I am conscious that sometimes my weekly blogs are “fluffy”, on occasion I have a bit of a rant and sometimes they discuss a serious topic……this week I am going to start off fluffy and then move onto a more worrying query. So here goes….
At last the sun has started to shine, everywhere is waking up to late Spring and early Summer with flowers blooming. If you live close enough, visit Exbury Gardens to see the glorious blaze of colour and if you don’t live close enough, take advantage of our fantastic mid week offers and come and stay with us and visit Exbury to marvel at the riot of blooms on display.
I love the sunshine and I so enjoy what it does to people’s moods- it lifts us all, makes us smile more, we are all more cheery, the hotel phone rings more often with people planning nights away and booking lunches al fresco on our sunny terrace- when the sunshines we all become a little bit more envigorated and just friendlier towards one another… which leads me onto my musings for this week.
Recently we had a guest arrive who was not especially friendly or unfriendly- what we call a little it prickly, and one to be worked on to try to ensure they relax and eventually enjoy their stay- as hoteliers, we really do want people to have a great stay with us- we don’t enjoy upsetting guests or knowing that they are unhappy, uneasy or uncomfortable whilst with us.
However, sometimes, it doesn’t matter what we do, how hard we try, we just can’t win everyone over; unfortunately, sometimes, it is these guests that then have a “hiccup” during their stay. Hotels are run by people not robots. We are reliant on all sorts of details going well and being right in order for us to deliver a great product- sometimes the meat lets us down, sometimes the fish or the vegetables, sometimes one of the team isn’t on best form; sometimes (rarely of course!) I simply don’t like people, no one in particular just people in general- it’s rare but it happens, just as it does in every other profession and industry. However, it seems as though hoteliers and restaurateurs are not allowed any margin of error by some… a recent guest was disappointed with his main course. I offered to change it, I offered him a choice of another dish, I apologised, I listened whilst he ranted at me, threatened me with all sorts of actions and then I had to bear him sulking whilst I tried my utmost to make it right- eventually I asked him what did he want me to do to rectify the situation for him as nothing I had offered would seemingly suffice- his response was nothing- his meal, his whole stay were ruined (REALLY!!!)… his reaction shook me- we never enjoy people complaining, not because we can’t take criticism, but because we are not in this business to make people unhappy, in fact we and the team work hard to ensure the contrary… I was appalled at his reaction- I simply couldn’t make it right for him because he wouldn’t let me and worse he seemed to be relishing in spoiling his own evening and that of his companion- how sad that the stress of day to day life has made us so inward looking, so selfish not to consider others, not to have good manners when there is a problem, not to discuss it sensibly, but instead make a drama and a crisis out of what should have been something so easily put right- we are all guilty of such tirades and temper tantrums at times I’m sure- a road rage moment when we won’t let someone out in front of us at a turning… an impatient moment when someone in front of us in a shop is taking too long, a loud tut when someone gets in our way with their trolley at the supermarket… maybe the sunshine will make us all a little bit less stressed and a little bit more aware of our surroundings and the people around us.
It’s not because people work in a service industry that they have to be servile and we certainly shouldn’t have to put up with people being so rude, unpleasant and down right petulant – maybe our unhappy guest had had a bad week but that’s no excuse frankly- we all have bad days, weeks and months- long may the sun shine bright so as to brighten everyones’ moods a little.
Till next week