Chocolate Pillow | Deserving versus Un-Deserving
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Deserving versus Un-Deserving

09 Feb Deserving versus Un-Deserving

Being active in Reception Management, I spend a lot of my time on the front line working the Reception Desk in the same manner as my team, but i had a very interesting conversation with one of my team members the other day that I wanted to share with you all and potentially create a trail of thought for my readers!

The story picks up after an incident with a guest, the background of which really is not needed for this post, but I ended up involved and the reception team member was rather peeved off and upset because of the guest manner and attitude and also that she had been overridden on her decision.  e had a conversation and she said ‘but he didn’t deserve it’ to which I asked ‘why?’.  Her response was that the guest had ‘attitude’ and was ‘very unpleasant and rude’.  This is understandable – when someone is rude, aggressive or generally obnoxious and demanding, we are generally very disinclined to help them.  But then I asked ‘so what makes someone deserving?  What makes the difference between deserving and undeserving?’.

The penny dropped.

So ask yourself that same question – what makes someone deserving or undeserving given a certain set of circumstances?  In our example they wanted to check in at 9am and were quite rude about it, this was on a Sunday when we were full booked the night prior and they were paying a lesser rate for the room than many and had not pre-booked nor paid for an early check in facility.  But does this make them any more or less ‘deserving’ than anyone else?

Now, the term ‘deserving’ means ‘worthy of being treated in a particular way, typically of being given assistance’, so what makes a guest worthy of being treated in a particular way?  Let me set you a task – write down what makes a guest worthy of your assistance.  What makes them deserve something, everything or nothing?  Come back to this post once you have the items written down.

Done it?  Good!

You may have nothing written at all, or you may have several different answers written down, but there is only one answer you need – they are a guest!

The truth is that each guest deserves to be treated equally.  Every person is worthy of your assistance, regardless of how rude, obnoxious or abusive they may be.  But lets flip this around – someone has a really bad day; their train is cancelled, the replacement bus is late, they are late for a meeting and get shouted at by their boss, their suitcase wheel breaks and they finally make it the hotel after dragging a token case through pouring rain and getting lost.  They are grumpy on arrival and quite rude.

Now on the arguments of deserving and undeserving, they are rude and therefore do not deserve special treatment, but then again, they have had a really bad day and actually now deserve a certain level of kindness and special care – so now do they deserve special treatment or not?  Or do they quite simply deserve the same respect and treatment as every other guest?

The actual judgement of deserving and undeserving actually falls down to a psychological basis (don’t most things I write about?) – Most departments and staff end up in an argument with people because of a very basic and primal need – the need to be right.  The need to be right ties in to your sense of control and self esteem.  the truth is that when you are proved wrong, you lose that feeling of control and you lose some self esteem – being wrong damages your feeling of control and knocks your self esteem.  But being wrong often allows you to understand other perspectives and accept change.  This creates a fight back scenario where you can become defensive and instantly begin to associate the other person with challenge which many people wish to avoid.  Hence, the opposing challenger becomes undeserving in your opinion!

So, do you still think some people are more deserving than others or do you agree that there are 2 sides to every story and ultimately, everyone should be treated equally?

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Matt Shiells-Jones

Husband, Author, Hotel Manager and ambitious 'old cat lady'

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