CALGARY, Alberta – Alberta’s human rights commission has opened independent investigations into 7 recent alleged violations involving 2 major Canadian-based hotel chains across the province for the use of what it is calling Engineer Rooms.
“According to information reported by the media, the rooms violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for this particular group of society,” read a Wednesday press release from the Commission. “Yes, we understand, we are talking about engineers here, but the Charter is designed to protect them as well.”
On October 17, emergency services were called to the scene at a 3-storey Best West Hotel after receiving a call from guests on the complaining about what appeared to be sounds of people moaning coming from beneath their main floor units. Shortly after police arrived, they discovered a room accessed only through the back of the main mechanical room with a sign reading “Engineer Storage” on it. Sergeant Han Kuff, with the local RCMP detachment commented on what he saw.
“When Officer Lou Tennant and I breached the door we were almost knocked down by a horrid stench that can best be described as a mixture of Body odour with old spice aftershave. The room was full of a series of shelves, but they turned out to be makeshift beds, and on those beds were men and women, crammed together in a crypt-like fashion as though they were in a North Korean hotel. It was like a jail, and there must have been 50 or 60 of them” – Sergeant Han Kuff, RCMP
After questioning hotel staff, the RCMP learned that all of the people in the room were engineers. A number of them were hotel maintenance staff, and they were stored there while not required for service work. The majority of the engineers found were once visitors of the hotel but were abandoned by spouses and kids. Not knowing how to communicate with them, the hotel staff placed them into what they called engineer storage, where food was sent directly to each “cubby” via a pressurized air chute transport system. “These people were treated worse than stray dogs on the beaches of Punta Cana, it’s a shame, even though they were engineers,” one bystander commented to 2P News’ Yu Mii who was on the scene. RCMP are currently investigating at least 4 more hotels in rural Alberta who they suspect are using the same practice.
According to a 2P News investigative report, 6 abandoned floors in Edmonton head office of the provincial engineering regulator had similar rooms. In this case, hanging just inside the door of every engineer storage room was a How to Store an Engineer, 10 Easy Steps quick start guide which explained how to stow away engineers for the 354 days of the year when they are not wanted around the general office populous. The report also found that most major oil and gas companies in Calgary’s downtown office buildings contained similar engineer storage rooms.
Hot off the wire! Three people, 2 men and 1 woman who didn’t identify themselves, just called into the 2P News office to say that they store their spouses, who happen to be engineers, in hidden rooms beneath their homes on in a backyard shed.
Well, as it turns out during the 2P News investigation, engineer storage rooms are far more common in the general population, office buildings, hotels, and in private homes than 2P News staff expected. So on second thought, the human rights commission might not have a leg to stand on with their investigations.