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HomeNewsArchivesA TALE OF 2 HOTELS IN WHICH MISTAKES WERE MADE

A TALE OF 2 HOTELS IN WHICH MISTAKES WERE MADE

The two stories that follow are true. The names have been omitted to protect the not-so-innocent. Read them carefully, because there will be a quiz at the end.
Hotel No. 1:
A guest checked into the hotel the evening before the first of a series of meetings. He called the front desk and asked for a 7:30 a.m. wake-up call and hot coffee to be delivered at 7:45. He got his wake-up call at 7:40, and 10 minutes later his coffee arrived, lukewarm. The guest informed the bellman that his wake-up call had been late and that his coffee was cold. The bellman immediately apologized and was back with hot coffee in two minutes. The bellman then proceeded to "blast fax" everyone on the hotel staff to let them know that this guest had had two problems.
When the guest arrived in the lobby to go to his meeting, the hotel manager was there to meet him. He apologized for the late wake-up call and the cold coffee and told the guest that the hotel had taken the liberty of calling a car service to make sure that he got to his meeting on time. Upon the guest's return that afternoon, another hotel manager greeted him, acknowledged the problem the guest had had in the morning, again apologized, and said that the hotel was removing the charge for the movie he had watched from his bill. When the guest checked out, the desk clerk also acknowledged the problem and assured him that the hotel would take every step to prevent a recurrence because it valued the guest as a customer.
Four months later, the guest returned to the hotel. When he checked in, the desk clerk acknowledged the previous slip-ups and said, "Please let us know if there are any problems." The guest has become a walking advertisement for the hotel, all because of a late wake-up call and a cold cup of coffee.
Hotel No. 2:
A guest checked into the hotel. When he got to his room, the air-conditioning was not working properly, and the room temperature was 86 degrees. He called the front desk and informed them. He was told someone would be sent to check it. He also requested a table, since the room lacked a writing desk. Three hours later, he called the front desk to say that no one had shown up in response to his earlier call. The desk clerk sounded exasperated, although it was not clear whether she was annoyed at the guest or the maintenance department. One hour later, a beat up folding table was propped up in the hallway outside the room. The air conditioning had not been checked. The guest went to the front desk, and the desk clerk, remembering the problem, found a maintenance man and sent him to the room.
The following morning, and on each ensuing morning, a pitcher with milk was set out for the continental breakfast in the restaurant. As the pitcher was emptied by guests, staff would walk past it avoiding all eye contact with either it or the guests in the area. Only when a guest took the empty pitcher and requested milk did a staff member silently take the pitcher and disappear into the kitchen, often for up to five minutes, leaving a line of people waiting for milk. This scenario was repeated day after day.
One afternoon, a young woman with her infant and mother were checking in. They had the full range of baby support items and two huge suitcases. The young mother said that they had had a "bad day." The desk clerk assigned them to a room on the third floor at the far end of a wing. They began to drag the suitcases, the baby and the baby items away from the check-in desk. The guest (from the beginning of our story) told them that the hotel could deliver their bags to the room. The desk clerk, looking at them, said nothing except to confirm that the hotel could provide this basic service.
Four months later, the guest was back in town and checked in — at another hotel.
The Quiz:
Based on the information above, identify which of these hotels is in the Virgin Islands.

Editor's note: Dr. Frank Schneiger is president of the Human Services Management Institute, a consulting firm. He has served as assistant commissioner of health for the City of New York and founded Comprehensive Medical Management Inc. He is the author of "Cutting and Coping," a how-to guide for managing retrenchment. He has worked with V.I. agencies since 1975, most recently as consultant to United Way of St. Thomas/St. John. He is one of the founders of the St. Thomas/St. John Youth Multi-Service Center.
Readers are invited to send comments on this article to source@viaccess.net.

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The two stories that follow are true. The names have been omitted to protect the not-so-innocent. Read them carefully, because there will be a quiz at the end.
Hotel No. 1:
A guest checked into the hotel the evening before the first of a series of meetings. He called the front desk and asked for a 7:30 a.m. wake-up call and hot coffee to be delivered at 7:45. He got his wake-up call at 7:40, and 10 minutes later his coffee arrived, lukewarm. The guest informed the bellman that his wake-up call had been late and that his coffee was cold. The bellman immediately apologized and was back with hot coffee in two minutes. The bellman then proceeded to "blast fax" everyone on the hotel staff to let them know that this guest had had two problems.
When the guest arrived in the lobby to go to his meeting, the hotel manager was there to meet him. He apologized for the late wake-up call and the cold coffee and told the guest that the hotel had taken the liberty of calling a car service to make sure that he got to his meeting on time. Upon the guest's return that afternoon, another hotel manager greeted him, acknowledged the problem the guest had had in the morning, again apologized, and said that the hotel was removing the charge for the movie he had watched from his bill. When the guest checked out, the desk clerk also acknowledged the problem and assured him that the hotel would take every step to prevent a recurrence because it valued the guest as a customer.
Four months later, the guest returned to the hotel. When he checked in, the desk clerk acknowledged the previous slip-ups and said, "Please let us know if there are any problems." The guest has become a walking advertisement for the hotel, all because of a late wake-up call and a cold cup of coffee.
Hotel No. 2:
A guest checked into the hotel. When he got to his room, the air-conditioning was not working properly, and the room temperature was 86 degrees. He called the front desk and informed them. He was told someone would be sent to check it. He also requested a table, since the room lacked a writing desk. Three hours later, he called the front desk to say that no one had shown up in response to his earlier call. The desk clerk sounded exasperated, although it was not clear whether she was annoyed at the guest or the maintenance department. One hour later, a beat up folding table was propped up in the hallway outside the room. The air conditioning had not been checked. The guest went to the front desk, and the desk clerk, remembering the problem, found a maintenance man and sent him to the room.
The following morning, and on each ensuing morning, a pitcher with milk was set out for the continental breakfast in the restaurant. As the pitcher was emptied by guests, staff would walk past it avoiding all eye contact with either it or the guests in the area. Only when a guest took the empty pitcher and requested milk did a staff member silently take the pitcher and disappear into the kitchen, often for up to five minutes, leaving a line of people waiting for milk. This scenario was repeated day after day.
One afternoon, a young woman with her infant and mother were checking in. They had the full range of baby support items and two huge suitcases. The young mother said that they had had a "bad day." The desk clerk assigned them to a room on the third floor at the far end of a wing. They began to drag the suitcases, the baby and the baby items away from the check-in desk. The guest (from the beginning of our story) told them that the hotel could deliver their bags to the room. The desk clerk, looking at them, said nothing except to confirm that the hotel could provide this basic service.
Four months later, the guest was back in town and checked in -- at another hotel.
The Quiz:
Based on the information above, identify which of these hotels is in the Virgin Islands.

Editor's note: Dr. Frank Schneiger is president of the Human Services Management Institute, a consulting firm. He has served as assistant commissioner of health for the City of New York and founded Comprehensive Medical Management Inc. He is the author of "Cutting and Coping," a how-to guide for managing retrenchment. He has worked with V.I. agencies since 1975, most recently as consultant to United Way of St. Thomas/St. John. He is one of the founders of the St. Thomas/St. John Youth Multi-Service Center.
Readers are invited to send comments on this article to source@viaccess.net.