Thursday, May 24, 2018

This Is You, Man, You

Okay, this is a subject I've written about before but I'm going to take a different turn in the telling. We arrived at a hotel with a booking guaranteeing an accessible room and there wasn't one. The clerk, handed me a key to a room, not telling me that it wasn't accessible, even though I'd asked. I was suspicious because he hadn't answered my question so I asked again and was told that it wasn't an accessible room. It all got worked out but ... while it was working out I sat there wondering. If you forget the reservation, the guarantee, all that, how could he do that to another person. Human to human just send me to a room I couldn't use. What did he think was going to happen. So, when I had a key to an accessible room, I don't know what magic was worked to find me one, I said to him:

"Can I ask you a question, person to person, human to human?"

"Yes."

"How could you hand me keys to a room I couldn't use and keep silent about the fact that it didn't meet my needs for accessibility? How could you do that to another person?"

"I didn't mean to dehumanize you."

"You didn't dehumanize me, you dehumanized you. Aren't you worried about that?"

"I didn't have the room you requested."

"No, I'm not talking about that, I wonder if it worries you that you could do that to another person?"

"I'm sorry, sir."

There was no oomph in his apology and I don't believe he meant it much.

But, for the first time I really wondered about and worried about the person and the people who can so easily do that. What makes it possible for someone to simply dismiss another person as being real.?

I don't know.

As I rolled to the elevator, he started to explain again about the room and I said, "No, man, you need to get this, this is about you, man, you."

And I meant that, and believe it or not I thought and think that I was performing an act of kindness. I don't know if you'll all agree or not.

3 comments:

Ron Arnold said...

In my experience, people don't generally do well with cognitive dissonance. (That's why we have neat little constructs - like denial!) You were doing him a kindness, yes, but it was one of those hard kindnesses that doesn't feel too kind at the time.

clairesmum said...

It is about him, his choice to use those words...an unfortunately acceptable behavior that is common in our modern world - give someone an answer so they will go away, even if the answer is correct. Hope that you will be off work or on break or busy with someone else when the person returns/calls back and is clearly not a "satisfied customer".
Hoping that your unexpected words to him will stay in his mind....a first baby step towards considering a change in his words and actions......
glad you were able to get the room that you and Joe needed.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Exactly what did he think you were going to do when you got to the room and found you couldn't use it? Suck it up?

Ask them that question - and point out you would have been legitimately angry and would have needed to talk to a higher level person.

He didn't think. He didn't listen. That's clear. That needs to change, or he isn't going to last in jobs.

You did him a kindness.