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The Working Retired

I don’t know how to still be likable, and yet admit to you how spoiled I have been – and still am.  I hope you won’t hate me too much.  As a county office employee, I attended three yearly statewide meetings, and represented our region of 5 Central Valley counties sharing ideas and bringing back ideas and information from the other 11 regional leads.  Since my job hasn’t been filled, I had the privilege of short-term employment to attend the first meeting of the year.

Embassy Suites, Downey, CA

For me this means driving 4-5 hours often after work, spending the night in a hotel at a government rate of about $89, having a free breakfast at the hotel, attending a meeting with friends I have made from around the state from 9:30-3:30 (or so), coming back stimulated meditating on all my plans and ideas as I drive home 4-5 hours depending on traffic.


Here comes the spoiled part.  When I was working I didn’t give TOO much thought to the lodging.  I stayed at Embassy Suites the last time I went to Los Angeles County Office of Education.  When I got around to registering myself – on the way down to LA, Embassy Suites didn’t have any more rooms at government rates.  I didn’t want to spend $179 for the room, so I got out my trusty iPhone, and started looking for hotels.  Quickly I found the American Inn.  The icon looked ok, and it was only $69, just $20 less than the government rate for Embassy Suites.  Not too bad.  Tonight  if you are looking it up online it’s an even better rate.

Embassy Suites Lobby

My first clue that I might have made a poor choice, and that I was SOOOOOO spoiled was the lobby.  There wasn’t one.  Registration took place at a carved out space in the wall with a window, and a little pass through hole like a ticket booth at the theatre into which I entrusted with my identification .  The attendant looked carefully at my driver’s license (about 5 minutes) until I began to wonder if he found a warrant for my arrest.  Finding none, I guess, he finally gave me back my license, and passed through a detailed information card to complete.  Once I had filled that out he passed out the KEY and I was on my way.  No cookie, no smile, no complimentary snacks, drinks or breakfast.  Oops!

The sad thing – and the most spoiled of all – is that I had no one to blame but myself for the plight I had gotten myself into.  And it was only my spoiled attitude that made it a plight.

My new front door, Room 102, was the second door away from the busy street called Imperial Highway.  I didn’t feel queenly or imperial in any way.  There was a plastic foot-shaped clear plastic sack that must have blown down the street and landed right outside my door.  Step right up.  I hoped that those walking down the street wouldn’t decide that my room invited a knock on the door.  I stayed outside in my car until it got almost dark because the room was dark with the heavy curtain that didn’t quite close, but I was uncomfortable leaving it open

I did finally have to go into Room 102 because after traveling for 5 hours to get there I had to use the bathroom.  I prayed that the outside door held shut because the bathroom door was broken.  I finally scraped it shut, but it bent a little along the crack around the hinge as I did so.  As I sat there briefly, I counted the long hairs left on the shiny clean bathroom floor, and I wondered how many more I would find in the tub. By the next morning I was only worried about whether hot water was going to EVER come out of the shower head.

Embassy snack bar

Of course, since there was no lobby, there was no place to grab a bite to eat in the hotel, either – at least that I found.  Actually it was a motel, and I thought about going out for dinner, but then I thought about driving or walking down Imperial Highway, and decided I could skip dinner.  Fortunately I had plenty of reading material, and a knitting project.  Who needs calories anyway?


The bed at the American Inn was firm, but comfortable, and the traffic stopped about 1:00, but I have heard traffic in some of the most expensive places, so considering that I was only a few steps from the traffic, it was not bad at all.

So here’s the deal.  I took my camera to record my trip, but decided not to take pictures.  It wasn’t that the American Inn was all that bad.  I hate being honest, but the truth is that I AM spoiled.  I had to be my own secretary, and I have a few things to learn!  So can y’all forgive me and still like me not just because I’m spoiled, but I enjoy being spoiled better than not being spoiled?


10 replies »

  1. You’re not spoiled woman! Ok, maybe you’re a little spoiled…But when I’m traveling alone, I require a certain amount of comfort to feel secure. Secure=good trip; Insecure=crappy trip. Not to mention the bed bug phobia I’ve acquired when I travel for business now-lol! I think I might have had to de-camp… 😉


    • My real problem isn’t that I am or I’m not spoiled. I’m like you there are certain comforts and even friendliness that I enjoy. The hole in the wall to pass your driver’s license through – no lobby. Bummer. That was huge! I like humans!


  2. If you’re spoiled – that makes me a brat! I would hate to stay in a dodgy place like that. When we go travelling I always say to hubby, ‘let’s find the nearest resort’. He say’s ‘what about a hotel?’ and then notices the look on my face and finds a resort. Truth is, I don’t feel safe in places that aren’t 99.9% secure. I can’t sleep and I listen for every sound in the night wondering if my picture will be slapped all over the newspapers with the words ‘Woman murdered in dodgy hotel bed!’

    I love this post 😀


  3. I don’t think expecting quality is being spoiled, I think that makes sense. 🙂 I also don’t think expecting security is bad, if it is then I am the same as you. I think I have learned with hotels and motels, if its cheap then there is usually a good reason. Great story Marsha. 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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