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The Squishy Handshake upon arrival

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Tim_Toad_HLB

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Alright, just had to play the devil's advocate and throw this one out there to contrast the hugfest going on.
Other local colleagues first tipped us on this one, but we all call it the "Squishy Handshake" around here.
At our place, I've made it a standard practice of greeting people at their cars and offering to carry luggage.
My greeting is usually a "Hi, welcome to HLB, you must be Mary and Tom." I memorize all the first names of our arriving guests and most people are blown away by the effort to do so. If we have multiple check ins, the first ones to arrive might get a little humor like me adding a "you must be Mary and Tom?" with a little laugh at the end.
I then extend my hand and give an average strength handshake but no other touching of like their shoulder or anything that could be misconstrued as "too friendly"
I usually will ask how the flight was, or how their trip was going so far. With that, I'm also gauging their fatigue level, first impressions of the place, etc. If they respond like 95% of folks do with equal friendliness, I just know the next three days are going to be a dream. I can count on one hand where the greeting dynamic was wrong or we had a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde on our hands.
Truly troublesome guests have nearly always had bad body language and tone the second they got out of the car. Its like a hot, foul wind blowing against me.
Again to qualify the frequency, in really rare cases, I'll get this really limp, extraordinarily weak handshake and usually not much eye contact from one of the two or in even rarer cases both. The latter seems to happen more during the height of the busy season and its revealed somehow during their stay that these folks had to "settle" for our place because all the downtown B&Bs were already full.
No offense usually taken as we've made many a convert of the "downtown only" type guest over the years.
I wouldn't describe it as an already disgruntled or unhappy guest, but occasionally we get a couple who its obvious one really pushed the choice of our place on the other and the other is kind of along for the ride so to speak. Or the above described scenario and the "squisher" has had their original desires not met and its all uphill for us to overcome their displeasure and not so hidden desire to be at their first choice.
Or could just be really shy, lack some social skills, a germophobe or the person is used to the impersonality of hotels.
I don't know, just kind of bored today and throwing stuff at the walls to see what sticks.
 

wendydk

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YES...greeting folks by their first name and giving a "welcome to XXX Inn" goes a long way toward making guests comfortable and I think it starts things out on the right foot.
As for the squishy handshakers...I guess I always preferred to think that they were just shy, or had never stayed at a B&B before or maybe just not used to someone wanting offering to shake their hand. It seems the young couples are always suprised by it....and likely suprised that every other words out of my mouth are NOT "you guys".....bbbbrrrr I hate that.
I give a good firm handshake, pretending all along that I never even noticed that I was kind of grossed out that their hand felt like a seal's slimy flipper.
 

Morticia

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I rarely know who the folks are getting out of the car until they've come to the door and told me. I don't shake hands. Partly because the PO's were really touchy feely (two handed handshakes, overly inquisitive without really caring, back slapping) and I didn't like being greeted that way. It felt like 'too much' for someone I didn't know. And because it felt insincere, I decided to not adopt that method of greeting. It's usually just a 'Hi, welcome, come on in,' sort of greeting. Of course, if they are repeats I'll open the door and yell out to them.
However, I have had the limpid handshakers when they leave. I think it could be they were never taught how to shake hands (that's mostly women) or they don't want to hurt me (that's mostly guys).
Guests who just arrived hugged me. We really like each other and we're really glad to see the other is still alive (they're on the older side and my hubs is always breaking some body part or in the hospital for something else). So seeing each other every year is a joy.
Otherwise, I'm kinda shy around new people and prefer to not get too close until I know them better, thus the lack of handshaking. If a guest offers their hand first, I will shake, of course!
So, that's my story...
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I shake everyone's hand, arriving, and departing when we say thank you to them. Strong, firm they have no choice but to grasp back. I am one of those who believes much can be told by a person's hand shake or lack thereof. Shy or not, doesn't matter I initiate it.
When I see DH shake hands and smile at check in it blesses my heart. Guests respond to that immediately and cheer up after their long day driving and sight seeing. Guests who left today said to me "Your husband seems like a pretty neat guy, working full time and working here after work and still takes time to say hello"
Little do they know I force him to or he would never go out there. Prompt him, that is a better word. But that is a story for another thread...
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs.
 

