Oh ICK I have skeeves and a headache from that motel story LOL.

But so glad your son found such a great sounding program for him...what a time.

Ravin' Picture Maven

Anonymous said...

MORONS...I would never stay there, I'd rather sleep in my car or a ditch. Did you have a microscope to check for bed bugs, mites etc? are you itchy today?

yellojkt said...

My wife refuses to stay at any chain with a number in the name.

I cooped to get my engineering degree and strongly recommend the experience.

Gale said...

The only times (yes plural) I would stay at motel sux was when I was traveling for the dog shows. I would get a room on the first floor and then remove (bust out) the screen and bring all the dog equipment and dog into the room . Yes that was me. Good times!!

Jen said...

LOL... love your blog! I found out about this through Fourier Analyst. BTW... we have 5 exchange student "daughters" and a "son" and our German daughter does one of these co-op programs in Germany for business. She's absolutely loved it and gotten a great deal out of the work components.

yoo hoo said...

I guess the good part was you weren't actually asleep (at anytime) suddenly to be awakened by the amorous adventures of the people in the room next door that you could hear through the paper thin walls.

Mom Thumb said...

OMG, only you could have that much crap from one night in a motel sux. I'm thinking don't bother buying a lottery ticket today.