“Oh, the places you will go.” Dr. Seuss famously wrote. As an adult, I’ve decided to tweak Dr. Seuss’s story line just a bit: “Oh, the places you’d rather not go.”
We all have places we’d rather not visit. Sometimes we don’t want to go because the locations don’t seem scenic to us, sometimes because they don’t offer activities to suit our interests, and sometimes we feel forced to go because we feel obligated.
When we feel compelled for whatever reason, it takes some joy out of the travel. For the past several years we’ve found ourselves in such a situation. The location isn’t all that bad. In fact it’s at the junction of several major highways so it has an extensive variety of hotels and motels.
We’ve lodged in several of those hotels with varying results. Often they were over-priced, offered poor service, had surly or lazy staff, and in two cases were downright filthy.
Did I mention we weren’t happy to go to this location? The quality of accommodations didn’t improve our opinion.
I don’t know about you, but if something I have to face is difficult, I make a special effort to seek the good in the situation.
Finally we found a hotel we could count on to be clean and the staff courteous. One of the best people on staff was the breakfast hostess/server. Stacey always made certain the food was fresh and well stocked. She kept the dining room spotless. She also made the effort to talk to each guest, “Do you have everything you need? How does the food taste?”
No matter how many hotel/motels we’ve stayed in anywhere, I’ve never had such a pleasant accommodating breakfast server. Many of them hide out in the kitchen. Most of them will make sure you have what is available, but few ever smile.
Stacey was a breath of fresh air (pardon the cliché, it’s the only phrase that truly fits). I looked forward to seeing her every morning at breakfast.
On one of our trips to the area we overheard Stacey ask another guest if everything was all right with his breakfast.
He snapped at her. “You’ve already asked me. Now don’t bother me again!”
Whoa! Do you think that’s why most servers don’t engage with the hotel guests?
• Many people in the service industry work very hard. When you have a worker who makes an extra effort, it’s time to show gratitude, not rudeness.
• Workers in the service industry are not always paid very well. A monetary tip can be a true blessing to their budget as well as a boost to their spirits.
• Beware of using online companies to book your hotel/motel stay. If you have a problem with a room your hotel may be unable to give you a refund because you booked with a third party.
• Look online for best prices, etc. Then call the hotel for their room prices and availability. If they’re charging more, then tell them about the price you found online. Most hotels have often met the best price for us.
• When faced with difficult circumstances, try to find something redeeming or worthwhile to turn your attitude around.
We recently concluded our business in that city. I planned to tell Stacey how much I appreciated her service, the way she went the extra mile, and especially her warm friendliness. I hoped to give her one last tip, too. Unfortunately, it was her day off.
I can safely say Stacey is the only thing about that city I’ll miss.
How can a location be a good place when the reasons for visiting there are so very sad or bad? Perhaps you have such a region you must regularly visit or have had to visit in the past. Tell me about it in the comments below. How did you make the best of it? Or tell me about a staff member you appreciated. How did you show your gratitude?
Until next time . . . Travel Light,
©2017 SuZan Klassen