Don Draper

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I start out with "Hello Folks! I'm Susie"...with 9 check-ins possible on any given day I could never remember first names (wish I could) but am really good for some odd reason at remembering where they are coming in from once I know which room they are staying in. Our favorite is when we say "Hi, I'm Susie or Johnny" and they just stand there and look at you. AND YOU ARE??? Sometimes it's like pulling teeth.
I also give everyone the right to be shy or a little nervous at check-in, you never know what you're walking into. But it really bugs me when they are still shy or awkward at their third breakfast or on their way out the door...everything about our place is laid back and friendly, shy is one thing but sometimes it's like get a personality already!
 

Morticia

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Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs.
Yeah, so I guess I live where I should...of course there are very friendly people in New England, but that's not what we're known for (as our Southern guests will tell us in shocked voices, 'Y'all are so niiice,' like they thought we'd bite them or something!)
 

Morticia

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I start out with "Hello Folks! I'm Susie"...with 9 check-ins possible on any given day I could never remember first names (wish I could) but am really good for some odd reason at remembering where they are coming in from once I know which room they are staying in. Our favorite is when we say "Hi, I'm Susie or Johnny" and they just stand there and look at you. AND YOU ARE??? Sometimes it's like pulling teeth.
I also give everyone the right to be shy or a little nervous at check-in, you never know what you're walking into. But it really bugs me when they are still shy or awkward at their third breakfast or on their way out the door...everything about our place is laid back and friendly, shy is one thing but sometimes it's like get a personality already!.
InnsiderInfo said:
I start out with "Hello Folks! I'm Susie"...with 9 check-ins possible on any given day I could never remember first names (wish I could)
I have got to remember to introduce myself. 5 years and I still don't do that every time.
 

gillumhouse

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Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs.
Yeah, so I guess I live where I should...of course there are very friendly people in New England, but that's not what we're known for (as our Southern guests will tell us in shocked voices, 'Y'all are so niiice,' like they thought we'd bite them or something!)
.
Eh-yep!
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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I start out with "Hello Folks! I'm Susie"...with 9 check-ins possible on any given day I could never remember first names (wish I could) but am really good for some odd reason at remembering where they are coming in from once I know which room they are staying in. Our favorite is when we say "Hi, I'm Susie or Johnny" and they just stand there and look at you. AND YOU ARE??? Sometimes it's like pulling teeth.
I also give everyone the right to be shy or a little nervous at check-in, you never know what you're walking into. But it really bugs me when they are still shy or awkward at their third breakfast or on their way out the door...everything about our place is laid back and friendly, shy is one thing but sometimes it's like get a personality already!.
Yeah, nine in one day would certainly give the remaining grey matter left in my skull a challenge. I think having just our four rooms may have been an unforeseen blessing in disguise.
Way too crazy of a time my first three decades on the planet and the others I visited during those wild days. LOL
Not that I fixate on the name thing, but I try to do a little detective work as I'm walking out to greet folks. If I have multiple arrivals and some are driving their own cars, I scope the license plate and narrow the odds on getting their names right. If its a rental and I know which folks flew in, better odds of being right in my favor.
The much better half ( sorry, I just can't bring myself to use her preferred "her royal highness" here ) and I talk about things alot between ourselves.
While never expecting everybody to absolutely fall in love with us, a modicum of camaraderie above just a tortured "morning" and the breakfast order without anything else is more appreciated by us than even getting gratuities sometimes. This really is a labor of love for us, but we're not out to turn the world into a kumbayah, hippie lovefest if folks just aren't into us for their weekend away from home.
They all get everything advertised. Polite, friendly, respectful, kind service with a sincere smile, a spotless room every single day while here, all the goodies in equal amounts to everybody else, and no forced interaction or attitude from us.
We've always felt like there are the guests who just help us pay the bills and nothing more, there are the ones a notch or two above that mutual affection wise, there are the ones we wish would never leave and there are just a few we wish had never come.
This topic category of guests fits in there somewhere near the bill payers.
What throws us for a loop and why I even started the topic is when one of the two is gushing over us, the place and the praise and camaraderie is to the ceiling while the other acts like we killed his or her cat or something.
This is quite the little dance we all do isn't it?
 

Mini

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Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs..
You are right about the southerners. I love them. We had folks from Georgia stay with us and the mother scolded her 15 yr. old son when he said "Thank you" to me.
He apparently was supposed to say "Thank you ma'am". They are so nice.
 

