What’s That Switch Do?

In the past year or so, I’ve often taken advantage of the ordinarily genial hospitality found in our UK hotels. My hosts ranging on the luxury spectrum from four/five star establishments to the budget hostelries where Lenny Henry dosses (on TV commercials anyway).

One thing I’ve identified in these lodgings, regardless of where they sit in the quality range, is there’s always one bedroom light switch that doesn’t appear to have a meaningful function. This curious phenomenon relating to both the switching units adjacent to the room entrance door and bedside lamp controls.

Without fail, there will always be at least one switch that doesn’t appear to have any purpose whatsoever. I’m at a loss as to why this seems to be such a consistent occurrence throughout accomodation of this type. Surely it can’t be an oversight made on every single room during the electrician’s first fix.

Hotel Light Switches – I’m prepared to bet one of those won’t do anything!!

hotel switches

Could it be the case that this apparently impotent switch controls one of the lights in an adjacent room? An anomaly that results in the business woman in the next room burning herself with her hair straightens, the outcome of me inadvertently plunging her room into darkness by trying to solve the function of my apparent dud button.

Is it possible my wall mounted switch controls the electricity feed to the TV in room 204? With ramifications of the room’s guest wasting the £9.99 he paid to watch the movie ‘Ladies Busters II’, on it being flipped in innocence by yours truly.

Maybe it controls street lighting in the Salford area of Manchester, or the renovated docklands in Glasgow. Could there be a scenario where a power companies control room watch on, completely flummoxed why lights in a library in Nottingham are sporadically being deprived of power?

Whatever the answer, until I know definitively what the switch controls, I now resist messing with this dud switch. After all, if it does control the lighting in a different hotel room, lamps continuously flipping on and off may cause someone to have an epileptic seizure. I don’t want that on my conscience……. I felt guilty enough depriving the guy in Room 204 of viewing ‘Ladies Busters II’ (if it actually occurred).

Regardless, this mystery doesn’t stop my overall enjoyment of my stays. Apart from the hotel where someone’s supposedly inactive switch seemed to be controlling the Jacuzzi in the spa area.

As a consequence the bubble jets within the tub sporadically turned on and off, resulting in my aspirations of unwinding diminishing…… To be honest, though, I suspect these occurrences were more the result of a timing mechanism built into the Jacuzzi itself.

To get to the bottom of this conundrum, I even questioned Siri on my phone. I suspect I must have interrupted her at an inopportune moment as she snapped back “How the hell do I know what that switch does?…… It’s one of life’s great mysteries, akin to who really killed JFK and why some people wrap their heads in adhesive tape….. Now stop bothering me or I’ll take out a restraining order!”

Consequently, it looks as though I’ll have to wait for the Christmas publication of Stephen Hawking’s book ‘The Purpose of Hotel Room Light Switches & Tankards’ to rectify that particular knowledge void.

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Gary Strachan View All →

2 kids who've flown the nest, 1 wife whose flown with Jet2. Born at a young age in 1960's Leeds, the author became interested in the literary life when his wife bought him a dog. Having an allergy to dogs, he swapped it for a typewriter. Being unable to train the typewriter to retrieve tennis balls, he reluctantly turned to writing...... Website - www.writesaidfred.org

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