Travelling Woes For Women

Another blog post from a year back.

Maybe I expect a lot from people who work in the hospitality industry. I once worked in it too and a lot was expected of me.

It all began with my need for a sanitary pad. Now before you blame me for lacking clairvoyance in matters related to this, I was sure we had brought a big bag of them when we left home. We were traveling in Australia and I was due for the inevitable that week. We were stepping out to sight see the whole day and just to be safe than sorry, I dug into our over spilling suitcase for the ‘accessory’ I needed and to my dismay didn’t find the pack.

We were right in the middle of civilisation and there was no need to panic except that it was seven in the morning and none of the stores would open for another 2 hours. We had checked into a hotel of repute and surely the house keeping department was prepared for such exigencies. So I called the Front Office and a male voice answered. I asked for the required assistance and he politely said he will have to call me back after he had made some inquiries.

Ten minutes later, he apologetically called to explain that the hotel couldn’t help me and that I may have to procure what I needed from a store outside.

Up until then what I suspected may happen, seemed incredibly likely to

I tried to stay calm. I decided to cross the bridge when I came to it. To cut a long story short, the inevitable did not happen. I also managed to pick the needed accessory at a store before the day was done.

We were checking out the next morning and I happened to use the rest room at the hotel lobby before we left for the airport. To my chagrin and utter disbelief, I spotted a sanitary pad dispenser in the confines of the washroom. I reprimanded the world traveler in me. Why hadn’t it occurred to me to check here instead of asking the FOA? Then the humiliation turned to anger. Why was the employee not informed about this option? When I brought it up with my husband, he stood up for the FOA. According to him, the FOA was a male and he wouldn’t have known!

The dispenser in the rest room seemed to wink at me.

I was ready to make a protest. I wanted to educate the entire Front Office staff at Novotel Sydney about the situation knowing that such requests may come up frequently. The male FOA who ‘helped’ with my request was nowhere in the scene that morning. Two women FOAs were busy checking in cheerful travellers and also our airport pick up was waiting at the curb.

I decided then to write them a feedback once I was back home and once I was done blogging about it.

Have you had a similar experience during your travel?



Originally published at on January 2, 2015.

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