Saturday, February 16, 2008

An open letter to TA Travel Centers:

Dear TA Executives:

I drive. A lot. My family lives in Oklahoma. My fiance lives in Maryland. I live in Georgia. Hence the driving. A lot. Now, when I'm driving, I tend to drink many beverages, ranging from energy drinks to Diet Coke to just plain old water, and occasionally even coffee or tea, although I don't drink the latter two that often when I travel because it forces me to have to take more than the usual amount of pee breaks.

I'm sorry if I sound as if I'm rambling, I just thought I needed to set the scene for you.

Thursday morning, oh, approximately 9:00, Florence, South Carolina. I was in an extreme need for a pee stop. I held out for a TA Travel Plaza because your facility has always been a friend to me in my time of need, whether it be water, Jones Energy Mints, etc., you always came through for me. So Thursday morning I bypassed the Pilot Travel Center. I bypassed the multitude of convenience stores, and went out of my way down a road to visit you. I finally make it to your location and pulled into the entrance. It turned out to be the wrong entrance. You have separate ways in for 18 wheelers and cars which would be okay if you had a way to get to the car parking lot and gas tanks from the truck parking lot and gas tanks. You did not. Completely cut off from each other they were. Does that sound convenient to you? Forcing someone who has been driving for hours to search for a way to get into your facility? I didn't think so, but I chalked it up to poor planning and consoled myself with the fact that the person who designed the flawed entrances was probably fired for being an idiot.

Alrighty then. Through sheer determination I found may way to your gas pumps, filled my car with gas. This activity went without incident. But remember how I planned the stop at your place of business because I really really REALLY needed to pee? The story gets horrifying from here...

After I pump the gasoline into my car I nonchalantly walked into the front doors of your facility. Now mind you, your bathroom wasn't the only thing I was looking for... in the previous hour my MP3 player had lost its battery charge and I didn't have a spare battery, so my intent was to purchase from your business one of those adapter thingies that would allow me to plug the MP3 player into the cigarette lighter. I had visions of continuing on my journey with relieved bladder and a variety of musical choices to occupy me.

Alas, it wasn't to be.

You had no adapters, which I find odd considering truckers, travelers, etc. are at your store at all hours of the night. How many of those people have had to leave disappointed because they couldn't find an adapter thingy?? Okay, I concede that it is possible that you were just sold out, and I would have continued on my merry way without much thought of it other than to stop somewhere else for an adapter had your women's bathroom been in working order.

Ahhh, NOW we are at the core reason for this post.

YOU ARE A FUCKING TRAVEL PLAZA! People who travel need to pee! You sell coffee, drinks, etc., all the ingredients to force people to have to stop at your facility for the specific purpose of using your restroom (and I'm sure you are aware that 87.4% of travelers feel obligated to buy a little something from places who
graciously allow us to use their restrooms - true story, scientific fact*), yet your women's bathroom was out of order. The sign on the door said, "Closed For Cleaning." When I saw the sign a touch of panic began to set in. Breathe, breathe... its okay, its a cleaning, how long does that take. So I hung around your store for about 10 or 15 minutes, shopping, looking again for the adapter thingy (which you still didn't have), looking at your DVDs, glancing through your audio book selection, walking back to the restroom.. nope,the sign is still up... looking at your impressive cell phone accessory choices, looking at those weird looking rolled up things that are in your snack area - do people really eat those things??

Anyway, after waiting a reasonable time I once again headed back to the restroom area. The sign was still up, and by that time I was in pain. Finally a sour, bitter looking women came out, unhooked the sign from the wall so she could come out of there, and NOOOOO!!! She turned around and hooked the sign back up. It was dawning on me that they were not going to let me pee. I asked through gritted teeth (but fairly politely, under the circumstances) was the bathroom going to open anytime soon? The bitter, hateful old wench had the nerve to turn and look at me standing there in my agony, and said, "No," and turned and walked away without a backward glance. No sympathy, no suggestions, just a FUCK YOU NO YOU AIN'T USING THIS BATHROOM EVER MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA message to her tone.

I then felt obligated to buy something since I had hung out in your store so long.

Pilot Travel Centers are my new favorite pit stop.

Deb from Boondoggled

*These statistics may or may not be totally made up.


BikerbabeNJ said...

amazing... no not...

Odat said...

Oh...the pain of having to pee and can't.....I would have gone into the men's room...but, hey that's me.
Or I would have went in the parking lot. Really.
or..........oh nevermind.
Sorry you had to go thru that...that sucks !
I hope the rest of your trip turned out better!!! ;-)

Jess said...

LOL! I love it!!!!! Great letter!!

Odat said...

Come get your award. ;-)

Ima Wurdibitsch said...

Raceway lost my Interstate travel business because they started closing their stores after 10:00 p.m.

Oh, you could still buy gas and some stores allow you to make purchases through the bullet-proof window slot but they will not let you in to use the restroom. I now stop where I can also pee.

Steven Swain said...

We once walked away form a hot bucket of KFC because they wouldn't let my mom use the bathroom, so I understand your frustration.