It's been a rough week for the Blake Hotel and the California delegation.
The hotel's been undergoing remodeling for months. They didn't quite work out all the bugs before opening their doors to the convention's largest delegation. A chunk of plaster fell off the building on Friday. The city reportedly condemned a few rooms for not being up to code. Guests got stuck in an elevator. One floor had no hot water, another no cold water. One guest said there was water dripping from his ceiling.
Californians haven't been shy about complaining. Loudly. The state party set up a special e-mail address for delegates to give feedback on their lodgings. Glad it's not me reading those complaints!
The staff has bent over backwards to try putting collective fingers in the many leaking dikes. Several I've talked to are working many, many overtime hours.
But guests have been leaving the building in droves. And those that remain are using it like a badge of courage. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein told the delegation at her breakfast speech that she's staying here. And she suggested hardship creates "bonding qualities" that could work to the party's advantage.
Meanwhile, the state Democratic Party staff came up with its own attempt at rallying the troops, turning to poetry. A trio of female staffers read this at breakfast:
Before we get started there are a few things we want to review
The hotel was just renovated which may mean problems for you
Your toilet might flush with a mighty roar
But you know that it works, that's for sure
You may need to search for an outlet that works
It's like a free workout — definitely one of the perks
Your room might double as a refrigerator
And we're told your internet connection could work later
When you take a shower there is no cold water
Just think how clean you'll be — it can't get much hotter
There will be no room service available this week
The horror, we know, but the truth we speak
Trapped in the elevator? Don't despair
It will only take an hour or two to repair
Water leaking from the ceiling and floor?
It's ambience — we can enjoy the rain from indoors
Did you find construction tools when you walked in the door?
They might come in handy when you fix your decor
Please know that this experience was not our intent
But not everything runs smoothly like a CDP [California Democratic Party] event
We hope that you'll enjoy the DNC this week
And if you have room problems call the front desk and shriek
The hotel itself may be in tatters
But the good thing is — it doesn't really matter
Because on Thursday, California will arrive in style
Knowing that for President, we went the extra mile
In the end, we will weather this drama
When we deliver the nomination for Obama!
PS: I don't think the state poet laureate's job is in danger.