Friday, September 25, 2015

Himalayan Hotel

Image result for himalayan mountains
Photo Description: snow covered moutain part of the Himalayas
We were presenting in a hotel for, as it turned out, a wonderful group of people. However, when arriving at the hotel we couldn't find the disabled parking. So we drove up this enormous ramp, it was so big that it wouldn't be wrong to call the ramp up one side of the entrance and down the other a massive hill. Joe parked off to the side at the crest of the hill and then came out, having established that this was the right place, and got me out. He said we would ask about disabled parking as we went in.

As we went by front desk, I stopped and politely asked about the disabled parking. We were told that it was at the bottom of the hill off to the side. We asked if there was another way in from there rather than up the ramp, she seemed confused by the question and said that there wasn't.

I said, "So you put the disabled parking at the bottom of a massive hill that would be impossible to push yourself up? ..." I was going to suggest that she mention to management my comment so that they might look at disabled parking in a more practical way. But she leapt to something I hate as a response. She got all offended, "Well, I didn't plan the parking."

I had used the word 'you,' meant in reference to the hotel and the hotel planning people, it's easier in speech. She knew that I knew that she was the front desk clerk and had nothing to do with planning - but this is a favourite way of ending a complaint, become the victim and ignore the complaint.

I said, "I know that YOU didn't personally do it but it was done and maybe it needs to be talked about."

No effect, she was fully in the 'you attacked me for something I didn't do' mode and I looked at her and gave up.

I'm sure that when someone leaves and says, "You all did a good job she doesn't run after them and say, 'I'= wasn't here when you checked in it wasn't me.'" I'm sure she understands the corporate 'you' from the personal 'you.'

But then, when people don't care about disability issues, they do what they do to avoid any discussion of it - and make us, who have been polite, the aggressors.



Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

So now, in addition to not being able to park close enough to get into their hotel, you have to deal with a person who has NO idea of customer service, and you're supposed to be considerate of HER feelings? Sheesh.

I hope you asked to speak to the manager, and had him or her find you something better.

What if you had been traveling alone?

Anonymous said...

Sheesh indeed.
If one is feeling that it wasn't me that planned the parking, then this response comes to mind:
'I know, I didn't get to plan the parking so I have raised the issue with the company and this is where we are at and it's not good enough that you have arrived to find us as we are today'.
Aside from corporate responsibilities, there's also taking responsibility as a human being.
I find in the hippie city where I live, young people are a bit rubbish at taking corporate responsibility- if you say something like, do you get to keep the tip if I add it to the bill? they say no with a 'it's crap' face. But also if you say, 'I don't need all this packaging' they also acknowledge it with the 'it's crap' face.
I hope we will get beyond corporate responsibility to people taking responsibility in the environment, the community they live in.

Anonymous said...

That kind of misdirected responsibility drives me nuts. It is fine to disclaim direct responsibility, but certainly you can agree with the frustration then give the customer a person to direct their concern to. How people in the service industry have no idea about service is beyond me. Frustration to the max.

Rachel in Idaho said...

I feel I must defend her thought pattern, though not how she handled it. I am a reservationist for a resort and it is amazing how many people really will blame me for things that are out of my control. Just this last week I got a guy who went on at me for about five minutes about why we don't participate in a particular credit card points program. Like I make those sorts of decisions? All I could say was I don't know and finally asked if he'd like to talk to my boss, which he happily did. And I most certainly didn't set up our cancellation policies. Nor do I control the weather, and no I certainly didn't decide the no pets policy either. That one irks me because if I had any say, we would!

So yes, she certainly handled the situation poorly, but I promise you she's been personally blamed for all kinds of things that weren't her idea in the first place. She may well have been blamed for this exact situation before. She needs to learn how to deal with it on a professional level, but I recognize her automatic going-on-the-defence mental reaction, believe me!