Monday, July 25, 2011


I was chatting to an old friend the other day who told me an interesting piece of news that I didn't know before.

She said a friend of hers went for a job at a Travelodge and part of his training programme was how to deal with a dead body. Apparently the company is a first choice for those looking to kill themselves and they have across the UK two suicides week to deal with so it's important that staff know what to do in such circumstances.

I don't say it's true because I can't find any links to support it other than this one from a regular visitor who seems to be aware if it but then I guess it's something that Travelodge would want to keep quiet. I mean, who would want to stay there knowing the previous body in the same bed was dead?

I used to stay at Travelodges quite a lot because they were cheap and convenient and always set aside rooms for smokers and non-smokers. I last visited in 2007 soon after the smoking ban came out on a trip to Newcastle.

I booked before July 2007 for a stay after July 1 and had the option to book a smoking room which I did. On arrival, however, I found that the company had decided to enforce the smoke-free law even though they had the choice as some hotels still exercise.

We arrived very late. My son was 13. I was told that smoking was no longer allowed and I complained that I had only booked because smoking was advertised as permitted.

"Not any more," the disinterested desk receptionist said.

I pushed forward my point that it was wrong to advertsise a service which was then withdrawn without any notifiation and had I been notified of the change, I might well have decided to book elsewhere.

"Feel free to leave and find somewhere else then," she replied rather rudely.

At that late hour it wasn't feasible to take a child on the round of various hotels at the dead of night and so I had no choice but I've never stayed there since. I was also encouraged that as we got closer to the shit bag room we were given, there was a smell of smoke in the corridor so others had obviously decided to ignore her.

I am sure that if I did want to commit suicide a last fag would be one of the things I'd want so even as a place of death, Travelodge falls short in its service.

Another friend once told me that he had contemplated suicide and rather than just take one single cigarette to smoke in his car, he decided to do it the proper way and put a pipe from his exhaust into the car. He had a last smoke which gave him the time to reconsider his decision. He later told me that if anyone thinking of suicide just took those extra few minutes to think it through carefully, as his smoke allowed him to do, then there would less self inflicted deaths.

As a result of this, Travelodge might want to rethink it's policy of banning smokers from staying at its hotels. It might cost the firm a lot less in the long run and make for a much more pleasant working environment for its staff.