Honesty or not?

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Along the topic of being interviewed by guests...

If you do answer personal questions how honest are you?

One of the big questions we answer everyday is why are we doing this? Did we always want to do this? Was it a lifelong dream job?

Ok, for me cleaning and cooking are the absolute bottom of any list of jobs I might want. But I can't say that!

So, our honest answer is we lost our jobs and decided to try something completely different.

Should I be lying and saying yes, I've always wanted to do this!!!

Would that make the guests feel better and get me better reviews?

The honest answer pops out of my mouth before I think!

Next up is how hard it must be with our kids so far away. Seriously? Our kids are way independent and like the distance so they can live their own lives. But the guest who is asking this thinks we're awful parents because we don't pine for our kids and call them everyday and visit every week.

So do I lie and say it's terrible and we Skype all the time? And when we retire we're just going to travel all the time visiting them?

I always say how nice it is for them that they babysit their grandkids everyday (never happening here!) And live in each other's pockets (definitely not us!)

To honest for my own good. And terrible at sidetracking the conversation. But, in 10 years I have shut up about a lot of stuff I used to talk about!

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Madeleine's picture
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It looks like I just need to shut up. I don't know how to dissemble quickly enough to redirect the guest to a less invasive line of questioning.

Or how to spin the answer so they think they got what I really feel vs what they need to know.

I just answer the question. Flat out.

Friends actually say to me, 'what do you think, I know you'll tell me straight out.' And yet, I lie all the time. Every day. 

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08/04/2008

I can't stand lying. I can't stand being lied to.

I worked in a very toxic environment where lying was such a manner of lifestyle that one couldn't tell lie from truth. Even to this day I always take into consideration the exaggeration of numbers, details, or circumstances and know the truth is being twisted. It makes for a challenging relationship.

I learned while working there, that lying was so prevalent that telling the truth was foreign. And the lies became the truth in the eyes of the teller.

Sad, sad, sad.

Diversion is better, far better, than lying. Lying does no good to anyone for any purpose.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

We sometimes 'spin' the truth, but I don't see a reason to lie.

The previous owner left the place filthy and full of junk and in bad repair.   Instead of telling people we bought a fixer upper, we say, "you know old houses.   We had to do some sprucing up." 

They say, can we check in early?   Knowing full well that the house is clean and ready, I say, "Let me check and see if your room is ready.  We generally aren't ready until 3." 

Mostly, we are happy to talk about the house, the fact that we live here, how we found it by going for a walk and looking at a Open House for fun, that we don't have children, that I have a separate job.....

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10/07/2008

Here is the perfect example, of an opportunity to lie and not doing it:

"Why are you selling?" I was asked this today.

Because I HATE THIS BUSINESS and WANT TO BURN THE PLACE TO THE GROUND, could be the answer some days. Or I can tell them we are ready for a change. That is the true answer, yes, we are ready for a change

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happykeeper's picture
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12/11/2008

Honesty is a key ingredient to success that I had to learn. I had plenty of folks willing to teach me differently, but somehow I figured out that being honest was very helpful in life. 

As an innkeeper, I have had to redirect guests on occasion and I have tried my best to do that in a way that simply omits the details that they may not appreciate or that I may not be comfortable sharing.

One could split hairs over the semantics, but some misdirection, redirection, or omission of the facts is going to happen. Does that impinge upon my integrity? I think not. 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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I grew up in a house of lies and secrets. I won't tolerate either of those in my personal life whether it be family or friends. A little misinformation (sure, it's a lie) to guests so that neither one of us feels bad is ok in my book.

We all have our trigger points, this is just not one of mine, but I respect if it is one of yours.

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BTW I have a person in my life who is a serial liar. This person will tell a lie about the weather today. I cannot bear (insert strong dislike all forms of) lying. I have been lied to every day for years, dozens of times a day. A compulsive liar is an understatement. I hate lying. HATE IT! DESPISE IT! 

 

Madeleine's picture
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Everyone lies. Not to the extent and for the reasons your person does, but everyone lies.

This lying is to save ourselves some grief. For banana, as it was for ss, it could also be for safety.

 

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Madeleine wrote:

Everyone lies. Not to the extent and for the reasons your person does, but everyone lies.

This lying is to save ourselves some grief. For banana, as it was for ss, it could also be for safety.

 

Yes everyone sins. Does not mean it is okay.

