Securing The Integrity Of Strangers

I had an experience at a hotel earlier this year that probably could have been avoided. I was watching a movie in the room, paused it and then was going to be charged again to get the movie started again. I called the front desk and they said, “No problem, just order it again and we won’t charge you for the second time.”

The same evening while at the front desk, I helped out a guy, who for some reason didn’t have a credit card to leave for incidental charges. I left a $20 bill at the front desk, which allowed him to check in and which the front desk clerk said I could pick up when I left (since he was not going to charge anything else to his room). “No problem.”  Then about 11:00 p.m., someone offered to drive me to the airport the next morning, so I called the front desk to cancel the taxi I had ordered for 7:00 a.m.  “No problem. We will take care of it.”

You can see where this is going.  The next morning the clerk at the front desk (a different one) told me she couldn’t remove the movie charge but said I could write Comcast to have it removed and then follow up after thirty days to make sure it was removed from my credit card. Right, I’m going to do all that for $15.

Then she had no idea about the $20 I left at the front desk and asked me the name of the gentlemen I had helped out, which I couldn’t remember because I’d never met him before in my life.  And, of course, the taxi–the taxi I had been assured would be cancelled–showed up at 7:00 p.m. to take me to airport.  Three for three.  Nice.

I knew how to avoid this and just didn’t do it this time.  Each time someone promised me something, I should have asked their name and then thanked them, mentioning their name again.  By doing so, I would have let each person know I was holding them accountable for their promise and would remember their name.  It would have called each person to accountability, which would have secured their integrity. I learned this a long time ago and it works. Give it a try. GS

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