Room 216! Don’t Forget – 216!

Room 216! Don’t Forget – 216!

After 34 years of being involved in an industry that is so squarely focused on personal safety, you would think that very little would surprise me anymore. Whether it’s a teenage girl who agrees to accept a ride from someone she doesn’t even know, or a mom who encourages her child to “talk to the nice man” (who they don’t know), I have been witness to some of the greatest personal safety violations imaginable. This weekend, however, I found myself, again, reprimanding a stranger for her complete disregard for her own personal safety.

In Los Angeles to teach a Wrong Woman seminar, I  was staying  at a well known hotel and had spent the day in the lobby writing a section for a new book. While I sat there, I noticed that a large group participating in a conference was extremely boisterous. Not in a negaitve way – just fun, loud, and enjoying themselves. I didn’t know who the group was but they certainly  had a party atmosphere about them.

After staring at my computer for a few hours, (and feeling a little unfocused watching everyone around me have so much fun!), I decided to take a break and head up to my room. The elevator was full ~  a true blend of folks who weren’t familiar with each other .  One of the girls with the “fun” group was standing neear the back of the elevator – taking very loudly to a few of her friends standing near the front of the car. As one of her friends prepared to exit the elevator, she shouted out – “Hey, don’t forget – we are in room 216! 216 – the door will be open”

I took a good look at her. Mid 20’s – attractive, bubbly…and clueless. Unfortunatley, I wasn’t the only one looking at her – though I am certain that I was the only one who was thinking about the fact that she was close to my daughters age and I was horrified at the safety faux pas she had just made. Others in the elevaotr, including a few college age boys and some middle aged business men, were more than happy to try and strike up a conversation with her.  After a few verbal exchanges with some of the men, she turned to me.  ‘You here for the convention?”  “No”,  I told her , “but I am here to teach a seminar about safety and I have to tell you that what you just did was EXACTLY what we encourage  young women NOT to do.” My comment  shut the men up in a hurry – especially after I threw knowing looks at all of them that screamed, “Don’t EVEN think about heading to that room.”

I went on to explain that while I knew she wanted her friends to know where she was staying – now the entire elevator knew..and they knew the door was open. The group riding with us could be harmless – but who knows?  That’s not a gamble any woman should be willing to make. I tried to help her understand that type of  information falling on the wrong ears could cost her her life.

She was annoyed that I said anything to her. Her flippant attitude toward me was pretty typical of a 22 year old female who wants everything in life BUT a middle aged woman telling her how to live it. As she brushed past me and made her way off the elevator I certainly didn’t regret calling her out on her public announcement of where she could  be found. While she certianly didn’t seem receptive to what I had to say, my hope is that the next time she decides to scream out her hotel room (and the fact that the door would be open) to an entire crowd of people, she may just remember that crazy woman from Burbank who told her to keep her details to herself….and it may keep her from making a bad chice that could ruin her life.

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