Am I Saying Something Wrong Here?

  1. People from England, or anyone who can help me out here, I'd appreciate it.

    My husband is on a business trip to England for two weeks. My first Mother's Day (as a mom-to-be) and my hubby is gone for a few weeks. But that's another gripe altogether.

    I've been calling him every night through Yahoo!, which is about a penny a minute to England. The problem is, Yahoo! frequently drops the connection and I have to call him back and go through the front desk.

    The front desk people seem to be a little sarcastic and sometimes rude. When I call I say, "Could I have room 435, please?" This lady at the front desk will then say, "Yeah, whatever" and put me through. Another time someone said in a sarcastic tone, "Yeah, sure, why not."

    OK, is it a cultural issue? Is this a normal tone and I'm taking it wrong? Or am I just saying the wrong thing when I call? Am I calling too many times for them due to the dropped calls? (Maybe 3 times within a half hour time frame) Or is that the way calls are normally answered?

    I don't know if this matters, but this is not a low-end hotel here. It's a business scale hotel with origins in the US. Hint: An heiress is getting ready for jail time due to her partying ways.

    If someone could enlighten me, I'd appreciate it! It's been a while since I've been to England and I'm afraid that my British English is a little rusty.
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    Why not try, "Room 435, please," and see if the sarcasm continues.

    I dunno the answer.
  4. by   sweetpealoubylou
    Hi BabyRN

    I saw your post and thought how rude the hotel sounds and I know which one your talking about as I've stayed in one of them In London. From my experience staff should be polite to all who visit or call via phones. If they are sarcastic you could always ask your hubby to make a formal complaint to the manager about their telephone manner as it seems that they dont care about giving a good impression. Im british myself and hate rudesness expecially when your paying alot for the room. You seem to be saying it correctly that is how we ask to be connected to rooms. If it continues do ask your hubby to make a complaint as it may need highlighting that some members of staff need to be more professional on the phone. I worked as a Telephone Admin ffor a local council which makes me a stickler for good communications on the phone. When you ring you could always ask for their name if it keeps happening as it can be pointed our who is speaking in such a poor manner. I used to do the ol Good morning/afternoon/Eve workplace name Your speaking to Louise How may I help. I always said Sir or Madam over the phone too. Im a student nurse and still use that way even if I meet someone just wanting directions it is always Sir or Madam.

    Hope this helps

    Louise aka Lou xx
  5. by   RNfromMN
    I've never worked in a hotel in London, but I've worked in just about every type here in the U.S.

    I think the front desk staff is just being plain rude. It is a hassle to transfer calls to rooms, but it's part of their job. The only thing I can think of to change their attitude is to just explain why you have to keep calling back. They might be a little more sympathetic, but unless the way they're treating you is really hurting your feelings, I wouldn't even bother. It's just going to be a new person answering the phone at shift change, anyway.

    There is one more possibility: frequent calls to the same room is often a huge clue that drug dealing and/or prostitution is taking place in that room. It was part of a fail-proof formula that I observed when working at a dive hotel in St. Paul, MN. The guest in the room would come down & ask for a phone book, within 5 or ten minutes I'd get a call for room 321, then a couple minutes later, I'd get a call for the same room, etc. I'd get probably five calls for the same room a couple minutes apart, then the last call was always some gal asking for directions to the hotel. Within a half hour, a "lady of the evening" would walk into the lobby and ask how to get to room 321. It never failed.

    So, maybe they think you're a prositute, or that your husband's dealing drugs.

    More than likely, they're just being rude. You could also ask your husband to talk to the manager - if I was a rude front desk clerk, that would sure change my tune.
  6. by   Fonenurse
    It's plain rude, unacceptable and they're not paid to think about who you are, just to put you through to a paying guest. PLease do not think this is typical, because it is not - your DH should make a formal complaint - no matter how classy or not a hotel is, you deserve people to be civil to you...

    x x x
  7. by   prmenrs
    You might also try calling his cell, if you can. Skip the front desk entirely. If they can't take a joke.....(tongue in cheek, here)
  8. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I agree with the cell phone thing. Sometimes it's better to pay a small fee for temporary overseas coverage by your cell phone provider.

    That's what my sister did when she and my mom went to England.

    As far as the rude could call in the US and get that attitude for free.

    So sad.....
  9. by   BabyRN2Be
    Thank you all for getting back to me. Sorry I haven't gotten back to you all on this, but I wanted to let you all know the solution we've come up with. I call the hotel with Yahoo! until the first call drops off, maybe about 10 minutes into the conversation. After that, he calls me on the company calling card. It has limited minutes, but after all the trouble we've had with Yahoo!, it's the only way.

    Fun2Care> He doesn't have a cell phone normally, and the cell phone he has now is the company's. It's for business purposes but he says he can call me on it for a few minutes at a time. So while you have a good idea there, it's not his phone. Make sense?

    Quote from Jessica 392
    So, maybe they think you're a prositute, or that your husband's dealing drugs.
    This one was really funny. I know that would spell problems in the US with the situation you are dealing with, but I was really hoping that no one would discover us. Oh.. umm.. oh dear. I was really hoping that they hear my American accent and have pity upon me, but they really can't see that I'm pregnant and really wouldn't be prostituting anyway - just because the bloat and everything makes me so unattractive at the moment. OK, I'm kidding around here.

    Funny comment about my hubby. You'll all don't know him (well, you all don't know ME) but I have to really force him to take any kind of med. If he was on antibiotics, I would have to give it to him because he'd forget about them, and he really doesn't like taking meds. Well anyway, for this trip, he goes out on his own and buys a fairly large bottle of ASA for the trip. I was more or less shocked that he did this without any prodding from me. Which begs the question, IS my husband dealing ASA out of a hotel near London?? Oh the shame!!! Hope he doesn't have a headache at least.

    Out of the silliness and back to the rude staff. I've figured out who they are and have their names, so I'm kind of treating them with kid gloves, and as I said, we aren't calling more than once. This is a rhetorical question, but why should I have to do that, be syrupy sweet, in order to talk with my hubby? Hubby told him he had to settle up with them by the week and today was the day to settle. The bill came to $1295 for the week!!! It's about 95 pounds/night and for that much money, I would have expected better service.

    I would have expected that they would handle my calls courteously (they don't have direct dial), and not be sarcastic or rude. After all, my hubby's company is paying good money for this hotel, and the attitude stinks. All I was hoping for was pleasant people who could transfer my call because I can't do it. Rhetorical: now is that too much to ask?

    Bottom line:
    After all, this is a hotel, and not a hospital.