I started working at a local hotel in Albert Lea folding laundry for six glorious hours. It may not be for everyone, but for me, it’s fantastic. The general manager and assistant manager are both amazing. An accommodating and friendly experience is the goal of whole team. I have watched the whole team hold their tongues while guests have yelled and swore at them in situations that were totally unwarranted. Yet, even in these situations they hold their tongues and remain calm and polite. I need to share some stories I have observed while listening, watching and folding laundry.
This story begins with the arrival of two traveling baseball teams. Both teams arrived, checked in and settled into their rooms. It was busy with so many young men running around the hotel, but all seemed to be ok. However, the next morning I arrived to work and asked the front desk employee how the night went. She said, oh it was fine (which is code for it was a little crazy but nothing fell from the ceiling). A few minutes later a guest came down to check out and he was obviously annoyed. Observing his frustration I asked him how his stay was and he said “it’s better if you don’t ask”.
Yikes! That is not the response you want to receive from a guest. You see the problem was those same excited young men had been loud and crazy throughout the night and the gentleman had not gotten very much sleep. The young men may have had a blast, however, not everyone enjoyed their stay.
Here are 4 things hotel employees and other hotel guests need from coaches, chaperones, parents and the kids.
- Before you leave for your trip sit down with the kids and tell them what you expect out of their behavior once you arrive. Plan ahead and have both rewards and consequences for when the rules are followed through or broken. Be prepared to dish out the consequences. If your kids are like some of mine they will jump and run across the boundary lines.
- Adults – be present, be aware and be responsible. More often than not the coaches, parents and adult chaperones sit in the lobby, breakfast bar or other commons areas to sit and drink alcohol. They sit back, let the kids run around the hotel then leave it to the front desk and other hotel employees to act as “lifeguards”. Please for the safety of your kids and the sanity of the other guests and lodging employees be present with your group.
- Sportsmanship does not only mean with other sports teams. It also means how your group interacts with the world at the gas station, restaurant or any other places you go to as a group. Teaching them how to positively interact with the world and to be blessings especially as a large group.
- Give your kids questions they can ask themselves during their stay. Are they being courtesy to the man/woman trying to relax in the hot tub at the pool? Are they standing back from the elevator just in case someone is going to step off? Are they using the correct side of the stairs? Are they thinking only about having fun or are they thinking of those around them? Are they using a controlled tone of voice in the hallways and in their rooms? Are they being mindful of others who are also trying to have a good time or sleep?
I have four kids and I completely understand kids are not always cooperative. I understand when kids stay at hotels it’s magical and fun. The first thing out of my kids mouths is usually, I can’t wait to explore this place. I tell my kids it’s ok to have fun, it’s not ok to be crazy.
Your kids behavior not only reflects on themselves and you, it also reflects on the management of the hotel. It causes other guests to leave horrible reviews about their experience at the hotel because of the unruly groups of kids. Unfortunately, the hotel becomes the middle man and bears the brunt of the good, bad and ugly of your groups behavior. Lets all work together to create a fun and safe experience for everyone.