Morticia

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I start out with "Hello Folks! I'm Susie"...with 9 check-ins possible on any given day I could never remember first names (wish I could) but am really good for some odd reason at remembering where they are coming in from once I know which room they are staying in. Our favorite is when we say "Hi, I'm Susie or Johnny" and they just stand there and look at you. AND YOU ARE??? Sometimes it's like pulling teeth.
I also give everyone the right to be shy or a little nervous at check-in, you never know what you're walking into. But it really bugs me when they are still shy or awkward at their third breakfast or on their way out the door...everything about our place is laid back and friendly, shy is one thing but sometimes it's like get a personality already!.
Yeah, nine in one day would certainly give the remaining grey matter left in my skull a challenge. I think having just our four rooms may have been an unforeseen blessing in disguise.
Way too crazy of a time my first three decades on the planet and the others I visited during those wild days. LOL
Not that I fixate on the name thing, but I try to do a little detective work as I'm walking out to greet folks. If I have multiple arrivals and some are driving their own cars, I scope the license plate and narrow the odds on getting their names right. If its a rental and I know which folks flew in, better odds of being right in my favor.
The much better half ( sorry, I just can't bring myself to use her preferred "her royal highness" here ) and I talk about things alot between ourselves.
While never expecting everybody to absolutely fall in love with us, a modicum of camaraderie above just a tortured "morning" and the breakfast order without anything else is more appreciated by us than even getting gratuities sometimes. This really is a labor of love for us, but we're not out to turn the world into a kumbayah, hippie lovefest if folks just aren't into us for their weekend away from home.
They all get everything advertised. Polite, friendly, respectful, kind service with a sincere smile, a spotless room every single day while here, all the goodies in equal amounts to everybody else, and no forced interaction or attitude from us.
We've always felt like there are the guests who just help us pay the bills and nothing more, there are the ones a notch or two above that mutual affection wise, there are the ones we wish would never leave and there are just a few we wish had never come.
This topic category of guests fits in there somewhere near the bill payers.
What throws us for a loop and why I even started the topic is when one of the two is gushing over us, the place and the praise and camaraderie is to the ceiling while the other acts like we killed his or her cat or something.
This is quite the little dance we all do isn't it?
.
Back to today's guests...she walks in the door, gives me a big hug and says, 'Where's the cookies?' and heads for the guest area. Her husband is a little slower but shows up a few minutes later, hugs me and says, 'Hi, how are you, where's the cookies?' It's nice when they're that comfortable. They made themselves tea, sat in the living room and we talked for an hour. When I went back out to the kitchen a little bit ago all the dishes are washed. (I forgot to put the 'Stop' sign out so they cleaned up after themselves.)
After 3 days of no one eating anything, the 2 of them cleared me out.
Tomorrow morning they will have breakfast around 9:30, usually later. There are only a couple of guests who are 'allowed' to do this. They will linger, read the NYT, do the puzzles (or better still, give the puzzles to me) and then head out for the day around 11. They'll talk about a million different things, all of them interesting. They've led wonderful lives and they're very warm people. Buckets of money, but you'd never know it at first. They know my kids' names, ask after the g-kids and send me stuff out of the blue during the year.
However, when we are really busy in the summer, I can serve breakfast to complete strangers. If I don't check them in, I have no idea who they are. They come and go like ships in the night. If they have a problem, I have to ask what room they are in. (Or, if I know enough of the other guests, I guess which room they're in.) It can be weird in the summer. Because of our location we have a LOT of one night stays.
I've had some of them come back a week later and, yeah, they LOOK familiar, but I couldn't tell you why.
 

Country Girl

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Tim,
Perhaps your guests just need a few minutes to unwind in the car when they first arrive. Maybe they are not prepared to be immediately met by you and feel a bit overwhelmed by your prompt attention, especially after a long drive or plane trip.
We shake hands upon arrival and always hug upon departure, unless it's a returning guest and then we always hug when they arrive.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Tim,
Perhaps your guests just need a few minutes to unwind in the car when they first arrive. Maybe they are not prepared to be immediately met by you and feel a bit overwhelmed by your prompt attention, especially after a long drive or plane trip.
We shake hands upon arrival and always hug upon departure, unless it's a returning guest and then we always hug when they arrive.
.
I should have seen this one coming. Sorry for not having every "i" dotted and "t" crossed.
I don't run out to the car while its running or the wheels are still spinning.
I'm in the reception room at my desk usually catching up on emails, trying to be as clear as possible with folks here, paying bills, etc. when they pull in.
Sometimes, I'm even folding laundry or ironing and can hear the tires on the gravel as they pull in the drive, or I'm unloading the dishwasher, setting the dining room tables if its after 6:00pm, or any of the other dozen or so chores that make up my afternoons and early evenings.
TMI, but sometimes I even go take a dump during our check out hours, and try to listen for car doors, so I can hurry.
When I see the car doors open, both people's feet hit the ground and them looking around like "WTF is our host?" or "Is this the place?" I calmly and casually walk out of the house and approach them.
 

