How much information is too much information?

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The Farmers Daughter

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I get leary when people start asking too many questions. I don't like to lie, but I am uncomfortable when people ask me..
Are you married? Do you live here? Do you live here alone?
As a sole proprietor, sometimes I'm not sure what to say without divulging too much.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Dodge. Find something funny to say to change the subject when you're uncomfortable with questions that really shouldn't be asked in the first place.
When all else fails and there's a question I don't want to answer, my standard way of dealing with it is to just pause and then say,
"Well that's an interesting question."
That usually does it. If they still seem to want to push the question, I follow up with,
"Why do you ask?"
That does it most of the time. Subject changes quickly. No feelings hurt.
 

IronGate

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The Farmers Daughter said:
I get leary when people start asking too many questions. I don't like to lie, but I am uncomfortable when people ask me..
Are you married? Do you live here? Do you live here alone?
As a sole proprietor, sometimes I'm not sure what to say without divulging too much.
Are you married? I used to be, but he asked too many questions. (See question #3.)
Do you live here? Honey, I WORK here! You tell me if that's living.
Do you live alone? No, I live with my best friends Cujo and Smith & Wesson. We're inseparable!
I'm in a really snarky mood today.
 

Morticia

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I would judge how the question is being asked. Is there an 'ulterior motive' at play or are people just plain old curious?
Everyone always assumes our summer help is our daughter. They assume we DON'T live here and I think they want reassurance we do.
So, for me, sparkling wit that I am, if someone asked 'are you married?' I'd have to say, 'why, are you proposing? We hardly know each other!'
However, you seem to get a grumpier crowd than I do, so that might not work. You might want to try this...when showing guests around and explaining how you may be contacted in event the guest needs you, say something like, 'If you need anything, (fill in what they need to do), and one of us will come to help you.'
Even tho it's you, it makes them think there is someone else for whatever reason they want to know that.
 

Morticia

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The Farmers Daughter said:
I get leary when people start asking too many questions. I don't like to lie, but I am uncomfortable when people ask me..
Are you married? Do you live here? Do you live here alone?
As a sole proprietor, sometimes I'm not sure what to say without divulging too much.
Are you married? I used to be, but he asked too many questions. (See question #3.)
Do you live here? Honey, I WORK here! You tell me if that's living.
Do you live alone? No, I live with my best friends Cujo and Smith & Wesson. We're inseparable!
I'm in a really snarky mood today.
.
Those are good! Snark away!
 

The Farmers Daughter

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The Farmers Daughter said:
I get leary when people start asking too many questions. I don't like to lie, but I am uncomfortable when people ask me..
Are you married? Do you live here? Do you live here alone?
As a sole proprietor, sometimes I'm not sure what to say without divulging too much.
Are you married? I used to be, but he asked too many questions. (See question #3.)
Do you live here? Honey, I WORK here! You tell me if that's living.
Do you live alone? No, I live with my best friends Cujo and Smith & Wesson. We're inseparable!
I'm in a really snarky mood today.
.
IronGate said:
The Farmers Daughter said:
I get leary when people start asking too many questions. I don't like to lie, but I am uncomfortable when people ask me..
Are you married? Do you live here? Do you live here alone?
As a sole proprietor, sometimes I'm not sure what to say without divulging too much.
Are you married? I used to be, but he asked too many questions. (See question #3.)
Do you live here? Honey, I WORK here! You tell me if that's living.
Do you live alone? No, I live with my best friends Cujo and Smith & Wesson. We're inseparable!
I'm in a really snarky mood today.
LOL! Those are great.
 

One Day

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Never would have thought those questions would be troublesome.........thinking on it........yeah, I can understand.......and would be something to be on guard about.
I like Morticia's response.........if you need us..........one of us will be available
 

Morticia

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Never would have thought those questions would be troublesome.........thinking on it........yeah, I can understand.......and would be something to be on guard about.
I like Morticia's response.........if you need us..........one of us will be available.
I never know if anyone has bothered to look at our website to see what sort of people own the joint (See the post about 'who are you staying with!') so I head them off at the pass as far as how many of us there are and that, yes, we live here (for good or bad- either they're happy to know that or thinking 'drat, no beer kegger later on')
Also, I wear a wedding band. Another suggestion for FD is a ring on the 'wedding finger' that says nothing or everything!
 

