I did´t manage to post my story early today because of what happened last night and as a result I write a new story altogether. I value
friendships, networks and loyal clients. I work hard to build long-term relationships. This applies to my saloonist and even at the grocery shop (mama mboga) back at home. In me, they always had a loyal client. I am very conscious of the first impression people, organisations and colleagues make on me and the vise versa.
When I landed in Norway, my first assignment was to attend a four days music festival in Oslo. This meant travelling from Kristiansand and spending in a hotel all the four nights. I spent in this hotel, in Kenya it might qualify for a 5 star, however in Norway it is a 3 star hotel. Lets call it Hotel Patience (H.P) since I love it so much.
One, it is centrally located in Oslo, very accessible and just a walking distance from the bus and train station. Whatever time I get to Oslo I am never scared of getting to this hotel all alone. It has a great lounge, I meet my friends here and I even conduct my interviews here at times, because it is very convenient. It has personalized services and the receptionists are always very friendly. When I get back to Kristiansand, I always get evaluation forms on my email unfortunately they are in Norsk, so I don´t get to fill them in.
“Oh Patience I booked you in the same hotel, I realise you a loyal client, I just said your first name and guess as they typed it, your full names came up and they recognise you as are a member in this hotel,” said one of my colleague from Oslo as she booked my accommodation. Another friend of mine once told me, “You love this hotel so much, you can be assured they are happy to have clients like you, they will probably be sending you seasonal cards and on your birthday they will send you chocolates and a Christmas card”.
The past two nights I spent at the same hotel, I have been on assignment at Fredrikstad, about one hour train travel from Oslo city. Good to note that since I landed in Norway, I have become a nocturnal creature. I find myself staying up late night, and waking up late especially during the weekends. So last night after a chat with my friends in town, I checked in a bit late and still thought I had to finish writing my story before posting it. At exactly 1am, my internet went off but was I patient it will come back, because this was very unusual, it had never happened before.
In Kenya not everyone has electricity and in the in the city centers when we have no power, it is not news. Even when we go without power for 8 hours a day because of power rationing, all it gets it is a Facebook status update and tweets from some frustrated Kenyans who had to go to work without ironing their clothes. (Nkt!! This KPLC!!)
Having been in Norway for 7 months now, I have never witnessed power black-out. So after my internet went off, my heater went off too. It is winter time so while I was still wondering as to what was happening, and wondering how I was going to spend the night in the cold, then their was a black-out. So even in Norway it happens, I thought to myself, how? This is very unusual!! In Kristiansand there has never been power black-out, but in Oslo, right at the city center? Of course my computer was still on but then I didn´t want to work in the dark.
I pepped through the window and realized that there was power in the opposite building. I need to find out what is happening. There must be something wrong somewhere. So I use my phone to access my jacket and leave the room heading to the reception. My argument is, one, I am still working late, two I cannot spend the night in the cold, three, maybe my bulb just went off so I could have it fixed and finally I am just wondering, how come they do not have a back up system or even a generator? On the corridor, I realise it is a bit dim. I am on the third floor, so I use the stairs all the way to the reception. Here, I find a receptionist and one of the ladies cleaning up.
Both have a hodelykt (headlight) bright on their foreheads. The guy immediately approaches me and apologizes “ Hei, you do not have power in your room, right? I am sorry we are having the electric engineers changing the cables because we have to replace our system. We are sorry for the inconvenience, however if you need a torch to help you sort yourself in your room , here please get one.”
He hands me the torch and the lady who is cleaning makes it clear for me, “We had a note posted here the whole day, that between 1am to 2am there will be no power, simply because most people are probably asleep then, sorry guess you didn´t see it. Sorry for the inconvenience.” she said.
Of course I am happy that I actually have an explanation as to why there would probably be power black-out in a hotel at the city centre especially during winter. There was a note to that effect, plus an assumption that we all read the note and another assumption that at 1am everyone is asleep. I just went back to the room and slept.
So today I tell a Norwegian friend about my last nights incident and he responds, “Come on Patience, you should have asked for a refund, city center hotels in Norway are very expensive and of course we do not have generators because we rarely have power black-outs. I am sure even if they had a note pinned all day long it was in Norwegian, most probably you wouldn´t have read it.”
Now I am thinking, mmmmm, maybe I should have actually asked for a refund, hahaha! If my employer paid 1500 Noks (Kshs. 18,000) for two nights, how much would the refund be for one hour without power? Can I ask my employer to ask for the refund? Oh, they brought me a double share of my breakfast, maybe as a consolation, right? I checked out this morning and returned the torch and of course, I am in love with this hotel and still all the time I am in Oslo it will still be at H.P. The lady at the reception as usual she had a warm smile….. “Always a pleasure to serve you, you are welcome again, Tussen Takk.”