I was in a meeting with my co-workers when the postman delivered a registered letter, a large envelope from the Municipality.
Being curious, I promptly opened it and found a fine for a road offence and the request to identify the driver, for the attribution of penalty points on the driver’s licence.
“Never mind!”, said one of the meeting participants, “Just state that your wife was at the wheel: she hardly ever uses the car”. I did not do it, I am convinced that if you make a mistake you have to take responsibility for it.
Recently, I spoke to some Atahotels employees and a manager told me “I felt bad about what you wrote: it almost seemed that it was our fault, and not Empam’s, the property owner’s, that we suddenly had to close down the Executive Hotel in Milan and you could not hold your TFP Summit event there”.
We could make a number of considerations, not least that they did anyhow confirm the soccer transfer market event, which was more important for the company (for fear of penalties?), even though it was to be held during the announced closing days. Our event was scheduled for 5th February, and the hotel had to be turned over to the ownership on the 15th; the advance payment for the meeting rooms had been requested (and effected) only a few days before. And so on and so forth, but what I find most annoying is that the fault should always be somebody else’s, not the people who made a commitment and signed an agreement, always somebody else!
In Berlin, checking out of the NH Mitte, I paid the extras and, as I was leaving for the fair, I inadvertently forgot to ask for an invoice for these and for the advance payment of the room. Later on I realised my mistake, and when I went back to collect my luggage I asked the young lady at the desk whether it was still possible to receive the invoices. A senior employee reluctantly came to search among the morning’s receipts, and grumblingly rebuked me for not having requested them immediately. I had already apologised, but at this point I could not help considering the hotel’s shortcomings: the check-out clerk was certainly inexperienced, and was careful not to inquire if I needed an invoice, only too happy to get rid of me quickly. The fact that a hotel utilises personnel that is not adequately prepared (in order to save money?) cannot certainly be blamed on the customer, however absent-minded. A confirmation of this statement can also be found in booking.com, in the comments posted by other people who stayed in this hotel recently. Let me report two of them: (9 February) “…… at the reception desk, with the exception of a male assistant, they utilise very young, kind and friendly girls who are totally inexperienced”; ( 21 March) “ ….. the lack of politeness and helpfulness of the front-office staff. In particular, a receptionist on the day of departure, who insisted on requesting that I pay the bill which had already been paid in advance through booking.com; her rudeness and insistence were truly unpleasant”. If they receive two comments of this type on the same topic in such a short period, maybe they should ask themselves a question; but, of course, they would need to be willing to do so, and not just refuse to take responsibility.
Once again, it is somebody else’s fault. It is not a matter of latitude: bad behaviours spread out, in a world that, alas, tends to conform to lower standards.
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