Saturday, October 28, 2017

I've heard that hotel staff deliberately disable the keycards of guests they dislike. Can anyone confirm this, or tell of other things hospitality staff do to get back at badly behaved patrons?

Just a little thought at all should tell you that this story is not credible.

If I took a dislike to a guest, the last thing I would want to do is disable his key card, unless there was some business or security related reason I had to, because you know exactly what's going to happen: the guy's not going to be able to get into his room, and he's going to be at the desk, in your face, complaining, and you've got to put up with him, for at least long enough to fix his card.

The same goes for any other juvenile pranks that you might want to do to a guest to get paybacks or make his life miserable. Never mind the guest is unhappy (which is always a very large concern with us), but any employee who enjoys the kind of confrontation that would result from something like that is too sick to have a job.Even if you feel that it's justified in some way, it just doesn't work.

And that's before we even go there about the consequences if the guest complaints to management . . . or even worse, to the franchise organization (who will often comp the room and give him a full refund and a bunch of free coupons to make him feel better about the whole thing, just for showing up and complaining, then bill it all back to your hotel, and you're going to have a very unhappy general manager) . . or the health department.

I've seen guests who were obnoxious to the desk clerks as they were checking in, given rooms that the clerk knew had a bed bug problem. This was a cheap hotel under corporate ownership, and whenever a bed bug problem came up, they insisted on treating the room affected on the cheap, and the treatment was never quite fully effective. So the staff knew that any rooms that had bed bugs in recent memory weremore likely than the others to have bed bugs -- again -- and if you were checking in and you were rotten to the clerk, guess which room you were going to get? And you'd never know it was done on purpose. And even if you complained, and even if the clerk was suspected or questioned . . . “Hey, that room had been treated! . . . “, so they couldn't blame the clerk (not that I ever did think that these corporate owners would have let a little thing like that stop them). And you might, understandably, never come back to that hotel again -- which is exactly what the clerk was hoping for when they put you in that room.

But you have to be working in a pretty crappy hotel in order to have such opportunities, if being able to throw paybacks to a guest means that much to you (and if it does, then you don't deserve to work at a better one). Just about anything else you can think of to do to intentionally make a guest unhappy is just going to come back to you, and in a good hotel, isn't worth doing even if you are bent that way.

File this one along with the “they’ll spit on your food” urban legend that circulates about disaffected and disengaged fast food workers who resent holding high-demand, high-stress minimum-wage jobs where they are treated badly . . .

Originally appeared on Quora

1 comment:

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