Bugs and rudeness
It used to be that writers and actors, in pursuing their respective careers, began by bracing for rejection. James Joyce’s first novel, Dubliners, was apparently rejected 18 times by 15 different publishers. And of the 379 copies that sold in the first year (1914), Joyce himself bought 120 of them. Joyce’s 1922 novel, Ulysses, by the way, is considered by many groups as the most important novel of the 20th century. (Painful disclosures—I’ve tried reading Ulysses at least nine times and never made it past the first 50 pages. I’ve also written about 50 short stories that back in the day were rejected by at least five different publishers each. I kept track.) With the rise of self-publishing, however, I’m guessing that, for the writer, rejection may no longer carry the same inevitably. Which brings me to the current issue: I recently wrote a review of the Showboat Casino Hotel, in Atlantic City, NJ. And the review was rejected by TripAdvisor. Hence, I will now proceed with a self-published blog diatribe. I admit that the rantings of Lenny Bruce are nagging and niggling in my mind. At the end of his career (which coincided closely with the end of his life at age 40), Bruce would confound the audience by reading, verbatim, court documents directed at him—subpoenas and charges and lawsuits. Here’s the problem: It wasn’t funny. It was, in fact, boring. So I’ll get through this quickly. Here’s the nice rejection e-mail I got from TripAdvisor:
Dear TripAdvisor Member, Thank you for taking the time to write a review of Showboat Casino Hotel on TripAdvisor. Over the years, we have learned that reviews without a substantive account of the traveler’s experience are not very helpful to other travelers. Therefore, we do not post reviews that do not contain enough relevant information on the given listing. You are welcome to resubmit a more detailed account of your first-hand travel experience and/or photos that meets our guidelines at any time. Our guidelines for writing reviews can be found here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/our_guidelines_for_traveler_reviews We look forward to seeing your contributions to our community. Best regards, TripAdvisor Support Team
And here’s my rejected review:
Subject: Showboat Casino Hotel Location: Atlantic City, New Jersey Title: Bugs and rudeness If you check in after 8 p.m., all bets are off, even if you call early to inform them of a late check-in. My wife and I didn’t get the room we were promised, the room we were given had bugs, and the staff was uniformly rude, uncaring, and dishonest. Their motto is customers last. They make a good turkey club sandwich.
The turkey sandwich was good. And I would have added more detail to my review, like the names of the rude staff members, except they wouldn’t give us anything but their first names. And then they’d transfer us to their managers, who we found out later were not their managers, and their faux managers wouldn’t give us their last names. Here’s a detail: The bugs could fly. And there were many of them. There are many more details, but I’m done now. And if you’d like to see the quality of reviews on TripAdvisor, try going here. I swear my review is Joycean by comparison to some of them (although I’m not sure that’s a good thing). I also will provide a picture, taken out the window of our second, bugless room (which also bore no similarity to the room we wanted and ordered prior to arrival).
I think the photo is artsy. I really can’t see how it would bore you.