The mediocrity

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I am using this title to express what we are not.

We have, as the definition states, risen above the mediocrity that surrounds us. We are no longer mediocre.

I clicked on a really catchy title of an article which ended up being much ado about nothing. Stating the 'Five things that guests do that drive innkeepers crazy, Part I'. It was an about.com article.

There was nothing there beyond the title to keep my attention or give me anything worth the time to read it.

If the author is here right now (I am inviting him over for a volley or two to be fair), I apologize, but this is something I am keen on. Perhaps this will give you a boost, or as one innkeeper here says "A kick in the butt" to get with it! To stand out in a mediocre world.

When the innkeepers on other forums, or in associations or in person discuss tablecloths and dietary requirements, we are discussing something a little more here, oftentimes a lot more...on this forum. The nitty gritty, so to speak. Real innkeeping. 

Does a stained towel drive this innkeeper crazy?

Well, yes, perhaps, and especially if it is covered in blood. Okay, there I said it. There is so much information out there for B&B owners/innkeepers. I guess in this point in the game, I want to read the good stuff! Not the run-of-the-mill mediocre innkeeping stuff. cool

How about you?

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Kay Nein's picture
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Honestly, I see nothing wrong with this article.  Before we took over our Inn, I spent many hours on about .com reading everything I could to get myself prepared for Innkeeping.  I see this website as a straight-forward source of information, like an encyclopedia.  It's not meant to be funny or witty (though, yes, that helps).  Yes, there are many more things we could add to this list.  However, if someone who has never been to a B&B before reads this article and learns not to try to check-in early, to remove their makeup with the right washcloths, not to bother the innkeepers when they are preparing breakfast and to call if they are arriving later than expected... well, then he's done us all a great favor!

TheBeachHouse's picture
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tough room!

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Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

tough room!

Ah. Yes. I think the intro blurb at the top might mention that... Eye-wink

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It's all in fun, that was why I let him know I posted it here. Smiling

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Telling guests to bring their own sheets and towels??? HUH?? If chatty guests get to an innkeeper, if possible shut the door. I am the one I expect to pick up on cues from guests, not the other way round. Sheesh!! OK, I am small and can roll with the punches easier than trying to deal with breakfast for 18 but if you are dealing with that many, you probably have a commercial kitchen with a door - at least in my State that would be true.

Do i want the traveling Public to know what drives me up the walls? NO, a resounding NO. I want my guests to feel relaxed and comfortable but, yes, I do want them to use common sense. As an innkeeper in my 18th year, none of the stuff mentioned was a big deal to this innkeeper. Ho-hum.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Y'all have been doing this forum too long.  I thought the article was good.  It was aimed at the guest, not the innkeeper.  None of the points were surprises to you!  You've seen it all.  But it was a helpful list for a guest.   They may never have considered (and we know they often don't consider) how their actions affect our furniture!  A good lesson for them, I'd say.

Mine?  I haven't had much trouble, but I did have someone move a heavy centerpiece across my good dinning table and scratch the crap out of it.   It lived in my house through 17 years of everyday, holiday, visitors use with no scratch.  The first week in my inn, and it's marked for life!!!!!

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Y'all have been doing this forum too long.  I thought the article was good.  It was aimed at the guest, not the innkeeper.  None of the points were surprises to you!  You've seen it all.  But it was a helpful list for a guest.   They may never have considered (and we know they often don't consider) how their actions affect our furniture!  A good lesson for them, I'd say.

Mine?  I haven't had much trouble, but I did have someone move a heavy centerpiece across my good dinning table and scratch the crap out of it.   It lived in my house through 17 years of everyday, holiday, visitors use with no scratch.  The first week in my inn, and it's marked for life!!!!!

My only issue was it was kinda boring. Sounded like the guest as being lectured at. Short and sweet, a little humor and it's a whole different article that doesn't make the guest think they're not welcome.

