Are some things more complicated than they need to be? I say yes.
I was in the Bad Place recently and had occasion to check in to a hotel - I honestly don't remember which one - and for the point of this post it doesn't matter.
The customer service I received at the front desk was particularly crappy. The fellow on the other side of the counter never even made eye contact with me, much less greeted me verbally. He just reached his hand over the desk to receive my I.D. and credit card and then he went to work.
And by "went to work" I mean he started typing. And typing. And typing. His eyes cast downward at some screen I couldn't see, his fingers were flying over the keyboard in front of him.
After about a full minute of typing, I thought I might say something but didn't want him to screw up, lose his place, and have to start over. So I just waited.
Another minute went by and I started to get really fascinated as to what he must be doing. Was all of that data entry really for my one little reservation? Or did he have to move every guest in the hotel down one room in order to accommodate my arrival?
Now, because I've got nothing but time, my mind starts to wander as I think of all the things he might be doing. Refinancing his house? Translating all four Lord Of The Rings books into Latin? Playing online 3D Star Trek chess with Leonard Nimoy?
Finally, I did speak up. "How's it going?"
"Sure is a lot of typing."
"I'll be with you in just a moment," he said, still not looking at me even one time for a split second.
"I wonder if the computer has really made checking in hotel guests any faster," I mused, apparently to myself. "I remember back in the old days when they would take down your information on a 3X5 card and just put it in a box. It took about a tenth as much time as this."
I really wasn't trying to be confrontational or sarcastic but I just couldn't reconcile the amount of time I was standing in his lobby with my idea of how long it should reasonably take to input my information. I was just one guy, one night, one key. I wasn't traveling with a circus with multiple special requests to only stay in rooms that faced east, or making demands on how many floors needed to be between the Bearded Lady and the Strong Man, or asking where we could let the tigers out to go pee.
So what gives? Why so much typing? Any hoteliers reading this today?