Grenoble Hotel Fiasco

I mentioned the snafu with our hotel in Grenoble in my last post, but I thought I’d expand on things. First, for some background:

Yahoo! has a new internal travel system, in order to reduce the volume of people booking with the travel agents at the travel desk. I figured I’d give it a try for this trip. Man, did it suck. It’s outsourced to KDS International, and internally re-branded as “Yahoo! U-Book”. It takes hours to do the simplest of things. I booked a single hotel from my trip with it before giving up and using Expedia, Orbitz, and HRS. I kept my sanity.

The hotel that I booked on U-Book was for Grenoble, France. We arrived into Paris on Saturday, and took the SNCF TGV train to Grenoble on Sunday afternoon. When we arrived at the Grenoble train station, I checked the map, but couldn’t find the address of the hotel on it. I asked the person at the information desk, and after some scratching his head, all he could initially tell me was: “far, very far”. Not good. I asked if I could take the tram or bus there; “No, only taxi, very far” was his response.

The hotel was in Saint Rambert d’Albon, which is really far from Grenoble. He knew that initially from the postal code—the hotel’s postal code is 26140, while central Grenoble is 38000. He was willing to figure out how I could get there, but I told him, no, if it’s really that far, I need a different hotel. He pointed me to the IBIS Grenoble Gare hotel, right down the road. The guy at the front desk of the hotel spoke excellent English and helped me cancel the other hotel without penalty and rebook there.

I got back in the office today, so I checked the U-Book system to make sure that I’m not crazy, and that it really isn’t my fault. I was right. Here’s a screen shot of the U-Book’s map of hotels, with my mouse over where it thinks the hotel I booked is:

You can see Kelkoo on there, which is the Yahoo! office I was headed to. Nice and close, right?

And now, where it really is, courtesy of Mappy. The hotel is on the left, Grenoble on the right, and the driving directions between. Click to get a bigger version. It’s 138km to drive this route:

I reported the problem to KDS today, by phone, so hopefully they’ll fix it.

Froctober

That’s my proposed name for this month. I propose that we declare the entire month of October as a Friday. It has certainly felt like a Friday every day since the start of the month.

I announced my proposal to my cubemates earlier today, and mere minutes later, someone sent a message to an internal mailing list for stuff for sale:

Subject: FREE: banana

Better hurry, its rotting quickly.

Obviously someone else feels the same way. ;)

Update:

Lots of people have replied to the banana thread, but the best reply (from the original poster) is:

Subject: RE: FREE: banana

Because this generated so much interest and people are really want to know, “how rotten is the banana?”. I put up a webcam so everyone can watch this banana rot away.

You can see a capture here:

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My cubicle at Yahoo!

I realized that I never really made the requisite “I’m working at Yahoo!” gallery additions showing my work environment or the very cool campus that I am working at. Here’s a few samples of where I work!


I have a cube on the 2nd floor of a 4-story building on the main Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, California. I posted pictures of it on Flickr and added some notes to explain things. You can click the thumbnails to get more detail about my cube inside and outside.

Thirteen Miles

So I used GMaps Pedometer today to map a possible route to bike all the way to work (which is my goal). Come to find out, it’s only 13.2 miles! I expected it would be more like 17 miles. I am so on it!

Check out the bike-safe route map I created:

Start at 942 Willowleaf Dr., San Jose, CA
Left on Leigh Ave.
Left on Fruitdale Ave.
Right on Bascom Ave.
Left on Moorpark Ave.
Right on San Tomas Expressway
Left on Monroe St.
Continue onto Reed Ave (cross Lawrence Expressway)
Right on E. Evelyn Ave.
Right on N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Right on Ahwanee Ave.
Take Pedestrian Overpass (over Highway 101)
Right on N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Continue onto E. Java Dr. (cross Highway 237)
Continue onto W. Java Dr. (cross N. Borregas Ave.)
Right into Yahoo Offices

Pretty easy!