I went to Dairycon over the weekend. It is a nice little con with around a hundred or so people showing up to talk about, buy, and sell Transformers. The toys, not the power station thingies.

I brought a couple Xbox 360s, some Transformers cartoons, and some Transformers games. Left them running Friday and Saturday, and entertained a bunch of kids who got to play around while their parents went hunting for the toys they wish they could have found when they were kids. A good time was had by all.

The trip was marred a little bit by the hotel I was staying at. The Country Inn and Suites in Fond du Lac Wisconsin had three front desk operators who could not figure out how to charge a credit card. The first could not figure out how to authorize my business card, which had funds in it to cover my share of the hotel bill. The second attendant on Saturday managed to authorize the card, but then could not figure out how to charge it. The third attendant on Sunday first told me there was no authorization and never had been. When I showed him the proof in my bank account that there was one, including the reference number he could use to track it down, he said the bank had released the authorization, and that maybe I’d just overspent on the card, which is why they couldn’t authorize it.

I will note, for the record, that my “day” job is as a night auditor in the hotel industry. I work with credit card authorizations nearly every day of my life, and have done so for eighteen years. When a bank grants a hotel an authorization on a credit card, that is an iron clad guarantee from the bank that the funds are available. Period. End of line. The bank puts that amount of money in a little lock box labeled “their money” and the owner of the card cannot touch it. The card will decline if anyone else tries to draw it for any reason. The only way to get a bank to release the authorization if for the hotel in question to call them personally and request that the authorization be released. I have done this, so I know what I talk about. The hotel industry depends on authorizations be honored, which is why they are so iron clad.

I will note that the card worked all the way home, just fine, and when I got home and called my bank, they have the authorization on file. It is good until the 11th of this month, which is a standard authorization length for the stay I had scheduled. Authorizations typically are good for a matter of days to a week after the projected checkout schedule. That’s standard practice in the hotel industry, and it was not respected by my hotel in this case.

That is the service I got at Country Inn and Suites in Fond du Lac Wisconsin. I do not think I will return there in the future.