I had slept well, had a good breakfast and remembered to bring an umbrella. Why such synchrony? Today, registration for the Hyatt hotel at Dragon*con opened at 10am and I intended to get a room. I got to work around 7:30am, loaded my browser to the registration page and saw the “registration is not yet available, you will be processed in the order you visited.” screen. This wasn’t the “this registration page is unavailable” error that happens when a page is swamped so I had a good chance of actually getting a room when registration opened in a little over two hours.
My heart began to race as 10am approached when at 9:58am the fire alarm went off. I dutifully went to the assembly area and waited. At 10:15 the drill was over and I returned to my desk to see two things:
*A grayed out browser window saying “please make a room selection”
*A pop-up on top of it saying my session had timed out after 15 minutes.
I reloaded the page to see the display showing “no rooms available” and frowned a bit. Had I been more prescient, I would have tried this operation on my phone, but working in a skyscraper leads to dubious connections so I’m not sure how this would have worked.
My backup was to use Airbnb and I found a place located next to the Hyatt where the convention happens listed for $650 a week. This would prove to be about 1/2 the price of the Hyatt for an equivalent stay so I attempted to book it. Later I received a rejection email with a comment from the renter saying that a number of people had contacted him for the room. I indicated it was probably due to Dragon*con and he replied that he’d probably want more. I offered what the hotel charged after fees and he replied with “we’re not sure who we’re going to go with but we’ll consider you when we choose.” I replied with “if you accept my bid I will bring to you a bounty of baked goods the likes of which you’ve never seen”. Later that evening I received a contract offer from him. Not only do I now have a reserved space for Dragon*con but the car will probably smell wonderful on the drive down.