June 8, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas


Yesterday, before getting on the GS in Cape Charles, I checked my email as I usually do in the morning. In it was a note from Maggie about the conference hotel, the Sheraton in Eatontown, NJ. With recommendations from Monmouth University, we chose the Sheraton for its proximity to the university and for the fact it had a restaurant and a bar for us to congregate; we are a very gregarious group, we Mailerians. The last time we were in Long Branch, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, and while not a bad hotel, it was not good for our group though it was only a few minutes from Monmouth.

Maggie’s email reported that “the Sheraton unceremoniously canceled our room block today at 5pm [June 6, 2022] and moved us to the Radisson Hotel.” Are you kidding me? Not only is this surrogate hotel 30 minutes from the university, the Sheraton did not even bother to call those of us who made a reservation, but thrust this responsibility on Maggie’s shoulders. How unprofessional. According to Maggie, they “overbooked and simply did not have the space for us.” This is absurd and ridiculous; a day before the conference. We have had a contract with the Sheraton for over a year; while Maggie handled most of the organization, I was involved with quite a bit of back-and-forth about the contract. It was detailed and precise, but obviously irrelevant when it comes to protecting our interests. And they seem less-than-contrite, offering no better explanations or compensation. It truly seems that they could not care less.

Sheraton, your blasé dismissal of our organization has made an impact on me: I will no longer give you my business, and I will encourage everyone I know (including the two people who read this journal) not to use your hotels or resorts. I wonder if that should also include all of Marriott International? I don’t see why not.