If you’re a local in a desirable area, there’s truly nothing worse than tourists invading your home. It would be one thing if they just congested popular areas or drove the cost of living up but when they act entitled towards you, it’s a step too far.
All content has been edited for clarity.
Tribulations Of A Hotel Manager
“I once had a tourist who was a businessman and traveling with his entourage. He was placed near an ice machine which occasionally would get a bit noisy; it was one of those busy nights where I was alone and I had a line of guests checking in – and we were sold out.
Shortly after checking in, one of his assistants called down and requested a room change. For me, it was impossible – he had checked into the last of the room types I had available, I had no other free rooms to move him to, and no staff to go clean his room if I did. The complaint was specifically about the ice machine, and I assured him I would be up as soon as I was free.
5 minutes went by. Another call, this one a bit more aggressive. I told him I was still busy but as soon as I was able, I would be up.
20 minutes later, he and his biggest bodyguards came down. ‘I DEMAND that you move me RIGHT NOW!’ I explained that I had just checked in my last guest and that I would be up to fix the machine. He leans over the counter, thrusts his finger at me, and says, ‘Get your manager on the phone NOW.’
I smiled at him. This always intimidates people who are used to being intimidating. I tapped on my nametag. ‘Sir, I AM the general manager of this hotel. I do apologize for the inconvenience, but as I’ve continually assured you and your employees, I would be up as soon as I could. I will be up there as soon as I can grab my tool bag.’
His eyes got wide, he stood up straight, and looked at his feet, as if he was suddenly embarrassed. ‘I accept that answer’ was all he could mutter. And as promised, I went up and fixed the machine.
He called down about an hour later and apologized, something I don’t normally see with my American guests. He would do so in the morning – I was back 8 hours after my shift ended – and apologized again, commenting that it was the best American hotel he’d ever been to.
We do want to make every guest’s stay pleasant. Chances are if I’m working the desk, I’m alone because I couldn’t find anyone else to cover. We don’t want you to suffer any longer than you have to, but on occasion, a remedy isn’t readily available.
Another busy night, and we were in the middle of a remodel. To top it off, the internet went out in our relocated check-in stand (the main lobby was closed as it was being completely demoed). A guest – a local – starts getting impatient with me as I couldn’t get her into a room fast enough; without internet, I wasn’t sure what rooms were empty, which had guests, and if I had someone coming into a room type that I could have upgraded her to (this was early in my management career, and we’ve since learned how to prevent this issue). She starts screaming at me, saying she will go stay somewhere else. Even though we were in the middle of a remodel, we are about the nicest thing around – we rank pretty high in our brand, and in our city, there are limited hotels – and I look her in the eye, saying ‘Ma’am, I understand. I can cancel your reservation as soon as I get my system up should you choose to go somewhere else.’
‘What did you say to me?’
‘Ma’am, I understand your frustration and your need to get into a room as soon as possible. Please do note that I’m trying diligently to get my internet to work so that I can accommodate you here, but I want you to be happy, even if it is with my competitor. Yelling at me to put you into a room – one that I’m not sure if someone is already in, or someone might come into in 10 minutes won’t make you happy. I need my system to work to get you in.’
Her eyes started blinking, her mouth twitching, not sure how to process what I had just told her. She started talking but her brain wasn’t engaged; the words that came out were tangled in each other.
I continued: ‘I’m sure the hotel down the street has openings. I completely understand. I will cancel your reservation if I don’t see you back here in an hour.’ Her mouth closed, she flipped her jacket over her shoulder in disgust and stormed out the door.
A month later, she came back, acting as if it were the first time she met me. ‘You know, I stayed with your competitor down the street last time I was in town (mind you, she’s a local) – their hotel was completely disgusting. You are my favorite hotel!’
It’s not quite the end of the story with her. Five years later, in a rage, she destroyed one of our hotel rooms. Broken television, damaged the headboard, thousands in damage. It’s a small town – hotel owners all know each other here, not to mention the officers that responded. She ended up blacklisted at every hotel.
