Imagine for a moment that you are taking your lover to a meal at a top restaurant. However, when you get there, you step in a steaming dollop of doggie-doo lurking in the shadows just outside the door. You suggest to the restaurant management that having an entrance festooned with faeces might not be good for business. They readily agree and are, of course, terribly apologetic. They assure you that the problem will be dealt with immediately and they provide you with a tissue to clean your shoe.
Grumpy, but nevertheless determined not to let the incident spoil your evening out, you put the whole nasty business behind you. The company is superb and despite the faint reek of dog shit that occasionally assaults your senses, you are able to enjoy dinner.
By the time you finish dessert, you have entirely recovered your good humour. Then, as you step out the door into the fresh night air, you manage to plant your foot firmly in the very same cunningly hidden pile of poo…
Ok, the above incident didn’t actually take place, and I am normally quite vigilant when entering and exiting restaurants, but it illustrates some of the niggling annoyance I felt in my most recent dealings with the hospitality industry+.
You see, the lovely Dolce & I spent the weekend at a beautiful boutique hotel in the winelands. While it was a magnificent experience, the one thing that prevented our stay from being absolutely perfect was management’s policy of employing concussion victims to run the administrative side of the business: First, they cocked up our reservation; then they cocked up our booking for the spa treatment; and finally, just to rub that last grain of salt into the wound, they cocked up our account when we checked out. All in all, an unbelievably thorough performance, but when it comes to service, the Devil’s in the details, isn’t it?
On the drive home, I was wearing the expression I usually reserve for negotiating with Egyptian camel drivers. Fortunately, Dolce thinks it’s sexy when I scowl and mutter darkly.
+ And we all love a good story about walking in dog crap, don’t we?