TripAdvisor.com: The Scourge of Hotel Workers Everywhere!

Things are starting to get ugly out there…. and in here!

By “out there” I mean the world-wide web we here at WordPress call our second home. The internet allows the common man to be a demigod of sorts. He can communicate his thoughts, feelings and opinions across great  distances in an instant. All with the “click” of a mouse.

He can also wreak fiery vengeance on a stranger he feels has done him wrong.

And how does he accomplish his mission? He takes to the web and releases an electronic scream for all to hear. I’m referring to TripAdvisor.com, “a travel website that assists customers in gathering travel information, posting reviews and opinions of travel-related content and engaging in interactive travel forums.”

Or so the spin doctors would have you believe. Truthfully, TripAdvisor is a forum for any douche with a bone to pick with hotel employees they feel have treated them unfairly. I know what you’re thinking “The Hook got publicly nailed to the electronic cross, so he’s pissed!” 

Image representing TripAdvisor as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

Well, I am pissed, but not for the reason you think. In the past year two of my closest colleagues have found themselves “outed” on TripAdvisor. Their accusers, who are permitted to remain anonymous, as cowards prefer, referred to them by name in order to further a personal agenda.

That agenda?

Obviously the desired outcome is termination of the employee, not an improvement in service. If an individual wants to report an issue with an establishment – which is their right – they should contact the hotel in question, identify themselves, and see what develops from there. Hotels, and their workers, need to be held accountable for their actions, without question. But it needs to be a fair fight.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled edition of You’ve Been Hooked!

“I Need To Pay More Taxes?”

It was a crazy morning, so we were briefly overwhelmed and I was a bit behind in my duties.

JEWISH MOTHER: FINALLY! We’ve been waiting!

THE HOOK: My apologies. We’ve been very busy. Do you need me to call for your car?

JEWISH FATHER: I self-parked! I need to pay more taxes?

Valet parking is $25 compared to $20 for self-parking.

THE HOOK: (Holding my tongue. For once!) Okay, let’s get you loaded up, folks.

They had waaay more than my cart’s capacity, so I was busy taking stock of the task ahead of me when Father decided to take a swing at me. Metaphorically, of course.

JF:  It is such a stereotype that you should keep us waiting! Have other people been waiting as long?

THE HOOK: Almost every guest we’ve helped this morning has been Jewish, sir. The fact that I’ve kept you waiting is no more of a stereotype than the fact you’re upset at the thought of paying five dollars more for parking!

That brought him down to Earth.

Hard.

I returned to my duties and he started to assist me.

JF: If you think this is bad, wait until you see me pack the car!

THE HOOK: I don’t think this is too bad, sir. I just hope I can fit everything on my cart. I’m grateful you took the service.

JF: You’re welcome!

And he slapped me on the back as though we were buddies! Fifteen minutes later, his cart was unloaded and he had the unenviable task of fitting three kids, a whiny wife and ten bags into a Yukon!

And my pocket was heavier to the tune of ten dollars.

Its interesting how these things work out; the individuals I clash with seem to develop a grudging respect for my willingness to draw a line in the sand and face them like an equal. My attitude setting turned out to be accurate as my next two calls were also Jewish families.

The next Jewish father was convinced two-dollars Canadian was a small fortune.

JF 2: You don’t have to thank me for that, my friend!

No problem!

My last Jewish Father needed change – for a five-dollar bill. My response was to simply say “That’s all right, sir.”, and walk away. He wasn’t finished with me, though.

JF 3: (To my back) Sir, I asked you for four dollars change!

THE HOOK: (Turning around, slowly) I heard you, sir, and while I do have change, you can just give that to the Valet driver.

And so he did. Or at least, he tried.

UNIDENTIFIED VALET DRIVER: I don’t have change! For a five-dollar bill?

Admit it, you thought I was bad, right?

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
This entry was posted in Hotel Employees, Hotel Life, Humor, Life, Postaweek2011, Social Commentary, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to TripAdvisor.com: The Scourge of Hotel Workers Everywhere!