I want to add something that happened today:
When you rent a room at a hotel, you rent a room type and are guaranteed that type or an upgrade if something happens.
We have a few that do face the river, but it’s not a ‘room type’ (though some hotels may offer ‘view rooms’ at a premium’), these rooms just happen to have a better view and are not priced any differently than our others. We do accommodate requests, if at all possible – though they are not guaranteed. Third floor, first floor, not near an ice machine or elevator – we get many requests (including one for a ‘Funny photo of Richard Simmons’, which the guest wrote a glowing review about when we actually followed through).
We had a guest that had requested a room that faced the river. We also happened to be short-staffed today, with 3 housekeepers doing 17 rooms (they normally get about 10) each. 10-hour day, plus I logged 6 miles today as I did laundry and assisted them with stripping their rooms and making their beds. The guest checked in, and the housekeeper was assigned to the room she wanted, to clean it.
‘I want my room now!’ she demanded.
‘Ma’am, I’ve got someone in there cleaning it right now. If you’d like another room, I’d be happy to move you.’
‘I want THAT room. I want to see the river in my room! I want MY ROOM!’
She whined, She cried. She demanded I comp her the room because it wasn’t ready.
And just yesterday I had a room that had a toilet issue that I discovered – the fill valve wasn’t working. Though I had shut the water off, as I clamped my pliers around the nut to remove it, the plastic crumbled and water began to spew everywhere. About that time, there was a pounding on the door by a guest, who barged in, demanding to know if I was the manager and that she needed to talk to me.
‘Ma’am, I’m in the middle of a flood event. Please give me a moment.’
She left, and I determined I needed another tool to better complete the repair. I ran out of the room, past the guest, and to my truck to grab it. While running back in, I could hear, ‘Sir! SIR! SIR!’
‘Please, give me a moment. I’ve got a room flooding.’
‘But I need to talk to you now!’
‘Ma’am, I really need to fix this otherwise I’ll have everyone on the floor wanting to know why their carpet is soaked.’
‘Hrumph! Talk about customer service!’
Her ‘issue’? She was moving back to the town, and wanted to apply for a job.”
The Happiest Place On Earth
“I happen to live near the theme parks in Orlando now and meet lots of tourists that way. But I’ve also traveled, and been with fellow tourists in many places around the world.
I’ve encountered a few who I would describe more as rude than entitled. A woman who kept banging into me with her baby stroller, a man who punched me because I didn’t run fast enough to the door when it opened, and a couple who pushed past us because ‘they had paid a lot for tickets.’ No doubt their rudeness was a symptom of their entitlement.
And there are others who have little regard for anyone but themselves, but the vast majority are well-behaved. I find the Disney parks to be much better than the others – something about all that happiness rubs off on people, perhaps. Or maybe it’s just that Disney cast members absorb all the rudeness in my place.
But for pure entitlement, the prize goes to a pair of single American female tourists vacationing in Cancun. They had the room next door. They loved the fact that ‘Carlos’ and ‘Pablo’ were escorting them to dinners and clubs in town. But they had all sorts of complaints. For one, the maid kept waking them up at 3 PM to clean their room. For another, the hotel didn’t provide a color TV in the room. Cancun didn’t even have a TV station at the time. Finally, they had to ride a bus ‘with the poor locals’ to meet Carlos and Pablo in town.
I’m sure Carlos and Pablo earned their pay.”
This Takes Ungrateful To A New Level
“I live in a village on the Yukon River in Alaska. Every year a couple dozen or so adventurous tourists float down the river from Canada to where the river empties into the Bering sea. Before I mention the entitled tourist, I have to say most of the tourists are the nicest people you would ever meet. However, there was a couple from Germany that got stuck here for three days because of rain and rough water.
