Friday Free-For-All! #NewSeries

Hi, everyone. I’m starting a new series that will run through the fall and winter. I’m calling it a Friday Free-For-All.

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I found this definition for a Free-For-all: A disorganized or unrestricted situation or event in which everyone may take part, especially a fight, discussion, or trading market.

I’m not quite sure what a trading market might be. But in other words, pretty much anything goes. I may talk about anything from books and writing to music, family, mysticism, UFOs, life experiences, and all points in between. It’s going to be FUN!

Two things I will not discuss – Religion and politics. Unless it is to say how each has affected my life in some personal way. I will not get into discussions that involve opinions about either. As my seven-year-old granddaughter likes to say with a hand on her hip, “Period.” 🙂

Samantha aka Sammy

I am open to having guests, so if you feel like having a Free-For-All, contact me, and we’ll talk about it.

I’m going to start this by sharing a recent travel debacle. Well, actually, it’s not so recent as it goes all the way back to May when I traveled to Missouri to do research for my current WIP, but it’s been ongoing for months.

I booked hotel reservations through Travelocity. Easy peasy, all done in one place. Wrong!

When my friend Judy and I arrived for our first hotel stay in McAlester, Oklahoma, we quickly discovered what a big mistake I’d made. I walked inside the office of the Oyo Motel with my printed and confirmed reservation in hand.

The man who finally appeared through a back door, somewhat glassy-eyed, gave me a confused look. It took a minute for him to find words. He glanced at the reservation, back up at me, back at the paper, then back at me. You get the idea.

Finally, he said, “Ain’t got no rooms.”

“What? But I’ve already paid for a room, and here’s my confirmation.”

More looking back and forth between me and the paper. Then he repeated. “Ain’t got no rooms.”

I said, “I tried to call you several times today to let you know we’d be a late arrival, but I could never reach you.”

He glanced toward the phone sitting on the desk, then back at me before he said. “Phone’s broke.”

Okay, a man of few words. Or at least the few words he could pull out of his drug-fogged brain.

I won’t bore you with the back-and-forth confused dialogue. The bottom line—we did not have a bed for the night.

When I got back in the car, I immediately called Travelocity and explained the dilemma. They transferred me to a representative who they said could help. After several attempts at trying to understand a woman who spoke rapidly with a thick foreign accent, I finally said, “Please speak more slowly. I cannot understand what you are saying.” I’m sure she cringed at my Texas drawl. Anyway, she hung up on me.

At that point, it was obvious we needed to find a hotel room for the night and deal with the fallout later. When I returned home, I began the attempt to get my money back for the Oyo Motel room that didn’t exist. After months of fighting with Travelocity, I had to reconcile with the fact they were NOT going to refund my money. Thankfully, it was only $46. But it was the principle of being charged for something I didn’t get.

Conclusion: I will NEVER EVER book through Travelocity again and highly recommend to everyone else they don’t either. Maybe this was an isolated incident, but they should have refunded my money, and they didn’t.

How about you? Any travel nightmares you’d like to share?