I admit that, in agreement (but don’t tell him so!), with my darling husband, who tells me often, I’m not the easiest of people to be around on occasion… well who is? I have an explosive temper, BUT, only when really pushed so far and I very rarely lose it, as over the years I have learned to contain it, but now and then when I do lose it, it’s fairly spectacular!
However, when at the hotel, I try to remain cool, calm and as professional as possible, but in recent months, I have noticed that a tiny percentage of the general public have tried very hard to test my patience, my sanity and my temper…. Is it them or me? I believe (of course) it’s not me! It’s not just when they visit us they are unhappy and bad tempered, they are probably like that by nature and treat all front of house/customer service people in the same rude manner, but frankly I’ve had enough and have come to the conclusion that maybe I have been doing this job too long, am getting too old; I am for the first time ever wearing reading glasses to type this and am horrified that actually I haven’t been able to see properly for ages as the words are all jumping out at me and are so large and clear- WOW! Perhaps I am just not patient, kind and thick skinned enough to mind the abuse that we have thrown at us, admittedly on very rare occasions, but that said it is less rare and more commonplace than it used to be, and I’m sure that’s due in part to the likes of Trip Advisor, (other review sites are available!), giving people a platform to easily grumble, at their frustration at what is happening in the world, the UK and with the economy and just generally that people are less well mannered and nice to each other than they used to be and more keen to complain, shout, swear and generally be unkind to each other….. love thy neighbour (and fellow man) is a long gone saying I fear.
We are blessed with great staff and lovely guests most of the time and so when we have a “rogue” member of the team or a guest who doesn’t like what we do, we notice it keenly, care about the fact deeply and try to put it right, but it’s not always possible…. Sometimes the staff member will simply never fit in, never get the feel for the job in hand, realise the high standards we expect and not have the passion to love the job enough to take the lows with the highs. Sometimes, (mostly very rarely), we get unreasonable guests, such as the man who complained about the fact we didn’t ask how he would like his chicken cooked, guests who don’t agree with our no dog policy, (let me point out we personally LOVE dogs, but not all the guests do and as a business we need to please the majority for the business to survive), the guest who ordered a cake and was very precise of its specifications and what table they wanted only to not turn up, call to cancel or have the courtesy to answer our subsequent phone and email messages to check all was well or the guest who cancelled a dinner booking because they didn’t like a starter dish the last time they dined with us many months before, as apparently the cheese in the dish completely overpowered it, (there’s no cheese in the dish), and the guest who swore at me because we serve Nespresso coffee.
BUT, as harassed hoteliers, we have no recall when a tiny proportion admittedly of our guests break the door handles on the bedroom doors, (and often don’t let us know) break the TVs, smash the lamps, scuff the walls, stain the carpets with red wine, nail varnish and worse, break the bed, damage the baths and sinks by chipping the enamel, make staff cry with their bad manners and rudeness and so on and on and on……. however, just when I think, that’s it, enough is enough, I’m going to retire and go to anger management classes, we have people who surprise us with the unexpected and that’s exactly what happened at the end of last week.
Wedding guests wrote glowing tributes to our team, we had various TA reviews that were very kind and complimentary and e mails and cards from guests thanking us and the team for ensuring they were so well looked after during recent stays and then the icing on the cake, a gift of a beautiful Orchid to say thank you to us and the team for being lovely hosts, from one couple who visit us very regularly, are huge supporters and simply super nice people and a bouquet of gorgeous roses from another set of friends and guests who we have known for many years and who know that the past few months have not been somewhat trying for all sorts of reasons and just wanted to let us know they were thinking of us…. My faith in humanity has been restored. Thank you to them all- their kindness is much appreciated and arrived at just the right moment.
At the time of writing this, one of my very dearest friends is being re-admitted to hospital for a further brain operation to remove a 3rd tumour. I have known her for 25 odd years, am Godmother to one of her beautiful daughters and love her and her family dearly and her being so brave in the face of adversity puts life’s little niggles into perspective. I just want to take this opportunity to let her know we are all thinking of her, cheering her on and sending much love for a speedy recovery
Till next week