Copperhead

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Never would have thought those questions would be troublesome.........thinking on it........yeah, I can understand.......and would be something to be on guard about.
I like Morticia's response.........if you need us..........one of us will be available.
I never know if anyone has bothered to look at our website to see what sort of people own the joint (See the post about 'who are you staying with!') so I head them off at the pass as far as how many of us there are and that, yes, we live here (for good or bad- either they're happy to know that or thinking 'drat, no beer kegger later on')
Also, I wear a wedding band. Another suggestion for FD is a ring on the 'wedding finger' that says nothing or everything!
.
Good idea about the ring..might just solve that question - which I would think would be the one I would hate to answer if I was alone. (I do like the Smith & Wesson statement too.)
We have gotten questions about if we live here or who lives here so I started stating it when showing them to their room. "oh, if you do hear some shuffling going on above you, it is just one of us, not the resident ghost." And I think that sometimes this does squash some thoughts too.
 

Banana

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Dodge. Find something funny to say to change the subject when you're uncomfortable with questions that really shouldn't be asked in the first place.
When all else fails and there's a question I don't want to answer, my standard way of dealing with it is to just pause and then say,
"Well that's an interesting question."
That usually does it. If they still seem to want to push the question, I follow up with,
"Why do you ask?"
That does it most of the time. Subject changes quickly. No feelings hurt..
I get really sick of these personal questions also. Being single, it never fails that when you answer that you are not married, they will say "Oh, you do all this yourself?" I have actually had someone say "Where is your husband?" without first asking if I was married. I tried to be a smart ass and say "I don't know - have you seen him around?" And this idiot said "Oh...one of THOSE, huh?" OMG!
I hate the questions. It's the worst part of the job for me. I feel like I'm in a constant interview. I don't know if people feel like they are being polite by asking about me, because they are in my home, or they feel ackward and are just trying to make conversation. Either way, it's a major irritant, and I haven't figured out how to dodge the questions yet.
 

JBloggs

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We get our fair share of nervous questions, like they need to ask something, lately they want to know personal details about the finances, how is business they will ask, then prod with more specific questions.
You have no privacy being an innkeeper, they will ask anything that comes into their heads.
When DH was a away on business he came home and asked if the guests had inquired about him, I said, Nope, not a one. Made him feel bad. But they didn't say a word, never asked a thing. It goes in spurts really doesn't it.
 

Morticia

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Dodge. Find something funny to say to change the subject when you're uncomfortable with questions that really shouldn't be asked in the first place.
When all else fails and there's a question I don't want to answer, my standard way of dealing with it is to just pause and then say,
"Well that's an interesting question."
That usually does it. If they still seem to want to push the question, I follow up with,
"Why do you ask?"
That does it most of the time. Subject changes quickly. No feelings hurt..
I get really sick of these personal questions also. Being single, it never fails that when you answer that you are not married, they will say "Oh, you do all this yourself?" I have actually had someone say "Where is your husband?" without first asking if I was married. I tried to be a smart ass and say "I don't know - have you seen him around?" And this idiot said "Oh...one of THOSE, huh?" OMG!
I hate the questions. It's the worst part of the job for me. I feel like I'm in a constant interview. I don't know if people feel like they are being polite by asking about me, because they are in my home, or they feel ackward and are just trying to make conversation. Either way, it's a major irritant, and I haven't figured out how to dodge the questions yet.
.
Maybe it's because I'm married, I don't know, but the questions don't bother me. This is actually a pretty good fit job-wise for me. If I were doing this all alone, with no one 'to go home to,' I'd come up with some more snappy answers for the questions I didn't want to answer. Which is what I did years ago being a single parent in a fairly guy-oriented business.
When my mom was here helping out and Gomez was in the hospital, people thought we ran the place together. Forget that some guy's name was on all the materials around the inn, they saw me & mom and that's who they thought owned the place.
People like to be able to 'classify' everyone into some sort of category. Either to make connections (Oh, she's just like my sister!) or to make distinctions (Thank goodness I don't have to do this for a living!). If they're nice to me, I'll help them figure it out. If they're not, they're on their own.
But, we all have to do what is comfortable for us in the space we inhabit. If a guest was getting a little too chummy, I'd invent a partner of indeterminate gender and hope for a short guest stay!
 

Morticia

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We get our fair share of nervous questions, like they need to ask something, lately they want to know personal details about the finances, how is business they will ask, then prod with more specific questions.
You have no privacy being an innkeeper, they will ask anything that comes into their heads.
When DH was a away on business he came home and asked if the guests had inquired about him, I said, Nope, not a one. Made him feel bad. But they didn't say a word, never asked a thing. It goes in spurts really doesn't it..
The best one I have lately for the 'financial' question is, 'Business is great! Thank you for coming to stay with us.'
I think it just makes the guest happy to know someone is doing well with all the bad news around. I've yet to have anyone push for actual dollar amounts. But they do ask if this is all we do. I say, 'I don't have time to do anything else!' Or, if I'm feeling chatty I'll say I'm just doing this until my book hits the NYT review pages!
But they do want to know who else is behind the innkeepers' door! Number of kids, grandkids, where they all live, what they do, do any of them want to run the biz when we're done.
 

