Saturday, July 30, 2005
When Courtesy Doesn't Work
Many years ago we were attending a fancy dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. To solve the problems of how to get there without having to wear the tux and evening gown on public transport all the way in from the suburbs, we reserved a modest room at the Waldorf. We arrived promptly at check-in time, but were told our room wasn't ready. We checked our luggage and went for a walk. We stopped by the front desk a number of times and got the same story. Finally, we worried that there wouldn't be time to dress for dinner. We were in the bar at the then Barclay Hotel across the street from the Waldorf. I asked for a phone and called the Waldorf.
ME: This is (name) and we have a reservation there for tonight.
W-A: Oh yes sir. I'm afraid your room is still not available.
ME: Well, that is why I called. The Barclay says they have a nice room available. Now I don't know the proper protocol in this situation. Should I send a Barclay bellhop across the street to get our bags, or do you wish to have a Waldorf bellhop bring them over here? We will be by the front desk.
It was amazing how that very instant the Waldorf discovered they had a room ready after all. A very nice one at that.