  1. Sandi Ormsby says:

    I love when people pull the race card.
    Good for you for standing your ground. I would have been worried over them getting angry and reporting me to the boss (or Trip advisor)

    Now, a lot of people in the service industry, no longer wear name tags. I’m guessing for that very same reason. However, it does irritate me that I don’t have a name. I enjoy talking to people and using their names. It makes me angry when I call a place and politely inquire “To Whom am I speaking” and I get “oh, we can’t give out our names. It’s policy.”

    What?

    Sandi
    http://www.ahhsome.wordpress.com
    Lake Forest, CA USA

  2. Jo Bryant says:

    I think it is dreadful that sites like tripAdvisor can blacken someone’s name in such a manner – but these days the web allows any idiot with a computer to spout rubbish. I recently went looking for info on a guy that was appearing on the current Australian X Factor. An adopted orphan from Iraq, with congenital deformities, he sang Imagine for his audition. Had me in tears (Emmanuel Kelly if you want to look him up – have tissue, copious amounts of tissues on hand). Found a site where this Jewish guy was claiming him as being of Jewish descent because he had the tortured soul of a Jew, then went on to claim John Lennon was Jewish – what a nutjob. Even us aussie/kiwis can have tortured souls when we want…

  3. H.E. ELLIS says:

    I like to say, “I don’t speak English” in perfect English. Total mind fuck.

  4. I’m wary of places where people get to anonymously sling mud. I’ve seen very few examples of this causing peoples’ lives to be brightened, and many where the impact has been quite the opposite.

    It is cowardice. Pure and simple.

    I love what you say about grudging respect. A lot of the people I have the best working relationships now are the ones where we had that kind of rocky start. 🙂

  5. jennygoth says:

    That gets me going hook! why do people always jump to that conclusion that its rascist they deserve to be treated in a rascist way if they assume it so quickly its offensive to be accused of rascism when your just tryig to do your busy job. I really dont know how you cope id be sacked for chucking their luggage at them five minutes in the job your fired lol have a good weekend hook xxjen

  6. People are idiots…that’s all I have this morning 🙂

  7. You must hate us Aussies – whenever I’m in a tipping culture I end up just awkwardly holding bills out with this look on my face of ‘what the hell am I suppose to be doing? And what percentage did it say in my lonely planet was polite?’ hehe

  8. Well, I gotta admit I was feeling a bit ‘pissy’ about the Jewish father right along with ya, till you dropped the three kids, whiny wife, ten bags in a Yukon. Be thankful he didn’t have an assault rifle ready to take everyone out with it. Poor man!

    • The Hook says:

      Hey, he chose his life! You know better than anyone, sometimes you have to work at your domestic situation to make it improve. Besides, most Jewsih dads rule the roost, don’t they? It certainly appeared that way in this case…

      • Hmm.. I don’t know much about the Jewish lifestyle, Hook. I’m umm…what the hell am I? White, biker trash? Ha..ha.. That’s what the Old Man calls us anyway.
        And yeah, he may have chose his life, but I chose mine too….and sometimes you bite off more than you can chew and this ‘life’ takes on a life of it’s own. I’m one of those ‘whiny’ wives, so I have to feel a little bad for him. It could always be worse though. He could be driving a two door. Ha..ha..

      • The Hook says:

        Good point!

  9. I cannot believe your guest didn’t report you to the ADL. You took a big risk there.

    • The Hook says:

      How do you figure that? I stood up to a bully who figured he could push a lowly bellman around. I would hope the ADL has bigger fish to fry – and enough common sense to recognize the true nature of my comments.
      By the way, do you actually like my work? I’m beginning to wonder….

      • Do you mean your writing or your bellhop work? 🙂

        Most of your readers think you’re hilarious. I’m reading with a different eye. I know customer service– I worked for the RBC for 8 years, front-line counter and secretarial. Reading your stuff, sometimes I think you’re trying to get fired. Had I said that to a client of the bank, I would have been.