Samster

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If the questions were coming from a single male business traveler, I'd probably be uncomfortable too. Because my dh works full-time in another job, there were plenty of occasions when I was the only one checking people in and serving people breakfast in the morning. We called these "phantom guests" because my dh never laid eyes on them and vice versa. I did get that question from time to time and frankly, I would look at them and smile and use my best Southern charm to reply something like, "Why do you want to know?" That usually put them on the spot! It really is not an appropriate question. Unless, someone is looking for a date in a hotel, I don't think that guests routinely ask this of the concierge or front desk staff. Then, the conversation would go to other topics.
People do NOT need to know that you are there on your own, for whatever reason.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Dodge. Find something funny to say to change the subject when you're uncomfortable with questions that really shouldn't be asked in the first place.
When all else fails and there's a question I don't want to answer, my standard way of dealing with it is to just pause and then say,
"Well that's an interesting question."
That usually does it. If they still seem to want to push the question, I follow up with,
"Why do you ask?"
That does it most of the time. Subject changes quickly. No feelings hurt..
I get really sick of these personal questions also. Being single, it never fails that when you answer that you are not married, they will say "Oh, you do all this yourself?" I have actually had someone say "Where is your husband?" without first asking if I was married. I tried to be a smart ass and say "I don't know - have you seen him around?" And this idiot said "Oh...one of THOSE, huh?" OMG!
I hate the questions. It's the worst part of the job for me. I feel like I'm in a constant interview. I don't know if people feel like they are being polite by asking about me, because they are in my home, or they feel ackward and are just trying to make conversation. Either way, it's a major irritant, and I haven't figured out how to dodge the questions yet.
.
Banana said:
Either way, it's a major irritant, and I haven't figured out how to dodge the questions yet.
Try the "interesting question" and "why do you ask" response. It keeps it neutral and puts the spotlight back on them.
Sure, sometimes the questions are just friendly guest banter and we all share information with guests like that all the time.
But when the questions make us uncomfortable for any reason, I think it helps to just have a mantra, so to speak.
This really does work for me.
Try it.
 

JBloggs

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It is acceptable in different parts of the country and different walks of life to ask different questions. Boy did that make any sense? Well what I am saying is there are the tight lipped community, then there is the everything hang out community, the ADHD adults who feel there are no boundaries and repsect no ones privacy.
But overall, I think it is mostly just making small talk. I feel that if we instigate good conversation first, then they respond in kind. So almost cutting it off at the pass. But having said that, when you have one nighter after one nighter we are broken records, we have the schpeel down. The guests don't know this, of course.
First question always "How long have you been doing this?" Second question "How do you like it" Third question "Do you stay busy?" Fourth Question "I bet it is a lot of work?"
Me: answering while intertwining stories of prev interesting guests, local folklore and why we love living here, and how running this B&B keeps us off the streets. :)
Folklore for the week: I went to a show which was very educational on the Sacred Harp and (broader) shape note singing. I have heard of it since moving here to these mountains but have never experienced it myself. Yes, I wrote a blog article about it, even still not grasping it fully. So this is my weekly question, asking if they know of this, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in these hills.
Here it is in wiki as the trivia for the week http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Harp
 

Morticia

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It is acceptable in different parts of the country and different walks of life to ask different questions. Boy did that make any sense? Well what I am saying is there are the tight lipped community, then there is the everything hang out community, the ADHD adults who feel there are no boundaries and repsect no ones privacy.
But overall, I think it is mostly just making small talk. I feel that if we instigate good conversation first, then they respond in kind. So almost cutting it off at the pass. But having said that, when you have one nighter after one nighter we are broken records, we have the schpeel down. The guests don't know this, of course.
First question always "How long have you been doing this?" Second question "How do you like it" Third question "Do you stay busy?" Fourth Question "I bet it is a lot of work?"
Me: answering while intertwining stories of prev interesting guests, local folklore and why we love living here, and how running this B&B keeps us off the streets. :)
Folklore for the week: I went to a show which was very educational on the Sacred Harp and (broader) shape note singing. I have heard of it since moving here to these mountains but have never experienced it myself. Yes, I wrote a blog article about it, even still not grasping it fully. So this is my weekly question, asking if they know of this, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in these hills.
Here it is in wiki as the trivia for the week http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Harp.
Good one...I am pushing the alewives and the mail boat this week!
 

