Viewpoints (Ellenore): Hateful Hotel Hair Dryers
I think of myself as a relatively calm, easy-going person. It takes a lot to get me rattled. But there are a few things that simply drive me crazy. Hotel hair dryers are one of them.
There are two types of hotel hair dryer that rouse my ire. The first is the dryer that requires you to keep your thumb depressed on the on/off button for it to work. How on earth are you supposed to keep your thumb depressed for the ten to fifteen minutes it takes to blow-dry the average woman’s hair? With trembling thumbs and major pain, that’s how. I most often encountered these when I was traveling for business. I hated sitting in my hotel room, thumb shaking with the effort of keeping the button depressed, worrying that I wasn’t going to make my 8:00 AM business meeting. What idiots actually had any part in designing, manufacturing or buying these things.
As is apparent, I have given long and hard thought to these hair dryers. Why would a hair dryer be designed like this? Is it to discourage the use of the dryers so that they last longer? Is it to discourage guests from stealing the dryers and bringing them home? Might it be that someone thinks that the thumbs of America need more exercise? I just can’t figure it out.
Closely related is the hotel hair dryer that blows air with such puny force that it can literally take up to an hour to dry your hair. The worst offenders are those dryers that were attached to the walls of hotel bathrooms. You often had to stand during the entire drying process. While most have been removed in recent years, their ugly sister, the hand-held “I don’t blow any stronger than a new-born baby” dryer still lives on and can be found all too frequently in hotels across America.
How could either these hair dryers have even gotten to the point of being rolled out at all? Did the designers and manufacturers never test them? Or if they did, was it always on a semi-bald man? And what about the hotel chains that bought them? Did they never try them out before merrily telling their maintenance people to screw them in their thousands on to the walls of their establishments? The only thing that is certain is that only men could have been involved because even a half-witted woman would have realized in an instant that these dryers were a total disaster.
I doubt I will ever understand how these dryers came to be. It is another one of life’s mysteries. But it is time to move my mind on to the many other conundrums of modern life--why Starbucks makes you ask for a plastic spoon rather than leaving them out beside the napkins; why it is so difficult to keep a bra white; what are the benefits of an organic mattress, and so on. So many other things to keep me up at night.
Ellenore is a retired lawyer who enjoys travel but not hotel hair dryers.