17 Nov

I’ve had difficult guests in the past, but yesterday’s guest is STILL bothering me today.

She was in town for a conference being held in the hotel next to us, but had opted to stay with us based on our reviews.  My first contact with her was when she asked me where she should park.  I explained where the garage was, but told her she would need to check in first, since her room key would open the gate.  She thanked me and went to stand in line behind my other co-worker, who was already checking in a guest.

I thought that odd, and asked her if she was ready to check in, I could help her.

We made some small talk and I asked her for her credit card and ID.  She handed over her debit card.  I explained that I would charge the card right away for the amount needed, and she looked at me like I was crazy.  “Oh, well that’s not the card I want to use to pay for the room.  I want to use the credit card on file.”

“OK.  Do you have that card with you?”

For the next 10 minutes I tried to explain to her, that for the card holder’s security, we do not charge credit cards without obtaining an electronic swipe or without a signed authorization form.  I offered options on how I could help her obtain an authorization form, but she would hear nothing of it.

“What’s the purpose of asking for all my credit card information at the time of reservation, if I was going to need it when I got here?”

I patiently explained we ask for a credit card at the time of reservation to guarantee the room, but it’s not charged at that time.  We collect payment at check in.

Again, she would hear nothing of it, and loudly proclaimed she should have stayed at the other hotel.  Twice she went to my co-worker, a male who has been there all of 6 months, and explained to him that I was making things difficult and she needed to get over to her conference.

The second time she went to him, I said “Ma’am, I am his supervisor, and if you have an issue with me I would prefer you take it up with me.”

“She’s YOUR supervisor?!” she looked at him not quite believing it.

He replied, “Yes, and she’s right.  She’s got it.”

So she relented and came back to me.  With more patience than I felt, I offered to let her fill out an authorization form at the desk, since the card had her name on it, and that way, if there was any dispute later on, we would have the necessary paperwork.

As she was filling it out, I apologized for the rough start.  I offered to comp her parking charges, and informed her I had given her a free upgrade to a corner room viewing the arch.

She told me to wait, and then looked up and said, “Ok, what?” very condescendingly.  Like I was bothering her again.

I took a breath, forced the smile back on my face, and repeated myself.  “I sure didn’t mean to make things difficult for you, and I’m sorry.”

To my surprise, she apologized too.  She’d just come off of 8 hours on the road, and was feeling rushed to get over to her conference.  We shook hands, and off she went.

I went to the back and nearly cried.

I pride myself on making things easy for people, and doing everything in my power to make their time away from home as hassle free as possible, and yet SHE felt hassled.

While she was at her conference, I left her a very friendly voice mail, inquiring about the room, making sure she would be comfortable, apologizing once again for the rough start, and advising her to please call down if there was anything we could do to make her stay better.

I was checking in a different guest when she came down for her free drinks.  She interrupted, and thanked me whole-heartedly.  She said the room was beautiful and everything was great.  I responded with a big smile and a warm thank you.

Perhaps I turned her around. Only time will tell.  I still don’t feel at ease, and I’m hoping to be able to check her out on Sunday morning giving me one more chance to make things right.

On the bright side, the anxiety flowing through me helped me to run 7 miles today.  My longest since coming back from my injury.

I suppose that’s worth something.

But I’d rather just turn back time and provide my guest with an easy check in right from the beginning.  And if I’m allowed to do that, I’ll make sure she brings her d@mn credit card with her.



Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Blunders, The Hotel


Tags: , , ,

12 responses to “Charged

  1. Abby

    November 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Two words for her: HIGH MAINTENANCE. And those are the nice ones.
    It honestly sounds like she’s got some mental / emotional issues? You can’t please everybody. I know you want to, but you can’t.

    • shadowrun300

      November 18, 2013 at 12:58 am

      I chose to use the not so nice words when telling the story to my co-workers. And while she was extremely b*tchy during the check-in, I really believe she felt just as bad after. I got my wish of checking her out today, and she once again raved about how nice our hotel was and thanked me profusely for the beautiful upgrade. I think we parted on good terms, but sheesh it caused me a lot of heartache these past few days.

  2. Meleah Rebeccah

    November 18, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Oy! She sure sounds like a handful. But you clearly handled the situation with grace and class. And possibly even changed HER shitty attitude – so GOOD FOR YOU!

    • shadowrun300

      November 18, 2013 at 2:05 am

      Well actually…. I think that’s what bothers me the most. I probably could have handled it with a little more grace. BUT. I did force myself to apologize and make things right when I would much rather have said, “Fine. Go stay at the other hotel.” like she had threatened to do.

  3. Rock Chef

    November 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t think that you should be concerned about her – she should have realised her mistake and just paid on the card she had!

    • shadowrun300

      November 19, 2013 at 2:56 am

      Yep. Being a people pleaser is a good thing in my job, but if you’re a people pleaser who failed to please a person, it’s very troublesome.
      I’m choosing to believe the reason she was so complimentary afterwards is because she KNEW she should have brought it with her and that it WAS her mistake.

  4. territerri

    November 21, 2013 at 2:31 am

    I don’t know how you do what you do. You have the patience of a saint. Some of these people you deal with, well they remind me of all the worst traits of the difficult coworker I deal with. At least with one person, I know what to expect. You never know what you’re getting. But you took the high road and she can have no complaints about her service. You went above and beyond, that’s for sure.

    • shadowrun300

      November 21, 2013 at 2:39 am

      Luckily, I haven’t come across too many people who are this hard to get along with. But when I do, I love the challenge of turning them around. But SHE was being critical of ME, and calling me ‘difficult’. (ME? I thought SHE was being difficult.) Since she was being critical of me personally, it took everything I had to turn her around. But I did. And I’m glad I didn’t stoop to her level. I was close though. Almost TOO close.

  5. agg79

    November 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I think Abby pegged it – High Maintenance. I applaud your efforts and patience. Coming from the other side of the desk, as a frequent traveler, I have seen my fair share of cranky people. I am sorry that we can be so difficult at times. Your drive to provide the best experience shows in everything you approach, even with the most “challenging” of experiences. Reminds me of one of the training classes we have taken – “How to Deal with Difficult People” Your attempts to make it work were admirable and you should be commended. I would have lost my patience with her early on – probably a good reason I am not in the customer service side of the business. Kudos for your above and beyond attitude!

    • shadowrun300

      November 22, 2013 at 2:20 am

      I really do enjoy the challenge of turning cranky people around. Luckily, we don’t see too many of them, or I’d probably lose my patience too.
      SHE was a tough cookie, though, which made it even sweeter when on Sunday she told me she thoroughly enjoyed our hotel. Woohoo! A saved customer! 🙂

  6. Mike

    December 12, 2013 at 2:23 am

    This is why I work with computers and not people. I’m highly impressed with how you kept your cool and continued to be nice to her in spite of her miserable attitude. There is no way I could do what you do.

    • shadowrun300

      December 12, 2013 at 2:32 am

      Thank goodness it’s only once in a great while that I have to deal with a guest that grouchy.
      To be honest, computers make me lose my cool more than guests do. 🙂


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