Kindness Counts at more than Christmas

My dear friend, Dianne, gave me a t-shirt that says "I don't have ADD - Oh look, a chicken." This t-shirt is because my brain makes connections that to others may be seemingly random and to me make perfect sense. 

The initial idea - to write about  our industry's service workers  - came after yet another hotel stay where I observed too many people being either impolite or distinctly rude to hotel staff and in particular, ignoring the housekeeping staff.  The blog took more shape from reading too many articles about what hotel staff are paid (links throughout) and from a discussion on an industry-related listserv about what to tip hotel staff after a meeting.

1. Service staff in all industries are underpaid.  These are but a few examples.*
Hotel receptionists 
Hotel/Motel/Resort desk clerks
Hotel housekeepers
Minimum wage - restaurant servers

2. Hotel staff work long hours doing difficult jobs. Housekeepers in particular work long hours * making the fabulous beds that travelers now demand and cleaning the rooms that many leave in horrible shape at check out. (Another read if you are interested.)*

3. Hotels and other businesses may be making more from the automatic gratuity/service charge than the staff providing the service. I'm one of those travelers who asks room service staff what, of the automatic service and delivery charges, they receive. It is, in my experience, close to bubkes. (Yes, there are industry guides about what to tip in addition to the automatic service charge. My advice: look at your budget and at the service and determine, based only on those, what you will give if anything. Do write letters to the persons who worked hard and copy those letters to their supervisors and the GM. It goes a long way.)
Which is what brings me to the 'chicken' in this blog: Christmas.

At Christmas, people give gifts or tip extra to those who provide services; wishes are given for the holidays or the new year. We are, simply, kinder in word and deed than we are the rest of the year.

At this time of year, we may write notes on paper and send them with a thank you. After a meeting, is a thank you letter about the overnight set up staff who worked hard to ensure your general session would start on time, always written? Is the CSM/Event Services Professional or floor manager who, burdened with many groups (and overworked and underpaid), made sure your meeting was stellar, thanked, in writing?

I don't celebrate Christmas - the religious or secular angles. It just seems we can, as an industry and as individuals, do better year 'round.

Consider a random or specific act of kindness in January, February, March and through the entire year.

* All the links are of my choosing and do not reflect MeetingsToday or the breadth of resources available.


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