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Company ethos

I saw this in a hotel in Guildford when meeting a colleague. It was a very large sign, given prominent position in the hotel's reception and breakfast area. I cringed when I read it. I've always hated 'The customer is always right' but this makes it doubly patronising.


If I'm a guest in a hotel, I want to be respected as a customer and I need to respect the people working and staying there. If I'm wrong about something (which I often am) I don't want to be told that I'm right. And I certainly don't want to be told twice that I'm right.


This sign doesn't say anything positive. It says "If our guests are arses, we'll smile simperingly through gritted teeth, curtsy and pretend to like them."


This sign doesn't make me, the guest, feel good. It tells me that the hotel's management expect me, and others like me, to be wrong. Why else would they have gone to the trouble of making this elaborate sign?


I didn't stay in this hotel, so I have no idea how good it is. It's probably excellent. On the hotel's website, the 'ethos' page talks of sustainable living and organic food. Great stuff. No mention online of "The guest is always right", so why this horrible patronising sign on the wall over breakfast?


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Taken on August 9, 2010