We must be pretty poor bloggers. Our throwaway piece on there not being mousepads in hotel rooms drew (for us) a record 3500+ hits last Friday, courtesy of links from Above the Law and Instapundit. That’s second only to Wyeth v. Levine. And it generated over 1000 hits on Saturday and another 800+ on Sunday – both records for those days of the week.
Newsflash: more people care about mousepads than about drug and medical device product liability litigation. What does that say about what we do for a living? About our chosen topic? About us? Don’t answer that last one – we get enough comments along those lines from our families and coworkers (we won’t even mention our friends).
We also got 27 comments – also a record. Most fell into three categories. The first (at least we’ll put it first) agreed with us and thought we were right to call the hospitality industry to task for not providing mousepads for guests with computers. Why inconvenience your guests?
Not too many of those, though.
The second group thought we were just annoying whiners, and that we should suck it up and carry mousepads with us. Well, most of the time we do, but sometimes we’re cheap and use firm-issued laptops, and these aren’t standard equipment. But why should we? The same proposition applies to coat hangers, soap – heck, even toilet paper. It’s the “hospitality” industry – not the rooming industry. They’re supposed to be hospitable, aren’t they? They provide “free” (yeah, we know, that means part of overhead – just like “free” Internet service itself) hair dryers, shower caps, shoe shining (some places), stationery, etc. Why not mousepads?
A third group criticized us as technological slackers for even using computer mouses (mice?) that need friction to operate. Get an optical mouse, or a trackball, they say. As for them – we don’t care. The mouse in use at the moment in preparing this post has a little red light on the bottom; what does that mean it is? We’ve proudly proclaimed ourselves to be the blogging Luddites already. Heck, we just got used to broadband. As far as we’re concerned, critics of that ilk can take their optical mice and run them all they want on the glass tabletops in their hotel rooms.
Finally, one comment seems to advocate a government mandate. That’s silly. Between healthcare reform, the economy, global warming, Afghanistan, and lots of other things, the government has plenty to keep it busy right now. We advocate just the opposite – that some smart hotelier will get a competitive edge by providing customers with mousepads with their logos (and contact information, of course) on them – and even encourage their guests to take them with them on their travels.
That’s free enterprise, and we suspect, good business.