One week a year at minimum wage does not make me an expert but I have noticed during the 10 years in which I have driven a van as a temporary employee of the Pebble Beach Corporation, that being a member of the service and hospitality industry makes for some interesting commentary
First,I should note that I am dealing with individuals on an hourly basis and as a captive audience in my vehicle. It is difficult for them to escape since I am controlling their destiny to and from locations within the Del Monte Forest. The individuals with whom I interact see my service as a driver as something that they have already paid for. Inasmuch as they are members of an elite club within Pebble Beach they feel and rightly so they are owed special treatment by me and other drivers
.But, it seems there are several truths that I can point to that have relevance to other service jobs including that of associates at the Marriott Hotel
There is a sense that the individual getting the service can ask for anything repeat anything if that service seems reasonable to the recipient
There is also a sense of entitlement that comes with membership in an elite club, such as the beach and tennis club (anyone seeing any similarities here to hotel loyalty programs?) this sense of entitlement translates into a feeling of superiority on the part of the membera nd can lead to more and more requestsfor additional services not specifically mentioned or allowed by the terms and conditions of their membership.
Without casting aspersions on the individuals involved,I noticed that many passengers engaged in a subterfuge to get in the vehicle– –for example the rules state that a passenger must provide a photo identification such as their beach club membership card to use the service and casual questions asked by me suggests they were not members nor did they know a member but that they wanted to avail themselves of a free ride in a very congested area during the golf tournament
Challenging anyone to provide proof of their membership normally resulted in almost righteous indignation on the part of the person I was asking. it was as if I had asked them to giving their credit card information. In addition, many of them had only limited information on where they were going and how they were going to get there – – they saw me as a target of opportunity to get them away from the golf venue to some parking space somewhere.
So I guess I can now sympathize with some of the things that an associate at the front desk of the Marriott Hotel or other brand owned by Marriott or impact of hotels, goes through with guests who expect something either get it or don't get it, ask for more, either don't get it or get it, or who feel that they should be recognized for something they may or may not have – – elite status.
Does this excuse the inability of the Corporation to provide basic guarantees for its most venerated and Elite loyal customers? I think not. But it does give me a different perspective of standing on "the other side of the desk"
Insightful, yes, but relevant? In my opinion, there is a HUGE difference in the entitlement/superiority syndrome you mention, and expectations of promises being met. I would welcome the front desk associate requiring a look-see at my Marriott elite card. Then there would be NO EXCUSE for not acknowledging my status or thanking me for my continued business. Nevermind that the key packet clearly identifies my elite status..... Don't get me wrong, I am respectful of all employees that work the front lines. I also keep in mind that, for the most part, they go about there business to the best of their abilities and training. Additionally, I deplore 'shooting the messenger'. I would challenge the trainer. So, in my mind, high expectations are not a bad thing. In fact, if I pay the price, and the 'promised' benefits are not met, then I have a right to be disappointed. If my expectations are unrealistic, then it is my bad. Of course, any disappointments should be handled in a respectful way. Always.
I'm going out on a limb here and make a judgement that most Marriott Elites are respectful and pleasant with associates they encounter during the check-in and service processes at a hotel they are visiting. I would guess most of us engage in conversation of some type and don't start off with an "I'm Platinum" rendition of what they should be receiving.
I know for me, I always offer my ID and Marriott Visa (it has our Rewards number on it). I do not hand my Platinum ID card; do not ask for an upgrade; do not ask for a suite; do not demand that they acknowledge my 'elite' status with Marriott. If I get any of the above I am appreciative and thank them for it. I rented a room for the time there and expect that I get the weekday breakfast and CL access without having to ask for it....because Marriott said I would get it with my status.
I do know there are some who think they bought the staff with a room and I have seen them, but I think most elites are acutely aware of the associate and the grind they go through. If a bad associate pops up...and we have all seen them...that's a different story. But I'm not attacking the employee then either. I'll let someone know in management of the situation and they can deal with it.
I was merely commenting that the Associate is following rules laid down and we know that. We are not mean, we only ask, We assume that there's a rule somewhere for not getting things and we've brought these to the attention I am defending Associates for following rules, but I am also hoping those rules will change
I apologize if you feel that I was challenging an issue with you. I was not meaning to. I was actually commenting in the guise that we Insiders are not like the jerks who try to get the free ride in your van because they think they are entitled to whatever they want. My thought was that I think we Insiders are actually a pretty savvy...and special.... grouping of people who understand the rules of the road.....and that we are not of the type that always looks for the free ride. We want what we are told is to be..and when changes blur that vision, we ask why..... respectfully.