Richard Hagar travels a lot for business. He also doesn't usually have a tough time falling asleep in the hotels he stays at when he is on the road. But a while back, he found himself on a business trip in Southern Oregon, teaching a series of classes on real estate and mortgage appraisal fraud for real estate professionals and law enforcement officers. And after checking into his upscale chain hotel, he could not get to sleep.
"I'd get up, I'd watch TV for a few minutes...take a shower...that's not doing anything. I think one time I even got up and walked around the hotel outside (to) get some fresh air...and I would not go to sleep."
Around 4 a.m., exhaustion set in and he finally fell asleep. Unfortunately, he had to be up in a couple of hours to teach his class.
Another thing he found unusual was that with such little sleep, he was full of energy when he taught his class.
Hagar finished his class, and after it was over, he was invited to sit in on the following class. The topic: drugs, taught by law enforcement officials.
"And all of a sudden the guy (teaching the class) starts talking about meth," he recalled.
The teacher talked about the high one might get on meth, and how you won’t be able to sleep.
"And then they started talking about how it's cooked. And he said they like to cook it in hotels that have a kitchenette in them," Hagar said. "That way they can come in, rent them for one or two days, cook their meth in the sink and on the stove. And all of those chemicals get into the carpet, the bedspread, the draperies...it saturates even the sheetrock. And he says the next person walking into that room, not even knowing, they're getting a buzz. And I'm sitting in the back of the room going 'oh my God.'"
Hagar started to wonder if that's what happened to him the night before. "I mentioned the hotel I was staying in, and he said 'oh that one is bad.'"
Hagar went through a laundry list of hotels he had booked or stayed in, and heard about how multiple drug busts had been made at those places, as well.
Now, he makes a call to law enforcement friends and asks about the hotels before he books them. He also says that he will wear socks or slippers in the hotel rooms now, throw a towel down on the chairs, and wipe down things such as the television remote.