In Sunday’s NYTimes.
And so, I resist. I downgrade, I discard, I decline to upgrade. More than a decade ago, I got rid of cable TV, then network TV. I cut out personal phone calls (unless the person is a continent away), then anything other than businesslike emails. If I want to catch up with a good friend or a family member, I wait until we actually see each other.
When the pop-up window on my computer asks if I’d like to install the latest version of this or that, unless it’s for security reasons, my response is, “No, thank you.” Nor do I want that “amazing” new app. My mother — yes, my mother — knew about Lyft before I did. I’ve never tried whatever Spotify is, preferring the radio and ye olde compact discs. I’m sure I’d still be using a CD Walkman if I’d ever gotten one to begin with.
Never got a Nook, a Kindle, an iPad, don’t want them. Until quite recently, I thought Alexa was a joke, a wild, hypothetical Orwellian item that might one day be foisted upon the world, not something that anyone might actually desire, pay for and willingly allow into her home.
Overall, there is some great advice in the column. Spend less time worrying about Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more time thinking about… Anything else. But I do think the above takes it to an extreme. Sure, getting rid of cable TV is great, but what is she using to play compact discs? What about when it breaks? The answer is really something in the middle. Don’t spend too much of your life worrying about the conveniences of life, but instead on the important stuff. There have been plenty of books and blog posts about this subject.
One of the perks of being a Platinum member of Starwood’s Preferred Guest program is the occasional upgrade to a better room, sometimes a suite. When I arrived at the Sheraton in Brooklyn I inquired about a possible upgrade and was told, “I have a suite available if you don’t mind being on a lower floor”. I have no preference on my room’s altitude but being in NY, I asked about noise levels. The gentleman checking me in assured me that it was quiet and noise wouldn’t be a problem.
I got to the room, unpacked and immediately noticed street noise. Again, being in NY, this is kind of expected and I figured the noise would go away as the night went on. By 10pm it was fairly quiet and I went to bed. Sometime around 3am there was all kinds of noise outside. Not people partying but what sounded like construction or trash pick-up. All I know is that it went on for what felt like eternity (but was probably really an hour).
To top all of this off, I went to get in the shower this morning and was smart enough to test the water before getting in. Am I glad I did. The temperature indicated by the faucet handle was lukewarm at best, but that certainly did not match what was coming out of the shower head. Not in the mood to burn myself or come out looking like a just boiled lobster, I opted to give myself a glorified spit bath.
All of this to say, sometimes, an upgrade is not an upgrade at all. The staff was helpful when I explained both issues to them and they offered to move me to another room, which I accepted. Since no other suites were available, I was downgraded back to the type of room I was originally booked in.