Working in the hospitality industry has given me some insight as to what guests do wrong. There was a time when I was the guest at a hotel or restaurant. I had never worked in one in my life and I was very young, so I was always doing things that probably upset my patrons considerably. With that in mind, I have developed a certain tolerance for the ignorance of children and young adults. They are young and often have not had the experience needed to understand the courtesies that should be extended to their hotel staff. Even though most of it is common sense, I have learned that seems to be something that comes with age as well. That being said, this post is mainly directed at those adults who have, for some reason or another, not developed a simple decency towards their hotel staff or who are not aware of the other pet peeves of the hotel industry. Some of you are nice as can be, but have a way about you that provokes irritation. Some of you, however, simply lack any respect whatsoever and are the bane of the hotel industry. This post is directed to both of these types. Not to satisfy myself. On the contrary, this post is to make you aware of what you might be doing wrong so that you can correct it and, hopefully, enjoy much more enjoyable stays as I am sure you have run into a great deal of problems. If not, than thank your previous patrons immensely for their patience and understanding.
This post will be in the format of a list. I is not in an exact order, but I will try to have it in a general order of severity from the worst things you can do to general pet peeves.
1. Showing your dissatisfaction by yelling or raising your voice, no matter how justified you are.
– First, this goes for any interaction with any person in any industry. It is not only extremely disrespectful, but it will often get you barred from their premises. Believe it or not, one person doesn’t typically make or break a company and the likely hood of any of the other guests wanting to lose service that they are, more than likely, having no issues with is very slim. Therefore, you will generally be on your own, pissing off the person trying to take care of you, and even pissing off some customers by disturbing them. There is no winning in that situation. If the hotel was going to try to compensate you, they would have already. If you get something after you started yelling, it wasn’t something they gave you to shut you up. It was a concession they were already prepared to give you under more than a little resistance that could have very easily been quite. Really all you get by yelling and disturbing the other guests is the possibility of getting thrown out of the hotel without a full refund, if any is given at all. If you resist, you will be escorted off the premises by police officers. Disrupting a business is the same as stealing if severe enough.
2. Using profanities to express your dissatisfaction to a staff member.
– This is almost as bad as the above. The only difference is you may be doing this without making as big of a scene, which means stealing the company’s money through customer disturbance might not be an issue. However, using profanities heatedly is verbal abuse and is punishable by law in most places. It normally won’t be taken that far, but you don’t want to test people in the hotel industry. We are typically in a good mood, but we can be, and have complete power to be (at times), extremely nasty when upset, especially if we are already in a bad mood. We also generally look after our own since we are often almost as close as a family. Our managers stand behind us a lot more than in most industries and no guest, no matter how important, can get a good employee in much trouble unless they did something absolutely terrible. More than likely, you will only be making things bad for yourself.
3. If we say we don’t have something, we don’t have it.
– Pretty self-explanatory. For guests that have made us angry for any of these reasons, we may actually have it and we just feel it would inconvenience us if we got it, but that reason is typically only associated with one of the major things like the two above. Most of the time, we will try to get you what you want. However, if we say we don’t have, say, a blanket, no amount of complaining will get you one and 99% of the time we really don’t have it. For that extra 1%, you won’t get it no matter what because you have pissed us off. That is one of the many reasons you shouldn’t piss us off. If we don’t have something, we aren’t going to buy it for you. You have to understand that, while we try to have enough extras for everyone, a full house will often ruin that. All requests like that are first come first serve. If we don’t have it for you, it’s probably not that we don’t have it, but that you were too slow.
4. Please understand that most requests are just that; requests.
– Requests are not guaranteed and we often don’t know if we can satisfy it until the day of check-in. Only starred hotels for the most part will pre-block rooms in a fashion that will eliminate such an element of uncertainty. We don’t have an infinite amount of first floor rooms. Not every room can be next to an elevator. Serious things like being allergic to feathers or pets will be addressed with the utmost concern and are treated as guarantees, but if it’s not life threatening, it’s based on availability the day of.
5. When calling to make a reservation, do NOT give all of your information out at once.
– Most computer systems that are used to make you reservation have steps to follow. You give it to us all at once and anyone who is not an extraordinary individual will have to ask you to repeat some of the information. This will just irritate yourself and, due to your irritation, will reflect in how you treat us and we will start getting agitated as well. If the clerk remembers you when you check in, they might not be as helpful as they could be. This is a fairly minor issue and isn’t a big deal, but just keep in mind that the clerk on the phone will most likely not ned all the information you give them and will need it in another order and probably at a slower pace.
6. Please, have basic reservation information ready.
– On the flip side of the above, you DO need to have some basic information on hand. Almost every hotel will ask you the following:
+ Beginning and End dates of your reservation.
+ Amount of people to be staying. The room type you want isn’t important, we don’t expect you to know our room types, but the amount of people to be in the room will help us find a comfortable room for you.
+ Credit card. Don’t give them all of the information at once. Just do the card number and expiration date as they prompt for it. Don’t give them the security code if they don’t ask, a lot of hotels don’t need that.
+ Special requests. Once again, understand that these are only requests, not guarantees. We do need them when you make your reservation though, or at least call us back and put them in. Any requests made at check-in may not be able to be fulfilled and you may have a request that we don’t have available. For example, the hotel I used to work at had rollaways. However, after 4pm, there is only one person at the desk. We are not going to leave the desk if it isn’t an emergency and rollaways normally take time to get ready and put into a room, so we most likely aren’t able to take that time to get it to you. On the same note, rollaways aren’t offered at my current hotel. It is considered a fire hazard in our rooms. If you don’t let us know that you need a rollaway, we can’t tell you that we don’t have one. These same things can happen with any requests.
+ Ask about PETS! There are different fees attached with different hotels for different types and sizes of pets. Sometimes it’s just a deposit, sometimes it’s a non-refundable fee. Other times it’s free and often they aren’t allowed at all. Pets can accrue quite a fee if you don’t know exactly what each hotel’s policy on them is. Don’t try to sneak them in. You most likely won’t get caught, but if you do it can cost more than your stay.
I will update this every once in a while or I will just make each new point a post. I will actually probably take these current points into a separate post for each due to the examples I can come up with. These are, however, the most basic rules to follow.
Always remember. There are three industries where the cardinal rule is to not screw with your patrons. Those are in order of importance due to the discomfort they can provide:
3) Car Salesman