Wednesday, November 23, 2016

shared hotel rooms

The second question in the AAM post I linked to in my last post is about shared hotel rooms. The original poster complains about coworker who are frequent travelers and who are refusing to share a hotel room. The OP thinks that the coworkers are being ridiculous/whiny, and Alison (and the commentariat) think that the OP's expectations are ridiculous.

I have only had to share hotel rooms in two situations: once, when a group of ladies were doing fieldwork just inside the "standard" radius to allow hotel stays, and we suggested that we'd prefer to share a room rather than commute every day; and in grad school, when my female research buddy and I would split a room for conferences. In both situations, the travel was of an extremely short duration (just a couple of days).

Long-term fieldwork is a whole other beast. If I'm going to be traveling on a regular basis, or for more than a couple of days, it's no longer some sort of emergency situation but a significant part of my life. And in the long term, I need to be able to recharge at night and develop my own system for making the room my own. I agree with the commentariat that I would far prefer a cheaper hotel room with minimal amenities over a shared fancy hotel room.

With that said, I know that some of my contractors (such as drillers) do share rooms. They tend to avoid the room as much as possible, and I often hear endless complaints about snoring and room temperature wars and bedtime disputes and bathroom habits in the morning. That's when the guys are friendly. If they're not, mornings can be... tense between crew members.

As a consultant, my travel is generally directly chargeable to the client. My travel costs are part of the package. I don't need to stay in fancy hotels (usually the government per diem for an area is a good rule of thumb for reimbursement), but I do expect to be comfortable enough to stay at there for weeks on end without it being a hardship, often working back at the hotel room long after the field day is complete. As I've mentioned before, I travel enough that it is a significant part of my life. If my traveling causes long-term misery, I'm going to be job-hunting to find a more reasonable employer.

No comments: