Late-Night Amsterdam Encounters 2

Freezing Cold is the New Norm: Insights into Customer-Centric Product Development

Eduardo Alvim

10/10/20232 min read

Once again, I found myself in that same hotel, in that familiar corner of the world. It wasn't too long ago when I had taken the last flight from Nice, France, to Amsterdam, landing at Schiphol airport around 10:30 pm, if my memory serves me right. After a train ride to the hotel, I went through the usual check-in routine, exchanging greetings with the ever-familiar hotel staff. Everything proceeded smoothly, and a new face at the reception handed me my room key card.

But here's a little pause in the narrative. You see, I'm one of those people who relishes sleeping in a cold room. Whenever I travel, I take the opportunity to set the air conditioning to its lowest temperature, typically around 17 degrees Celsius, so I can snuggle comfortably beneath my blanket, cocooned up to my ears.

As I strolled down the corridor, I couldn't help but think about how much I deserved a hot shower, a comfy bed, and a cheerful farewell to the day. I envisioned myself waking up the next morning, ready to greet the new day with a hearty "Hail to the rising day!"

With my room key card in hand, I opened the door. Bippity, boppity, boop! Click! The door swung open, and I stepped inside, with the lights off. But what greeted me was a blast of super-chilled air. My first thought? "Oh my goodness! That's some next-level customer service right there!" They knew I loved sleeping in a frigid room, and they'd prepared it just for me. It's fascinating how your mind can conjure up all sorts of thoughts in the span of a single second when something out of the ordinary happens.

I entered the room, took three steps, and still shrouded in darkness, I closed the door. My backpack and luggage went down, and then I switched on the lights.

Imagine this scene: In the dimly lit room, I noticed a suitcase and some clothes. Not mine, of course, since I'd just entered the room. That's when it struck me as peculiar. Suddenly, a figure leaped out from the direction of the bed, landing on the ground about two feet away. I could make out that it was a man, dressed only in his underwear. He stood there for about two seconds, completely still, with a fixed gaze directed right at me. I could practically feel his confusion.

Two seconds later, he was still frozen in that same odd position—a sort of mid-jump frog—with arms partially raised and legs semi-flexed. Another second of silence passed before he started screaming.




Yes, three spaced-out, pitiful screams. Just as you're picturing in your mind right now. There I stood, unmoving, and now, I must admit, a tad afraid of the screaming man in his underwear. He ceased his wails momentarily, allowing for a brief moment of quiet for my brain's cortex to process the situation and send signals to my prefrontal cortex for decision-making. I spoke up: "Sir, I'm sorry. I believe the reception gave me the wrong room card." To which, the man responded:




I've never seen someone grab a backpack and a suitcase so swiftly, and I, too, made my exit from the room, channeling my inner DC Comics Flash. I hurried to the reception.

After recounting my bizarre tale, they assigned me another room. Their response? A simple apology: "Sorry, sir. The system might have had a problem. It won't happen again."

Sure, blame it on the system! I made my way to my new, empty, and comfortably warm room.

Stay Agile!