        Being Jewish myself, I am well aware of the hyper-sensitivity we have to anti-Semitism. You essentially called him a cheap Jew. (No, I don’t think you’re an anti-Semite– I’ve been reading you long enough to know that had he been a Scot you would have used the same line. You’re an equal-opportunity racist.) 🙂 Seriously, I think you walk a dangerous line sometimes. The customer is usually wrong, but the customer is still the customer.

        And, just to be clear, when I REALLY don’t like a blog, I don’t leave comments. I just stop reading.

      • The Hook says:

        Just to be equally clear, when I meet a bully – regardless of his ethnic standing – I DON’T let him push me around! These people walk all over everyone they meet. Sooner or later, SOMEONE has to draw a line in the sand and say, “NO MORE!”
        I’ve had this job for over 15 years for a reason! My employers recognize my abilites and the fact that my negative encounters, while more blog-worthy than others, are few and far between. And did I mention I have an award and plaque hanging at the Front Desk? I received an award for CUSTOMER SERVICE after winning a company-wide competition!
        I hope you keep reading, but be warned: I’m not going to bend over over any time soon!

      • vampirelover17 says:

        Believe me he is not trying to get fired. What a stupid thing to say! If he didn’t want to work at that job don’t you think he would quit.
        I have worked in customer service for over 15 years and you don’t need to always put up with ignorant people and their crap. There is a time you have to stand up for yourself and I give him all the credit in the world for doing so. If his supervisor or manager thought he was going too far they would have definitely said so long ago.
        Are you going to stop reading anytime soon?

      • The Hook says:

        I love my wife!

      • vampirelover17 says:

        Love you too!!! 😉

  10. vampirelover17 says:

    I like your work and good job for standing up.

  11. MadilynQuinn says:

    I can honestly say I’ve never once been on TripAdvisor and now I won’t be going there for any travel planning. I hate places where people can be anonymous and talk trash. Seriously? Such cowards. -.-

    And the Jewish bit: Good that you stood your ground! It drives me crazy when people act like their stereotypes and then complain that people are judging them based on those… I’m mean, duh…

  12. sonsothunder says:

    Yeah…I’m hooked…After a week of working on this thing..i THINK i’m back online…Young Dumb and full of American… Well, Okay, scratch the young part.

  13. TripAdvisor is getting itself a bad name because of the vindictive reviews. I discount bad reviews. I mean, sometimes, you wonder why they went on holiday !!

  14. raisingdaisy says:

    That whole Trip Adviser thing is disgusting. I have to say that with all the times we’ve stayed in hotels, I’ve only had to complain twice, and I did it face to face with the manager. Only a coward resorts to the nameless, faceless internet to hide behind a screen name while exposing the name of a person they have a grievance with. Frankly, someone has to be pretty darned bad for me to complain – sometimes I think hotel guests just take out their frustrations on staffers. They’re probably complete cowards with people they know!

  15. xeriouslywtf says:

    The internet… allows so many cowards to attack others anonymously, pass on their limited opinions without recourse. It’s great but the aspect of the web that gives morons their voice, not so great.

  16. Screw what one person’s view said…I see nothing wrong with the way you stand up for yourself respectfully!
    I understand that people, of all faiths, races, and nationalities have been stereotyped, but that’s no cause to become so paranoid that you accuse every person of stereotyping for every single thing they do….

  17. I absolutely agree – contact the hotel IDENTIFY THEMSELVES and see where it goes from there. And it struck me only when you wrote it: true, the desired outcome is the employee fired, not better service. That’s SAD.

  18. yaykisspurr says:

    I’ve learned when you’re standing up to a person that a lot of it is in your tone. If your tone is respectful, firm and no nonsense then many times the person you are chewing out will take what you have to say. It really is the secret to speaking your mind, especially to a person who deserves it!

    As for these people who get employees fired for revenge because they didn’t get their way, shame on them! A manager is a manager because they take care problems. They want you to return…it really goes to show how mean spirited many people can be. In this economy to get someone fired is plain irresponsible!

    I love your sitcom in the making Hook! Keep the episodes coming….

  19. jakesprinter says:

    Great article 🙂

  20. Wonderful website. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to some pals; sharing is delicious! And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

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