JBloggs

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It is acceptable in different parts of the country and different walks of life to ask different questions. Boy did that make any sense? Well what I am saying is there are the tight lipped community, then there is the everything hang out community, the ADHD adults who feel there are no boundaries and repsect no ones privacy.
But overall, I think it is mostly just making small talk. I feel that if we instigate good conversation first, then they respond in kind. So almost cutting it off at the pass. But having said that, when you have one nighter after one nighter we are broken records, we have the schpeel down. The guests don't know this, of course.
First question always "How long have you been doing this?" Second question "How do you like it" Third question "Do you stay busy?" Fourth Question "I bet it is a lot of work?"
Me: answering while intertwining stories of prev interesting guests, local folklore and why we love living here, and how running this B&B keeps us off the streets. :)
Folklore for the week: I went to a show which was very educational on the Sacred Harp and (broader) shape note singing. I have heard of it since moving here to these mountains but have never experienced it myself. Yes, I wrote a blog article about it, even still not grasping it fully. So this is my weekly question, asking if they know of this, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in these hills.
Here it is in wiki as the trivia for the week http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Harp.
Good one...I am pushing the alewives and the mail boat this week!
.
Morticia said:
Good one...I am pushing the alewives and the mail boat this week!
I love that, I truly do, it makes me want to get in the car and head to Maine. This is the FUN PART of innkeeping, imo.

PS I have also told the alewives and mailboat this week because of you. :) The couple now from FLA just heard about the Fairy Stones. They stayed up near Riki for two nights and had the innkeeper telling them to "not do this and not do that" I asked the name of the inn. I will code it here for Riki and Catlady. Tree.S.I.
 

Morticia

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It is acceptable in different parts of the country and different walks of life to ask different questions. Boy did that make any sense? Well what I am saying is there are the tight lipped community, then there is the everything hang out community, the ADHD adults who feel there are no boundaries and repsect no ones privacy.
But overall, I think it is mostly just making small talk. I feel that if we instigate good conversation first, then they respond in kind. So almost cutting it off at the pass. But having said that, when you have one nighter after one nighter we are broken records, we have the schpeel down. The guests don't know this, of course.
First question always "How long have you been doing this?" Second question "How do you like it" Third question "Do you stay busy?" Fourth Question "I bet it is a lot of work?"
Me: answering while intertwining stories of prev interesting guests, local folklore and why we love living here, and how running this B&B keeps us off the streets. :)
Folklore for the week: I went to a show which was very educational on the Sacred Harp and (broader) shape note singing. I have heard of it since moving here to these mountains but have never experienced it myself. Yes, I wrote a blog article about it, even still not grasping it fully. So this is my weekly question, asking if they know of this, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in these hills.
Here it is in wiki as the trivia for the week http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Harp.
Good one...I am pushing the alewives and the mail boat this week!
.
Morticia said:
Good one...I am pushing the alewives and the mail boat this week!
I love that, I truly do, it makes me want to get in the car and head to Maine. This is the FUN PART of innkeeping, imo.

PS I have also told the alewives and mailboat this week because of you. :) The couple now from FLA just heard about the Fairy Stones. They stayed up near Riki for two nights and had the innkeeper telling them to "not do this and not do that" I asked the name of the inn. I will code it here for Riki and Catlady. Tree.S.I.
.
Fairy houses are a big thing up here. I have to go back to the botanical gardens and take more pix. The fence is to delineate the area. All of the little 'piles' of twigs, etc are fairy houses. They are made mostly by kids from found objects in the forest. Twigs, bark, shells, pine cones, etc. Next time I will crawl in there and get closeups!
The next adventure was brought on by a guest query this morning about the shell middens. (Watch out Tipsy, no grandson this time, so we may stop in!)

 

Joey Camb

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I have a partner who lives with me but we arn't married but I don't see how this is any of the customers business. I am tempted to wear a ring just to shut them up but think it might be a faf when I am cleaning. People sometimes say oh gosh you don't do all this by yourself which I don't mind (I would have to be wonder woman!) I say oh no my partner helps and my parents which is fine but I do sometimes just say he is my husband or fiance because it is easier for people to understand. Sometimes though as Simon is out at work for example on a friday night and it can be groups of lads comming to the door and it would be nice to have some back up. For example last night two lads came to the door for a twin room and one was tryng to look down my top while trying to "convince me one would have the single and one would share with me" and other stupid things. I mean who talks to someone like that you are tying to convince to let you stay? and one slapped me on the arse as they walked away!
 
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