They had floated down from Canada in Klepper (collapsable) kayaks. After seeing them camped in their tent on the riverbank for three days, I offered them a home-cooked meal at my house and gave them a chance to shower and clean up. They happily accepted. While they were at the house they expressed concern that they were not going to be able to make it to the Bering sea and still make their scheduled flight out of Anchorage over the pole back to Germany.
At the time, Lufthansa only made that flight once a week, maybe. Anyway, they asked for my help in catching a flight to our local hub and then on to Anchorage. One of the jobs I had at the time was working for the airlines so I told them I’d make some calls. Getting them out wouldn’t be a problem, but the Kleppers were bulky when collapsed, and they would be charged a premium for getting the kayaks out. They said that they had to have their kayaks with them, so I got them on a scheduled flight. They had time before their flight to shower and dry their clothes and we packed up their gear and I brought them to the airport. We exchanged aufiederseins(?) and I thought another good deed done.
An hour later I got a call from the hub station manager who told me he had been dealing with an enraged passenger for 15 minutes about how the airline and I were ripping her off. He said, ‘You talk to her.’
She went on a tirade about how $250 was an outrageous price to pay for the 300 pounds of kayaks and camping gear. I told her that price was a bargain and she was lucky to get everything out in time for her flight to Anchorage. I told her I didn’t make a dime on the flight and was just trying to help them out. I wished her well and wondered how different my day would have been if I had just driven by their tent and done my normal chores.”
A Couple Of Airline Winners
“I have seen a couple of people throw fits in airports because they were entitled. One was in Barcelona when they changed out a plane and all the passengers were reassigned seats. One of the passengers in business class was throwing a complete hissy fit because of this. He was yelling that he did not know why his seat had been reassigned and that he has the highest status and did not want to change his seat.
The gate agent explained to him that they had another plane they were using and it had a different layout so everyone was assigned a new seat. He was giving the gate agent such a hard time that the agent finally told him that once he was on board he could speak to a flight attendant and be able to switch his seat if he was not happy. This was a larger aircraft so there would be more seats available to choose from.
Another time was in Heathrow when we arrived the doors leading from the jet bridge to the gate area were locked and the employee at the exit could not open them. He had to contact security and have them come and unlock the doors. Once again one of the passengers was yelling at this poor guy, telling him to ‘open up the freaking doors.’
The airport employee calmly tried to explain that he did not have the keys to open the doors because it was a secure area. The plane came in at a different gate than where were supposed to, therefore the doors had not been unlocked. There was nothing we could do but wait, unfortunately, it took almost 10 minutes for security to get there and it wasn’t fun waiting in a stairwell. This man kept going on and on complaining about how incompetent they were at Heathrow and it was ridiculous that they were making us wait. I just wanted to tell the man to shut up and quit complaining, but I decided it was best to just be quiet.”
I’m Sure They Had Lines Where They Came From
“I was shopping at Ikea in Singapore and after I had everything I needed, I headed to the checkout line. It was a very busy weekday afternoon and all the cashiers were busy. There were about 8 check-out stations, all having long lines of about a dozen customers each and everyone was patiently waiting for their turns to be served.
Then came along 2 girls, all dressed up in their Sunday best, each with a trolley full of purchases. Instead of joining the queue (yes, Singapore has a queueing policy), they pushed their trolleys ahead of them and walked right past everyone, and told the cashier in a rather loud and demanding voice, ‘We need to get served immediately, our drivers are waiting for us at the front entrance and the car is blocking the way.’
The rather timid cashier (a young student trainee) was speechless and didn’t know how to respond to their demands. Since I was 2nd in line, I politely reminded the 2 women (I just can’t bear to use the word ‘ladies’, if you know what I mean) that there is a long queue of customers who are waiting to cash out their purchases and whether they like to join the queue.
She looked back at me with a killer look and snapped at me saying rather in a condescending manner, ‘You locals can go ahead and queue. We don’t have time for that.’
That was when I told the cashier to call for the manager who told them Ikea was not interested to do their business when they flatly refused to join the queue.”