Lying is not saving grief. The ends don't justify the means. Sorry. When you lie you have lost my trust. It is never okay.

Yes I feel strongly about it, as I mentioned.

Joey Camb's picture
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I don't tell ours in full for various reasons but manly because it is sad and frankly non of the guests business.

For those that don't know - at the time 4/1/2 years ago DH and I were looking to buy our own place- tired of being in large hotels and being treated like idiots - my parents had their own BB we now have but were getting on a bit and planning to sell but the economy was in the toilet and no mortgages to be had I was also a 1/4 partner in their business but was a silent partner.

My mother then had 3 strokes in quick succession 2 we didn't know about but the 3rd was very serious.

Also it was when my father started with his diabeties - which was undiagnosed but he was just getting sicker and sicker - trouble is the test is so common as time went on I think they assumed they had already tested for that and it got missed, which is no excuse but there we are.

The commination of the two things plus dad being full time terrified for mum's health means the obvious solution was for us to come and run the place which we did and have done ever since.

so am I going to tell guests that? nope! I just say if its people who knew my parents that they wanted to retire or if its strangers I say we bought in as partners in 2005 but have been here ourselves 41/2 years.

we get a lot of (which I don't mind) did you make it into a BB yourself? no there has been a BB here since the end of the 1960's and it had all the mod cons then! ensuite bathrooms throughout was very rare back then!

 

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01/12/2013

I am always honest, but sometimes, as BD does, tell a fib if I don't want to give in to something.  In fact, I tell a fib almost everyday when I deliver their breakfast basket to their room and tell them I may not be here at checkout at 11 AM, so please leave the keys in the room.  It's a way to 1) Tell them the checkout time so they can't claim they didn't know, and 2) Not deal with long lingering chit chatters who think your day is wide open now, since they're leaving.

I am going to get better at sidetracking the conversation.  I'm determined. 

Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

Hijack alert

Last week I had a lady call from the road at about 4pm for a room that night.  That's unusual for here, but her reason was that her daughter was attending freshman orientation and "her father didn't reserve a room in the dorm for her".  The daughter was able to get a space in the dorm, but didn't have any linens.  She called her mom, who had planned to join her on the following day anyway and told her "This is the worst day of my life", so mom not only drives here after spending a week on the road traveling with her business, but is unable to persuade the daughter to stay in the dorm, so brings her back here to spend the night.

Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?  All I could say to mom was that she must be really blessed if this is the worst day of her life.

Back on track...

I have a built-in story that keeps people from getting too nosey.  "Oh, has running a B&B always been your dream?"  No, the house told me it wanted to be a B&B.  I couldn't even scramble eggs when I started.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I get people saying how I must worry about my daughter the cop. I tell them the truth - It is NOT my Plan and worrying will do no one any good. I NEVER lost sleep over my kids when they were teens. If something happened, someone would call or knock on the door. Otherwise, they were raised to stand on their own 2 feet - and that is what I tell people asking about my kids being so far away.Yes, i miss seeing the grandkids, but not enough to live in Illinois.

Maddie - I am with you. I raised mine, now it is their turn with no interference from us. I think raising the grands now that they are retired is for some penance for sending their own kids off to daycare. I worked graveyard shift so I would not have to send mine to daycare.

And when asked it this was my dream - not really, I stayed in one and was one of those foolish people who left saying  - "I could do that!" and that IS my answer when asked the question.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Except for my pat answers like when someone wants a late check-out and I say, "oh, I'm sorry, it's not possible, we have an appointment in town", I'm very honest with the guests.

In the guest binder in each room, I have a page with little bios for myself and DH. They are always interested and I hate telling the same story over and over and so the bio really helps.

When asked the why question, I just say this is my mid-life crisis. I always try to put a positive spin on my answers since it makes both them and me feel better!

 

Madeleine's picture
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See, that's what I mean. That kind of comment is what I need.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Wow, your guests are a bunch of nosy ____, aren't they? My answer, when asked, how I got into this, I say stupidity or I use other diffusing jokes like I feel into it, I needed to elevate toilet cleaning to an art form, etc.

As for the comments about your children and grandchildren, I would simply say that we raised our children to be independent and strong and that we are glad they have managed to find such wonderful partners and are doing so well. 

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10/07/2008

100% honest 100% of the time.

There is no such thing as too honest for your own good. Don't answer if you don't want to, or divert the answer.

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