My Red Hat RHCSA renewal experience

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Posted on September 01, 2018

I don’t normally post personal life experiences on this blog. But this is a story that needs to be told.
My fiancee’ and I recently went to Baltimore inner harbor. I had to visit University of Maryland
to renew my Red Hat Certification. So we booked a room at this well known Hilton hotel. I decided
not to mention the exact hotel because they made my issue right. I also met some nice people there.

We arrive at the hotel and from the beginning something just wasn’t right. We had to park in a
city own garage which closed the gate about 11pm. Just keep this time in mind, more on this soon
enough. The garage also do not allow in and out throughout the day. Okay , so we park in the garage
and walk a half block to the hotel. We are excited to finally be able to take a small vacation. We
reach the hotel and the lady at the front desk ask could she help us. So far so good. I give her my booking
information and she pull it up. she says “Oh your here for two days in our handicap room” . Hold up, wait
a minute. I said no very nicely, I said I booked a two bedroom suite which comes with breakfast. She said
no that not what I am seeing in my system. (I scratched my head at this point. Because I felt like R. Kelly.
My temperature’s rising) I said I dont care what’s in your system. My booking receipt shows a two bedroom suite and do I look
like I need a handicap room for four people. At this point she see’s I am getting a little heated. She state’s
that she will correct it in the system and hook me up. ( Yep, her words and keep this in mind)

I accept the “hook me up room” and we head up. We are excited again that we are finally checked in and can hit the city
soon. We open the door to the room and “BAM” . I see two queeen beds from the gate and a living room. I am heated
again because we have the kids with us and I wanted them to have their own room. This is not a two bedroom suite.
Then we smell meldew and found some moisture next to the bed from a leak. Still I needed this room for my exam
and didn’t feel like losing my money on this room. We try to make the best of it. Sike, I called the front desk
to complain about my room. They had me on hold for about 15 min. Yep, about 15 min. I finally get a guy who says
they gave me a two room suite. I said dude, I booked a two bedroom suite. He told me its all semantics. (WTF). I said
if you rent a three bedroom house. How many living quarters are you expecting? three right? So this guy refused to understand
my issue so I got off the phone. He never offered  us another room or anything.

The next day , I get up bright and early for my exam. My exam was about 7:45am and I got up about 5:30am to get some extra
studying in. My plan was to leave about 6:15am so i can arrive early for the exam. The exam location was a 20 min drive from the  hotel. I left the hotel at 6:15am as plan and headed to the city own garage. (Remember in the begining?) I get to the garage and the gate’s are locked. ( just great ) I panic a little and was not sure how the heck I was going to get the car out.
The clock is ticking and If I am late for the exam I forfeit my fee. it’s now 6:25am and I found this number on the door
for assistance. I call the number and the guy tell’s me to locate a little black box and swipe my ticket. Luckily , I had my ticket
with me instead of in the car. Not one person told us the garage closes at a certain time and dont open until about 9am. (WTF) So
i get to the car about 6:40am. I arrive at UMC about 7am, nice right? I am super early and super hype about taking this
exam. The front desk guy came in about 7:25am to open the office. He talks to me about my exam and he mention he will
show me the room in about 5 min, Okay cool. He takes me up to show me the room and tells me I can not start the exam until 7:45am, Alright understood. So, 7:45 comes and I run to the room to begin my exam. I click the keyboard to wake up the system and I am presented with a Red Hat login screen. ( Are you kidding me?) I use a database for all of my passwords and I left it at the house. So I run down to the front desk and I told the guy I dont know my password off hand. He said well you need that to take the exam. (my temperature is going up again) Dude, why didnt you tell me at 7:00am that I needed my login credentials for the Red Hat portal. Then he tells me that if I dont start the exam within 15 min of the start time. I will not be able to take it. I said why didnt you test the system prior to 7:45am. You knew I was here for the exam and you had plenty of time to (mic check the system). Fast forward some,I end up sprinting back to the exam room after resetting my Red Hat password from my mobile phone. I was able to start the exam at 7:59am .I had one more minute before I was toast. So , it tells me to click the Proctor icon, (WTF is a Proctor?) anyway,I click it and the laptop begins to talk to me. I really mean talk to me. The computer said , welcome to your exam and I need for you to remove your hat.I was like how does the computer know I have a hat on. I know we have this AI and machine learning stuff going on.But this is on another level.So I pointed to my hat and the computer said yes please. (WTF). I remove my hat and it ask me to scan the room with the mobile camera.So now I am realizing a Proctor is a remote exam administrator (A real human). who knew. The test begins with me going through a rough morning. I struggled in the begining because my mind wasn’t right. I passed the exam and extended my Red Hat RHCSA :)

I am heading back to the city and hotel. I call my girlfriend to tell her about my morning. She then drop a bomb on me and tell me about the roaches they saw last night. (omg, can I catch a break) I get back to the hotel and I am done. I call the front desk and I am on fire this time. I told them about the broken blinds, roaches and smell. They yet to even offer us another room.
They sent a maintenance guy to check it out and he only fix the blinds.The mainteance guy was very cool and told us about
Moe’s seafood. If your in the Baltimore area, definitely checkout Moe’s.

We went out to the harbor and dinner and had a great time. Kam and I needed some adult time so we go
down to the hotel bar on our final day. We’re taking shots and trying to have some fun. This guy comes up to me and we just started kicking it . He mention that he a technical support rep and wanted to learning some Python and networking. So I explain to him what I do and we exchange contact information. I want to  mention this guy was very cool and we had a great time at the bar. So we’re taking more and more shots. Near closing time, he ask how we like Baltimore?(Are you sure you want to know? lol ) I told him Baltimore is nice, but this hotel sucks . He instantly felt my pain and said what happen. I told him the story. Guess what? lol. His brother is the front desk manager. He ask me if i knew the guy name who answered the call. I told him no and I didnt want to get anyone fired. I just want a better experience and for my money to match that. So I paid my tab at the bar and gave the bartender a 28.00 tip because I was drunk. ( Beyonce: I been drinking) On a good day I may only tip the bartender 5 to 10 bucks. So the guy brother called me a few days later and followed up with a email . I told him about my experience and mention that my experience is a good oppportunity for hotel to make some adjustments on how they treat their customers. As a gesture , he credited back my entire lounge bill including the tip. This is the reason I dont want to put the hotel name out there. I had a bad experience but the front desk Manager cared enough to offer me something. Small things like this goes a long way.

Also, for those working as a front desk clerk. Be careful how you treat customers because you never know who’s who. Who knew I would meet the brother of the front desk manager at the bar. I could have press the issue to get the person who answered the phone disciplined.

Thanks for reading my story . Special thanks for Shawn , Jay and Red Hat for a memorable experience.