Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Mattress Olympics

I'm in Washington, DC, at the Omni Shoreham to present at the American Association of University Professors conference...and as of this writing, in about an hour and a half. Much like the first time I took the LSAT, however, I haven't had much sleep due to my next-door neighbors. Before the LSAT, the girls next door were reciting the Greek alphabet for their sorority initiation and screwing up, every single time, after the letter psi. I finally got upset, knocked on the wall, and recited it back to them, loudly and correctly, concluding with, "Now will you shut up, because I'm taking the $#!@*!#* LSAT in the morning???"

I had that same feeling last night. The folks next door were having a pretty good time judging by the speed and frequency of mattress squeaks. It went on for about an hour and a half, until nearly 1 a.m. . I was seriously considering what we used to do back in the dorms at SFU: knocking on the wall and screeching, "GET IT OVER WITH, ALREADY! Some of us need to SLEEP!" Eventually that session of the Mattress Olympics concluded and I fell asleep. Since we were meeting to review the presentation first thing in the morning, I was up and about around 7 a.m. - and as I was brushing my teeth, the mattress next door commenced to squeakin' AGAIN.

What are these people, test subjects for Pfizer? We saw Monica Lewinsky in the lobby earlier the previous day...maybe she was doing a test run on a new dress? I don't know, and I don't care. My give-a-damn is seriously broken, just in time to go face seventy-five people whom I don't know and attempt to coherently explain adult workplace bullying. The Chronicle of Higher Education had asked us for an interview, too, and me without any sleep. Gah.

Friends have suggested that I ask for a new room. Both of my co-presenters have better rooms than mine, but mine isn't bad. It's not the room, it's the neighbors. This is why I like business hotels: they have better soundproofing so business travelers can sleep.

This happened once before years ago at a conference in Tennessee. I happened to know the colleague in the next room, who was a friend; I cornered him quietly the next morning to explain that not only did I hear them, his unmarried status would attract unfavorable attention from the administration...ergo, if I could hear them, the person on the other side could, too, and might narc on him for 'fornicating' at a conference (we worked for a Baptist college). He spoke to his lady friend, who decided to go home rather than endanger his job.

I have no such recourse at this conference. I wish people were a little more considerate of others about having semi-public howler-monkey sex. Maybe it's because I'm a Southerner (or cranky from lack of sleep), but it's just not polite.


Rachael Elrod said...

I've enjoyed reading your blogs so decided to follow you. Out of curiosity, is your presentation dealing with bullying in the workplace based on your experiences at the aforementioned Baptist college?

AiredaleGirl said...

Thanks for the follow, Rachael! And yes, it's a joint presentation by three people- I became part of it after sharing my story with the lead presenter. One of the six case studies we used was based on my experiences at your alma mater.