Since I am home sick, sitting in bed and unable to talk, I finally have time to tell this story of the very, very stupid thing I did on vacation and how I fixed it:

The parking lot of the hotel had one of those gates that guests use their room keys to activate when they come and go.  As I was heading out one morning, there was a couple in front of me, in a convertible, having trouble getting out the gate.  I backed up, thinking they would back up and let me go by while they figured it out.

They did not.  The wife hopped out of the car and ran back to the front entrance to get help.  She came back alone, told her husband to back up and try again, like there was a sensor or something that has to be triggered.  Didn’t work.  Long story short, they couldn’t get the thing to work and wouldn’t get out of my way.  It went on for at least 10 minutes.

Finally, the lady came back and asked if they could use my room key on the gate.  In my impatience, I gave it to her.

I gave her my room key.  Of all the paranoid travel safety rules, I broke that one.

Somehow, in my brain, she was going to walk up to the gate, swipe my card and walk it back to me.  All where I could see her.  Instead, she got back into the car and handed it to her guy.  After a few seconds, he swiped the card and the gate opened.  He drove threw.  Only then did she get out of the car and walk the key back to me.  I drove up, swiped it again and drove out myself.

I headed out to the main road behind them and saw leave.  But then I start debating with myself.

  1. We are all on vacation.  They probably just demagnetized their room key with the cell phones.  Happens all the time.
  2. My room key was out of my sight, in the hands of a stranger.  They could have swapped keys.  They could have my room key.
  3. Please.  Someone staged that whole thing to get a room key?
  4. Kate and Sawyer would do that.
  5. Seriously.  The room key doesn’t have a room number on it.  They would have had to stake me out to find out what room I am in.
  6. Kate and Sawyer would do that.
  7. My computer, iPod, Kindle, and wallet are in that room.

I turned around, went to the front desk, and had my keys reset.  Problem solved.  But still:

What should I have done in this situation?

In hindsight, I thought about taking my key to swipe it for them much earlier in the drama, but I decided it would appear impatient and presumptuous.  However, when the lady came back and asked, I probably should have taken my key, gotten out of my car and walked it up at that time. 

But never, never give someone else the room key.

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