A few years ago at an Innkeeping conference, innkeepers were asked to submit their ‘most fantastic and unusual innkeeper’s stories’. This was a contest and judges picked a couple of whoppers. Now unfortunately they were also X-Rated and as a result not to be retold for this publication. Sorry, they were good ones!
Now we all get Holiday greetings, some with letters chock-full of family news replete with photos in holiday regalia. This past holiday we received one from an innkeeper going into their third year of innkeeping. Not filled with news of kids and pets but of their year of innkeeping stories. Let me pass some on to you. I am sure they will sound familiar.
Summer time and the livin’ is busy… Inn is full, so is restaurant. 20-minute micro-storm crops up and trees down, power lines follow and electricity out. Inn did not come with a propane generator. Oops!
Quote from innkeeper’s letter. “One of our guests emerged through the blur to ask, “Can you charge my cell phone, the power just went out?” “While gauging where on the priority list of disaster protocols I should stack this item, I thought to myself, this was one of those rare moments when you realize the words you are thinking of saying are the exact wrong words for the situation at hand.”
What do you think the innkeeper response was? “Of course.” Great answer. A small generator brought along with them when they purchased the inn was keeping the essential kitchen equipment going so he was able to keep the guest happy. As a result…happy ending.
As innkeepers you most likely have a loyal customer base, many of whom are repeat guests over many years. In this case we are talking about 30+ year, second generation guests! (It was their parent’s room). Now these guests were not only loyal but shall we say obsessive?
Quote from Innkeeper’s letter. “The fact that these 30+ year guests made the reservation for a different room, online and by their own hand, with multiple confirmations, is hardy relevant, right? From their vantage point it might appear completely rational to suggest that those who have trespassed to reserve your room by inexplicably overcoming the obstacles of online booking to reserve your room while they weren’t looking, should be forcibly removed, cast in chains, and flogged for their insolence! We didn’t do that…” A soft pedaled explanation was offered and rational thought prevailed.
Hey, maybe this couple has a new favorite room. Who knows?
I like these two stories because they resonate with all innkeepers. Innkeepers are flexible (you better be). They learn to hold their tongue and smile, often. This is how innkeepers function, how they deal with life’s little tests. And they LOVE to tell innkeeper stories.
We would love to have you respond with your Innkeeper’s stories. No X- Rated please.
Thanks for Listening,
Note: Credit where credit is due…photo of guest room from the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum