There has been a fundamental shift in the hospitality industry that has forced front-line personnel like myself to adjust the manner in which we carry out our duties. In other words, more and more douchebags have begun to appear on the scene and so the people who serve them have had to arm themselves appropriately.
My personal weapon of choice? Humor, of the sophisticated variety, that is. When wielded correctly and expertly, humor can prevent you from losing your cool and the victims will never even realize they’ve been attacked at all.
Simply put, the traveling public appears content to project their hostility and unhappiness towards service personnel. And while most workers are too afraid to break protocol and confront their attackers, there are those who are willing to resort to guerrilla warfare to exact their revenge.
The ABC news program 20/20 recently ran an episode called True Confessions that focused on the actions waiters, bartenders and other service workers have taken to balance the scales when dealing with an unruly public. Several of these individuals have written blogs and books, including Steve Dublanica, a former waiter turned blogger who started writing to release his pent-up hostility brought on by an uncaring, unfeeling public.
Here are some simple tips to ensure you win the favor of any and all service personnel you encounter this summer…
BE NICE! (Even if it kills you!)
Seriously, its so simple, its stupid. Just take a deep breath when you first arrive – after you threaten to throttle the children if they don’t stop smacking each other with DVD cases – and try to remember the following Golden Rule of Travel: service personnel are people just like you!
You’re on vacation to escape the everyday madness that infects your life, right? Well, what about the doormen, valet, servers and others you’ll meet? They’re still fighting the madness, so cut us a break, okay?
BECOME A “MASTER PACKER”, NOT A PACK RAT!
I advise you to always pack only what you actually need, rather than dozens of odds and ends – unless you crave public ridicule, that is.
I cannot properly articulate just how disheartening it is to pop a trunk and gaze upon a traveling junkyard! All it takes is a few minutes of intelligent thought and maybe a Google search to explain the concept of organization to ensure a smooth transition from car to hotel room.
It takes all my bellman super powers to properly sort and load a collection of odds and ends onto a single bell cart. And what about those poor, misguided – not to mention, cheap - souls who decide to go it alone?
We’ve all seen those schmucks dragging all their earthly possessions behind them as their wife and kids bitch and moan about having to carry five bags each. If these misguided anteaters were to step outside themselves for a moment they’d laugh and roll their eyes at that loser using the baby’s stroller for a luggage cart….
Another Golden Rule of Travel: Work Smart, Not Hard.
WHEN CHECKING IN, PAY ATTENTION!
I cannot stress this enough. It sickens me when I arrive at a room and see a clueless guest arguing with a Front Desk clerk over the phone. There are a number of issues that you need to clarify WHEN YOU’RE STANDING AT THE FRONT DESK, NOT IN YOUR ROOM!
- Is the room Smoking or Non?
- Does it have two beds or a pullout couch?
- Is the view Premium or Economy?
For the average working stiff a vacation is a major operation that requires massive funds and a lot of patience that can lead to major heartache if executed without proper planning. So if you’re planning on traveling this summer – and especially if you’re planning on taking the family – do everyone a favor and take the time plan your every move very carefully and whatever you do, don’t let your common sense be one of those things you forget at home.
Otherwise, some smart-ass could label you a douchebag and put you in his blog….
The Bellman Chronicles is up and running on Amazon and the Kindle version is nearly complete! Thanks again to everyone who has jumped on-board so far; I wish I had the time to respond to everyone in my usual manner but I’m buried under the pressures of work, the book launch and oh yeah, being a dad and husband!
Things will get back to abnormal soon, folks – I hope….