Respect The Timmie’s Staff
“I was in a busy Tim Horton’s in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The one at Murray and Stanley.
I assume the fellow was American. He got mad that two people got their orders before he did even though they placed the orders later, and wondered out loud why one of the employees was just standing around.
Well, the guy who was just standing around had a clear nameplate that had ‘trainee’ on it. It was also clear to anyone else that the fellow was shadowing one of the cashiers because, you know, he’s in training.
So why the hold up? He ordered tea. At Timmie’s, they make coffee continuously which is stored in a glass container. The employee just grabs the container and fills your cup.
But that’s not how they make tea. If you order tea, they put the teabag in the cup, add piping hot water from a different container, and let it sit. For three minutes. So, if you order tea, you have to wait for it because they don’t just fill a container with tea. That sort of tea would be terrible.
First, screaming at Timmie’s staff is never appropriate. Second, not knowing how tea is made is just disgraceful.”
These Seem Like Pretty Reasonable Things To Not Do
“On a trip to Russia, my mother and I requested to watch a ballet and our guide was nice enough to buy tickets to Swan Lake for us. It was not one of those big productions at the famous theaters but nonetheless, my mom and I were ecstatic to be able to experience it. Behind us was a huge crowd of tourists lining up for the ballet, we kept having to push them back as they were attempting to get in front of us at the line. It was still slightly acceptable as this was nothing new and we’ve had our fair share of tourists like these.
Before the performance began, the staff let the audience know that taking photographs during the ballet was strictly prohibited. If memory serves me right, they even had it broadcasted through the speakers. As expected, we were also asked to refrain from talking loudly or making any noises for the entirety of the performance.
A man in his mid-thirties to early forties would not stop talking to his seatmate during the entire ballet. And I don’t mean general whispers or anything. No, this man talked as if we weren’t watching a performance with wild hand gestures and passion pointing towards the stage.
Another woman snored her way through Swan Lake. It wasn’t the gentle kind of snoring either, but the sort of snoring that even I could hear despite being 4 rows away from her. It would have been alright had her companions attempted to wake her or something, but they seemed to be oblivious to her noise.
In spite of the earlier warnings, a man in front of us continued to take photos of the performance with a flash. The first two times, the staff was kind enough to let him off with a warning, but by the third time, they threatened to fine him a couple of thousand roubles. Did this deter him? Nope, because he began to film the ballet instead.
Swan Lake was still a breathtakingly beautiful performance, in the end, but I’m sure it would have been much more memorable if we weren’t surrounded by those irritating tourists.”
“I personally think that the majority of tourists are good and respectful people, but the others really get on my nerves.
I was with my mother doing a Bateau Mouche Tour (boat tour on the river Seine). It was a really hot sunny day in mid-July.
We decided to sit in the back because it was less noisy due to a group of about 50 tourists in the front. We wanted to hear the radio guide that was provided by the company.
All of a sudden, the group of tourists started opening umbrellas, to avoid contact with the sun. That bothered me a bit as it was covering part of the beautiful view I was trying to admire, but I decided not to say anything.
Then, when we passed near Notre Dame, all of them stood up with their umbrellas still open. Literally, all of the view was ruined due to the group of tourists. I politely asked them in English if they could sit down, but they clearly didn’t listen and they kept on doing it until another woman alerted one of the crew members.
I really despised them at that moment; they literally didn’t care about the other tourists, nor about what I said.”
“I lived in Orlando for 3 years and was a regular at the Disney parks.
By far the most entitled/rude guests were the school tour groups. I do not dislike school kids. However, these tour groups are comprised of 40 to 60 kids with only two chaperones. They take over the walkways with no regard for others. They generally do not queue but force their way into long lines. Generally, one or two will hop in line, then a few more, and then the whole group. When asked to go to the back they mysteriously do not understand.
Heaven help you if you are trying to eat when the group decides to enter the restaurant you are at. The place gets loud, the kids hop from table to table and they usually leave a mess when departing.
Well, off the soap box.”