Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My current pet peeves about serving the public

If you don't know what you want, I don't know how to help you. I do enjoy talking to people on the phone, I am a fountain of information and I enjoy sharing it. But I get peeved if you want me to make your decisions for you.

I operate multiple hotels. Saying "I'm staying at your place" or "I want to stay at your place" leaves me pretty clueless about how to help you.

Be specific. Asking for a reservation "sometime in August" is bad. Asking for a reservation "on the first available Thursday in August" is better. Asking for a reservation "on August 8" is best. Every time I try to do something for you with vague instructions you call me up and make changes because I didn't get it right. This is your fault for not telling me what you wanted.

Likewise I cannot plan your vacation itinerary for you. Hire a travel agent or personal assistant. I'm just some guy on the phone and the only thing stopping me from misguiding you for my own entertainment is that I might want to make more money off you next year. And just so you know, the more difficult and time consuming you are the less your money is worth.

No, I cannot give you any good advice on getting from place to place. I am somewhat knowledgeable about how to reach me from various starting points but I am pretty useless when it comes to navigating around Montana in general. If you tell me you want to go from Yellowstone to Glacier through Miles City I am going to nod, smile and tell you that is a great route.

That said, no I don't think Calgary, Boise, or Salt Lake are the best airports to fly into. All the major cities in Montana have airports. We also have television, internet and paved roads.

I don't care about your vacation plans, how long you are staying, why you are coming, who you are visiting or what route you are taking. I'm glad you are excited to visit Montana and these are fine anecdotes to chat about casually but they are useless and annoying interruptions when it comes to getting our business done.

If you want to discuss an existing reservation, one of the first words out of you mouth ought to be the reservation number. That is the best way to tell me who you are. The second best way is to tell me your name. I get peeved when you call and ramble on about whatever problem needs solved. What happens next is I ask for your reservation number and then I make you repeat yourself because the ramble made no sense without the details. Thanks for wasting our time.

Your arrival date, while important, is pretty much useless for looking up your reservation. Don't bother telling me, writing it on your check, in your Emails or other correspondence. Your reservation number or your name is much more useful.

I understand that your friend has invited you to stay as part of her reservation. But it is her reservation and not yours. I cannot make changes to it without her permission. It's her contact info, her credit card and her responsibility. You are just some random person on the phone to me. I need to hear it from the reservation holder if you want to add eight more people.

That said, I am still happy to take your money. But if you change your mind the refund is going to the reservation holder. That is just the way it works.

If you don't like that, you may make your own reservation and become the responsible person. No I will not make your reservation for your friends room. When you make your own reservation you get your own room. That is just the way it works. If you want to share a room with your friend perhaps you should communicate with them and work out which of you will be responsible for talking to me.

When one person in the party drops out, calling me and telling me to cancel a reservation is a bad idea. I am likely to do as asked and cancel the reservation. This means everything gets chucked in the trash and everyone in the group is out in the cold. It would be better if you ask to change a reservation. This really is just a semantic thing but like all businesses mine uses some specific language to mean specific things. Cancel a reservation means 'remove and destroy the entire reservation' which is a little different from 'change the party size'. I have a big red button on my screen that has the word CANCEL in all caps. When I hear the word I start to aim for the button and once it is pressed it can't be un-pressed.

If you want to move your reservation to a different date, please don't call and make a new reservation and then as an afterthought mention you don't need the previous reservation any more. That is twice as much work for both of us. Changing an existing reservation is much easier.

No one owes you anything. I am more helpful to cheerful and fun people than I am with demanding or angry people. And in both cases "no vacancy" means there is no vacancy.

And what is up will all lower case Emails? Even your name! Is the shift key that hard to master? Is all lower case the new black and uber stylish or something? Like using dots instead of dashes in a phone number? But to lower case your name? I'm sorry, but Jones is a much more dignified name than jones. If you are too lazy to use the shift key on your own name it makes you look bad.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Comments:
Very informative, and written in your usual entertaining style.

But -- a point of information -- some of us don't use the caps key because it's easier on painful hands to just avoid it.

You notice that I did use it here, just for you.
 
Touché
 
i'm just lazy when it comes to the shift key...i use it when i'm writing papers and doing 'professional' things, but for regular stuff...rarely :)

i'm going to email you 'professionally' next regarding reservation options. i will take your note into account.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home