Once each winter my son has an out of town hockey tournament and this weekend was it. There are few things he looks forward to more; as a pre-teen boy what could be more desirable than playing an excessive number of games of a sport you love in a shortened time frame while getting to spend every waking minute with your friends swimming, eating pizza, playing Xbox, participating in general shenanigans, and getting out of school early to make it all happen.
At about 1:10am we were both awoken by the sound of a car alarm going off. It would silence for an intermittent amount of time, sometimes 20 seconds, sometimes a few minutes and then sound again for another half minute or so. Eventually the sound became unbearable and I went down to the from desk to inquire what they could do as the sound was clearly coming from a vehicle in their parking ramp. They dispatched their security officer to investigate and I returned to my room after a brief unsuccessful investigation myself to find the vehicle and ensure it was not mine.
As the sound went on and on I called back to the front desk and they said they were still trying to locate the vehicle but could hear it. I went back out to assist and found the vehicle one floor up from my room and within 75’ of my rooms window. The security guard arrived to the vehicle at the same time. He was about 6’5 and 250# which I found impressive for a hotel security guard. At first glance I thought he might just rip open the hood and pull the battery out with his bare hands but he opted to take a more diplomatic approach and wrote down the license plate number and went to call the local police department so he could get a registered owner, cross reference it to the guest list, and get the owner to address it.
I noticed two things while in the ramp. First, the vehicle was a residential Hummer which is a vehicle I have a general negative stereotype about being someone who cares about the planet. Second I noticed that the dome light was on. As I returned to my room and let my son who had his head under four pillows know it would be addressed soon I began to wonder if it were possible that the alarm was sounding to warn that the dome light was on. Could this vehicle which I stereotype as arrogant be so bold that when the dome light is on it feels a need to warn its owner? Was there some logic in re-designing and marketing of this big dumb residential American vehicle where someone thought that the dome light being left on was so potentially hazardous to the battery that sounding the horn and flashing the exterior lights for hours was warranted? I began to fear for our troops overseas and hoped that the military version did not have this same logic. My brain racing I decided to do some quick research and learned that this is a known condition with the hummer and the reason the dome light was on is because the vehicle had gotten wet (rain / snow mix here) and the door sensor (which had also gotten wet) thought the door was ajar. Apparently this warrants the alarm sounding. The reaction to a wet door jamb is another condition I hope is different on the military version.
I was tempted to go back to the parking garage and lay eyes on the person that would be coming to fix their car and give them a piece of my mind as I stood safely behind the security guard. Common sense prevailed and I decided that I also did not want to shatter my stereotype of the owner of this vehicle. I picture him as a middle aged male who has a full head of hair with product in it and was likely a little groggy from all of the Lowenbrau he had earlier, he likely works in sales and whatever he is selling has some sort of slime / predatory factor where he takes advantage of people. In my vision, he is staying at the hotel with his son who is on a competing hockey team, his son is a marginal skater and ends up in the penalty box often by trying to make up for his lack of skill and trying to live up to his big dumb American dad’s expectations.
Imagination, stereotypes, and pre-conceived ideas can be powerful things and I could be way off of the mark but I am guessing my vision is closer to the truth than it being owned by an elderly widowed woman who is in town for the birth of her first great grandchild. On a separate note I would like to add that the Holiday Inn staff responded wonderfully to this issue and my scan through the parking garage also revealed that the hotel had four electric vehicle only spots with charging stations; two of which were occupied (a Volt and a Leaf). That was simply wonderful to see and kudos to the owners of those vehicles and the hotel for its progressiveness to provide that service. This entry may have offended a few but I hope it was found humorous to more as that was the intent. Time to get back to sleep.