"Yours Is A Very Bad Hotel" Story Still Offers Teachable Moments

Since actively working the front lines of hospitality, I've made a more conscience effort to praise positive service.  This seems especially important in a world caught in a flurry of Yelp reviews.

A friend shared a PowerPoint that's been floating around the Internet for over a decade, which made me realize how tough it is to scratch a bad experience.  Originally published online in 2001, the 17-page "Yours is a very bad hotel" PowerPoint outlines the stay of business travelers at a Houston Doubletree Hotel.  

In short, the room was booked for late arrival, but they were refused a room at check-in.  Night Clerk Mike was unapologetic and not helpful finding accommodations elsewhere.  The charts and graphs are especially stunning citing lost potential revenue because these travelers will be taking business elsewhere.

According to a followup in USA Today, the viral complaint sparked a $1,000 charitable donation from the hotel and its parent company Hilton, and restructuring of employee training manuals and overbooking policies.

This tidbit stuck out from the USA Today article, which noted, just two months later,  Night Clerk Mike was still employed at the hotel.  "A lot of people are shocked to learn he's still working here," admits general manager Joseph Crosby. "But we're not brushing this off. My employee failed to provide empathy" — a quality, he adds, is needed now more than ever.

Couldn't agree more.  With this "bad hotel" story still circulating, it shows we need empathy more than ever in all our daily encounters.

Kevin Clay