I work in a hotel. At the front desk. One of my guest’s most frequent complaints is that their electric slide key card has been deactivated. With every guest; every time it’s the same thing. “My key just worked ten minutes ago!” To which I always kindly reply “Oh did you keep your key in the paper/cardboard sleeve that we gave you?” To which they invariably reply “no.” Then I say something about how virtually anything can deactivate these keys from a cell phone to contact with a credit card magnetic strip to walking through an automatic door.
They always begrudgingly thank me for my wisdom and inevitably come back down with a key card which doesn’t work.
Truthfully, I have no idea why these keys are so poorly made. I also have no idea what it is which guests do to demagnetize them. I don’t have to know; I’ve got the key making machine. But one thing which I always tell all my corporate guests they can do to minimize the chances that their keycard loses its swipe is to keep their card in their lanyards.
I don’t know if that will work either; the only reason I bring that up is because we had magnetic door activating cards when I worked for the Screen Actors Guild in New York and they were kept in lanyards. Then I began to think about that word; Lanyard. What a fun word; I wonder where it came from?
As any of us who know our history will remember, a lanyard is the rope which is used to connect an officers pistol or sword to their person. While it has been some time since a place like lanyardfactory.com has ever made such use of the lanyard, they do have all manner of lanyard for this modern age.
According to the lanyardfactory.com website, “lanyards are mainly designed for name badge, ID card, or security access control systems.” That was exactly the type of lanyard I had been considering for hotel guests cards. While having a lanyard for each individual guest would be tough (people never return their key cards, or rarely anyway) issuing them their key cards with a lanyard and a badge holder (scan-able room access cards) would make all guests more accountable for their cards and for checking out in a responsible manner. The check out process is one which all guests skip; they all just leave with their room key cards in the room or many times they walk out with them. However if you added a nominal charge ($5.00) for not checking out and returning your lanyard, then it would get more guests to do the work and make sure that they fully checked out before leaving.
And it would fill the world with more card carrying, ID badge wielding, hotel guests whose cards would not be deactivated all the time from simple moving about. Although, if I were responsible for 150 lanyards everyday; checking them in and out; that would probably exponentially increase my workload…So…Nevermind. It’s probably just better to stay with the “reactivation” system we have in place currently.