Of course guests are going to use 'products' here they don't use at home. They're supposed to be on a romantic getaway and maybe trying to bring a comatose marriage back to life. We start telling them the massage oils wreak havoc and they just stay at a hotel. Buy some heavy duty cleaners that the spas use to get the massage oils out that they use every stinkin' day!

Have to feed 18 people at one sitting so keep outta my way! Why? If you can't feed 18 at once without being a wreck then don't. Or, hang some cute sign on the kitchen door saying the breakfast fairies are at work, please don't peek! Break up the service so it works for everyone. (Our kitchen is wide open so we are always talking to guests. Our one 'rule' is guests have to stay on the 'guest side' of the island so we can have the entire 12 sq ft of kitchen floor to ourselves.)

Or, make it clear the guests are to assemble in the dining room or coffee nook or whatever and enjoy a coffee and scone while the magic is worked. Of course there is always the guest for whom no rules or signs apply. That's what locks are for.

 

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Madeleine wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

Y'all have been doing this forum too long.  I thought the article was good.  It was aimed at the guest, not the innkeeper.  None of the points were surprises to you!  You've seen it all.  But it was a helpful list for a guest.   They may never have considered (and we know they often don't consider) how their actions affect our furniture!  A good lesson for them, I'd say.

Mine?  I haven't had much trouble, but I did have someone move a heavy centerpiece across my good dinning table and scratch the crap out of it.   It lived in my house through 17 years of everyday, holiday, visitors use with no scratch.  The first week in my inn, and it's marked for life!!!!!

My only issue was it was kinda boring. Sounded like the guest as being lectured at. Short and sweet, a little humor and it's a whole different article that doesn't make the guest think they're not welcome.

Now your cookin' with gas! That is what I mean.  Mediocre. Not worth a chuckle or sharing. Michael does that make more sense?

For the the innkeepers, it is a no brainer, spill some blood awready and make it worth reading. For the guests, it was polarized and safe, not to offend anyone, but let them know to behave. Again, if you are a B&B guest and you read articles online about B&B's "Spill some blood awready!" Or should we say "Oh my oh my! Those naughty innkeepers!"

Thanks for showing up Michael. If it were a true list of things that DRIVE an innkeeper crazy, it would be more than linens. Probably not publish-able.

Things that REALLY DRIVE an innkeeper crazy: 

                        EVERYTHING

God bless ya for having those issues and not more during your innkeeping stint. haha CHEERS!

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Hi there,

I'm the writer who published the "mediocre" article mentioned here. Three things immediately spring to mind: in a 20-year career, my writing has never been called mediocre. However, everyone's entitle to their own opinion and, because I've been at this so long, I can take the criticism.

Second, I do say this in the article: "Please note that this is a highly subjective list and that these things don’t eclipse the joy we get from hosting visitors from around the world in our homes. They’re just the little things that, if they disappeared, would make life easier from an innkeeper’s point of view." So these were the things that drove me crazy as an innkeeper, but of course everyone has their hot buttons.

Finally, if I've gotten this list so wrong, I invite innkeepers to tell me just what it is that drives them crazy about guests. Simply post them here or write me at bandb@aboutguide.com, include your name and the name of your inn, and I'll be happy to publish a follow-up post that includes all of the things I missed. I'm all for inclusiveness, so I look forward to hearing what y'all have to say!

Thanks for sharing a link to the piece and for creating this forum. It seems like a very interesting community! 

Best,

Michael Franco

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The writing itself is not mediocre.  You do a good job - in structure, in grabbing the reader, in presenting ideas, etc..The actual depth of the article, feels washed out... like an R movie made into a G flick.  Where's the juicy parts?  What do you hope to accomplish by writing this?  To promote people to change their actions?  To promote people going to B&Bs?  To let people know about the life of innkeepers?  If it's the first or last, a personal story would be great to highlight any one of these Pet peeves....and make people laugh at themselves or the situation by seeing a different point of view.  But, hey, I think the site where you wrote the article is kinda about this type of "just touching the surface" writing. 

