The past ten days have been trying for all sorts of reasons, no less due to the beaurocratic red tape that is threatening to swallow us all up and choke a small businesses to death. I do despair at what a cruel, heartless and harsh world we are now all living in. It’ dog eat dog and all teeth are barred!
One of the first headaches of the week came when a wine delivery from the US was “held hostage” by UK customs officials. All the correct and relevant documentation was in place, but yet Fedex was unable to gain access to it as it was impounded. Then Fedex messed up by eventually delivering it to us even though the winery had requested it be returned to them for fear that the wines had spoiled due to lack of care in storage and transportation. Not the end of the world but annoying, frustrating and a demonstration of a complete lack of customer care on the part of Fedex to have got it so wrong and then not apologised for the error.
I am now eagerly awaiting a delivery from India of the famous Hotel TerraVina dogs, but this time it’s TNT who are unable to deliver them, so in effect our dogs have been “dognapped” or at the very least quarantined, due to regulations that require various forms and paperwork ad infinitum to be completed, in other words red tape, by the importer, before we can take delivery.
And then, to top the lot, Trip Advisor, the bane of many hoteliers working lives, have removed TerraVina’s restaurant listing from under the New Forest, where we have “happily” sat for the past 7 years and instead they are now listing us under Woodlands. No one has heard of Woodlands and being 1 of 1 restaurant in Woodlands is of little use if no one knows where we are- previously we were 3 of 290 odd restaurants in the New Forest, which was a much clearer indication of where we were located and what standard to expect- 1 of 1 could merely mean there’s a restaurant in a place, but not that its necessarily any good- however TA are being as unhelpful as always when it comes to hoteliers requests and I am being stalled and made to become more and more angry and frustrated at every dealing I have with them- UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
And so the week goes on… thus the phrase “Keep calm and carry on” springs to mind, but actually I am fed up with having to jump through hoops and dance to the tune of those who are incompetent, unfeeling, unrealistic and just generally prepared to take, take, take, but give back so little, if anything at all. Actually when I stop to think, this year has been one stressful event after another, starting with the disastrous Xmas, (no power) and the non-existent customer care we received from Southern Electric, through to our long running, ongoing legal battle, where at every turn we have been stalled and frustrated by unhelpful officials who are merely going through the motions of just about doing their jobs, (I’m being kind here!), albeit neither professionally or competently. Add into the mix legal professionals who are equally lazy, inefficient and in some cases have even been downright untruthful, (allegedly), in their version of events and so called business recovery “experts” who are completely lacking in their duties and all in all it has been, to coin a phrase from her Majesty, an “annus horribilus”. I am having a “Falling Down” moment… a film starring Michael Douglas which is entertaining albeit with a poignant ending.
If it seems as though I have had enough and am near to being on the edge, then you would be right- we have been pushed to the limit and are hanging on through sheer determination and the belief that things can only get better, but my oh my, how much easier it could be if only we weren’t expected to give 150%, yet receive so little back by so many who touch our business lives- I can only be thankful that most of our team, our guests, suppliers, and our business “relatives” are better than the few that cause such annoyance, distrust and frustration.
Until next time………