It's been a crazy day, and not just with work. While New York City has a reputation for rude people, in my over 10 years living here I haven't experienced what I would consider ruder behavior here than in other similar cities of this size and population diversity. Until today.
At Equinox I put a towel down on an available workout bench, gathered free weights and was about to use it for my workout when a guy with headphones came and merely pointed to a large weight nearby, gesturing for me to move off. Since when are workout benches reserved by plunking down a weight next to them and wandering off? For all I knew, someone hadn't put their weights away. And surely it's possible to take headphones off and use words?
Then, in the woman's locker room, as I sat on one of the three benches and started storing items in one of the lockers, an older Caucasian woman came, sat on another bench and rammed her wooden bench forcefully against mine, not once, but twice, without saying anything. Only when I asked why she was doing this did she snarl “It isn't your personal locker room!” before accessing her locker which happened to be next to the one I had chosen. Okay then–I didn't think it was, but since when is it ok to just ram someone's bench merely because they happen to be sitting on the bench directly in front of your locker? And is it too much to ask people to articulate their wishes rather than throwing an adult-size tantrum?
Fortunately, there's an antidote to rudeness and oafish behavior, whether you're experiencing it personally from perfect strangers or glumly feeling down due to reported rudeness (and worse) in the news: call The Peninsula Central Reservations line. I was making a PenClub and Virtuoso reservation for clients at The Peninsula Paris, for clients who will be celebrating their wedding anniversary, and as usual was helped by a Peninsula associate based in Hong Kong, with just a slight accent and very calm, kind voice. Even my husband remarked on how much calmer and happier I sounded after my call with The Peninsula Hotels Reservations line.
Now, it no doubt helps that as a smaller luxury hotel brand, The Peninsula likely only needs a few carefully selected staff working in Central Reservations. All the same, in all my many calls over the years, I've never had a bad interaction or had to wait on hold when calling The Peninsula. And no, no one is paying me to say this–I work with all the major luxury hotel brands and many boutique properties, and there's no one “best” hotel for everyone. It's all about getting the fit right. But a genuinely helpful, polite reservations team, all with a calm and unflappable demeanor, certainly helps.
What's been your best customer service experience recently? And do you think New Yorkers are ruder than locals in other big cosmopolitan cities, such as Paris, London, Istanbul, etc.?
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