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CafeMae wrote:

The writing itself is not mediocre.  You do a good job - in structure, in grabbing the reader, in presenting ideas, etc..The actual depth of the article, feels washed out... like an R movie made into a G flick.  Where's the juicy parts?  What do you hope to accomplish by writing this?  To promote people to change their actions?  To promote people going to B&Bs?  To let people know about the life of innkeepers?  If it's the first or last, a personal story would be great to highlight any one of these Pet peeves....and make people laugh at themselves or the situation by seeing a different point of view.  But, hey, I think the site where you wrote the article is kinda about this type of "just touching the surface" writing. 

I agree. There was no meat. No depth. No humor.

There is too much of this out there, imo. I think I read a resolution somewhere, or maybe that was my own, that in 2014 I will spend time on only those things that boost me. Personally and business-wise, things that encourage and challenge me.

Example: Too many people post BORING images on instagram (and share on Twitter). Don't post a sunset photo if it is not awesome. That is all I am saying...

MAKE IT AWESOME (there ya have it, the innkeeping saying for 2014!)

 

BTW I saw this on my latest favorite marketer Jim Connolly

 

15 Powerful ideas to help you grow your business in 2014:

A New Year awaits you. A blank canvas. A fresh opportunity. So… here are some ideas to help you achieve your best year ever!

1 Embrace brevity. People are busy and their attention has never been in more demand. Keep your marketing messages as short and valuable as possible. Kill the fluff.

2 Do at least one thing each day, which your future self will thank you for!

3 Remind yourself (often) that the process of giving and receiving starts with giving. Making selfish demands from strangers doesn’t work. It also damages your reputation.

4 Fail more often in 2014 than you did in 2013. Why? Because if you’re not failing often enough, you’re sticking to things you already know. This means you are no longer growing. By the way: Steve Jobs famously reprimanded members of his team if they were not failing regularly enough...

READ ON for the whole list of 15 here.

 

JB - -Wait, I am thinking the innkeeping saying for 2014 could be KILL THE FLUFF. Hm, I will do a poll...

Madeleine's picture
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No heart. The article is missing heart. It's all brain.

egoodell's picture
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I would not want to post or publish what makes me crazy about my guests. That's all we need - guests thinking that we're going to complain about them online. Best way to send them back to hotels where their privacy is protected.

Riki

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Madeleine's picture
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Ha, without even seeing the link I pretty much had the idea what was on tap.

That was a laundry list. It could be made so much more fun for everyone with a hint of humor.

Madeleine's picture
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It's always great to get everyone's opinion on the quotidian innkeeping topics. As long as the inns avoid mediocre I think we can be dull as dishwater here as sometimes I just need to drone on!

If I were to see the title of the article you mention I would expect it to be really fun/exciting/dramatic and not just 'stained towels, early/late arrivals/etc'.

 

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Madeleine wrote:

It's always great to get everyone's opinion on the quotidian innkeeping topics. As long as the inns avoid mediocre I think we can be dull as dishwater here as sometimes I just need to drone on!

If I were to see the title of the article you mention I would expect it to be really fun/exciting/dramatic and not just 'stained towels, early/late arrivals/etc'.

 

When we talk TP we talk about a guests luggage rolling down the stairs, cracking open and exposing many rolls of TP inside... this is what I mean, we are way way more than the average bears of innkeeping.

Droning on is not my cup of tea either. Although when it happens, it usually turns into something more exciting. We can't help ourselves can we! haha

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Ok, I confess..I just scanned it....so I went back and read it.. I actually didn't find anything wrong with it. 

So Michael...how long have you been doing the About.com B & B section?  

Most of us here STARTED out there oh so many years ago and got so frustrated with the way it was going....that a small group of us created this site. Almost 6 years ago ..and has grown beyond all expectations.

You might be interested in reading about some of the innmates here taking a road trip to visit other innkeepers here.

I wrote some of the first articles about starting a B & B for the former gal who used to do the page way back then. Boy I would hate to see those now......ah the sweet days of youth.

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