Friday, 25 April 2008

Mini Bar Blues & the Hostess With The Mostest

In today's Straits Times there is an article on the hotel of the future.

One of the reasons for the feature is the Food & Hotel Asia trade show that is currently on in the Expo Centre at Changi.

In the paper the article details some of the innovative features that one might expect to find, one of which I have recently experienced in the USA.

When I say "experienced" I should qualify this by stating that the experience was not that positive. I am of course referring to the computerised mini-bar which in theory automatically logs every drink removed from it and directly charges it to your bill.

In practice, it charges you if you so much as shift a single item of its contents to make way for your own items (which you may wish to cool down).

The computerised minibar is a classic example of an IT technology that no one really needs and which actually alienates its users. No doubt the rationale behind its introduction is that the concierge can quickly replace items that have been used.

What ever happened to walking into the room, opening the fridge door and looking?

Hostess-slapping also recently featured permanently in the local media.

No, this is not a new form of the Survivor game. It records a recent incident on a Singapore Airlines plane, where the wife of a local tycoon, one Madame Tan, apparently took exception to the attention that a hostess was lavishing on her husband (although the detail of what provoked this incident has never been fully explained in public).

Md. Tan has settled a civil suit out of court and in the past 24 hours the police prosecutor has dropped the case against her for 'voluntarily causing hurt', an assault-related charge.

This decision has not gone well with some Singaporeans who have seen employers being imprisoned for slapping their maids. A also questioned the dropping of charges on local television last night.

But there's a happy outcome for the hostess. She has received a payout from a very wealthy Singapore family and is soon to be married to her fiancée.

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