Editor’s Note: The article below is a chapter out of Charlie Glass’ (Glass Management Group) newly released book, Goodtime Charlie. The longtime farm equipment veteran refers to his newest work as saying, “Some of these stories are true, some are tall tales and some came from the travails of a traveling salesman.” 

Following his retirement from farm equipment sales, Glass served as a judge in the Dealership of the Year awards and became a frequent contributor to Lessiter Media’s Farm Equipment, Rural Lifestyle Dealer and Ag Equipment Intelligence properties. For details on how to obtain a copy of Goodtime Charlie, email glassmanagementgroup@gmail.com.

As a professional traveler, I thought that I had endured every conceivable misfortune that could befall you in a motel. By this time I had spent nearly 6 years on the road, staying in motels 3-4 nights a week.  

I arrived in Lexington, Ky., and checked into the Holiday Inn, which was one of the plushest hotels in town.  It had a dining room that was often visited by the locals and there was an undercurrent of conversations about race horses. As a farm equipment salesman I often had muddy boots and had to make myself presentable to enter such a fine eatery. 

The trouble began when I checked in. I was assigned a room on the back of the hotel and located on the third floor. I had to make several trips to get all of my luggage, typewriter and other necessary items into the room. By the third trip I was breathing hard and my face was red as a beet. I was overcome with joy and exhilaration just knowing that I had everything in the room that I might need for the evening.  

I kicked the door closed with my foot as I dropped the last of the load that I was carrying and then turned the knob that would lock the door and snapped the security chain in place.  

After a short period of time, the pangs of hunger alerted me to the need to find dinner. I dressed in my most elegant clothes and headed for the door. I flipped the chain out of the security latch and then reached for the knob to unlock the door. I gave it a powerful twist but for some reason it resisted my efforts to unlock it. Motel doors are notorious for being cantankerous sometime and so I pushed against the door and then turned the knob once more. It still would not open. 

It was while I was standing there in the midst of a quiet room that I realized that I was captive in my own motel room. I briefly entertained the thought of throwing a chair through the huge glass window but discounted that thought after considering the cost of replacing the window.  

At last resort, I reached for the phone and called the front desk. 

“May I help you?” the operator asked. 

“Yes mam,” I said, trying to sound as calm as possible. “You see, I seemed to be locked in my room.” 

“What is your room number,” she asked.  

I told her 318 and she then began to reassure me by saying, “We’ll have someone come up there soon to let you in.” 

“Let me in!” I screamed, “Lady, I don’t want in! I am in! I just want to get out!” 

I guess it was just about that time that full impact of the situation occurred to her.  

“Just a minute,” she said and I heard her cover the phone and then yell to everyone in the lobby, “Hey, you are not going to believe this but there is some guy who has himself locked in his room!”

I could hear roars of laughter and then she came back on the line. In a desperate effort to suppress her mirth, she said they would be right there. 

The motel engineer and about 29 other people showed up outside my door. I heard a distinct rattle of the door lock and someone said, “Try it now.” 

I grabbed the knob for the door lock and prepared to twist it off the door if necessary but it opened as easily as I could have ever imagined.

Outside, the smiling crowd listened as the engineer said, “You left your key in the outside lock and it will jam up the door lock when you engaged the night lock from the inside. So, remember to take it out next time before you lock the door.”  

Ever since that episode, I got the VIP treatment every time I checked into that hotel.  They sent the bellman around with me to make sure that I can properly operate the door locks.

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