SeeBen21

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Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs.
There is also a divide between North and South in Europe about the kissing. Try to kiss someone from Norway, Sweden or Germany. Normally it will not happen especially with people you don't know.
I would bet your Sister is living in France or more South. There it's more common to Kiss.
Oh, of course there is one time in Germany during Carnival where everybody kisses everybody but only in the region of cologne where they really go mad during Carnival.
 

egoodell

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Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs.
There is also a divide between North and South in Europe about the kissing. Try to kiss someone from Norway, Sweden or Germany. Normally it will not happen especially with people you don't know.
I would bet your Sister is living in France or more South. There it's more common to Kiss.
Oh, of course there is one time in Germany during Carnival where everybody kisses everybody but only in the region of cologne where they really go mad during Carnival.
.
SeeBen21 said:
Oh, of course there is one time in Germany during Carnival where everybody kisses everybody but only in the region of cologne where they really go mad during Carnival.
Ah are you speaking of Fashing? I can't spell it - it's the week of festival and anything goes? When my parents were first in Germany, my father forgot to explain Fashing to my mother. She was in for a suprise....!
Riki
 

wendydk

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Tim,
Perhaps your guests just need a few minutes to unwind in the car when they first arrive. Maybe they are not prepared to be immediately met by you and feel a bit overwhelmed by your prompt attention, especially after a long drive or plane trip.
We shake hands upon arrival and always hug upon departure, unless it's a returning guest and then we always hug when they arrive.
.
I should have seen this one coming. Sorry for not having every "i" dotted and "t" crossed.
I don't run out to the car while its running or the wheels are still spinning.
I'm in the reception room at my desk usually catching up on emails, trying to be as clear as possible with folks here, paying bills, etc. when they pull in.
Sometimes, I'm even folding laundry or ironing and can hear the tires on the gravel as they pull in the drive, or I'm unloading the dishwasher, setting the dining room tables if its after 6:00pm, or any of the other dozen or so chores that make up my afternoons and early evenings.
TMI, but sometimes I even go take a dump during our check out hours, and try to listen for car doors, so I can hurry.
When I see the car doors open, both people's feet hit the ground and them looking around like "WTF is our host?" or "Is this the place?" I calmly and casually walk out of the house and approach them.
.
I installed a driveway alarm to allow me to greet my guests at the front door. Sometimes it's a race to see who gets there first, but I win about 98% of the time. Before the alarm, I felt like I spent most of my time looking out to the parking area for arrivals.
Six years later, I finally installed a wireless doorbell, because before, people would hit the door running, rattle the knob and then try to peer in....not even a knock or a twist of the old turnkey doorbell. I'm always shocked at the number of people who try the door before ringing the doorbell.
Once they're in and I'm giving the grand tour, I explain that I like to keep the front door locked...because if I don't, lookie-lous, people looking for directions, salespeople, etc will walk right in if you let them. They always say "OMG, really"? As if they hadn't just tried to do the same thing!

People crack me up.
 

Don Draper

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Tim,
Perhaps your guests just need a few minutes to unwind in the car when they first arrive. Maybe they are not prepared to be immediately met by you and feel a bit overwhelmed by your prompt attention, especially after a long drive or plane trip.
We shake hands upon arrival and always hug upon departure, unless it's a returning guest and then we always hug when they arrive.
.
I should have seen this one coming. Sorry for not having every "i" dotted and "t" crossed.
I don't run out to the car while its running or the wheels are still spinning.
I'm in the reception room at my desk usually catching up on emails, trying to be as clear as possible with folks here, paying bills, etc. when they pull in.
Sometimes, I'm even folding laundry or ironing and can hear the tires on the gravel as they pull in the drive, or I'm unloading the dishwasher, setting the dining room tables if its after 6:00pm, or any of the other dozen or so chores that make up my afternoons and early evenings.
TMI, but sometimes I even go take a dump during our check out hours, and try to listen for car doors, so I can hurry.
When I see the car doors open, both people's feet hit the ground and them looking around like "WTF is our host?" or "Is this the place?" I calmly and casually walk out of the house and approach them.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
TMI, but sometimes I even go take a dump during our check out hours, and try to listen for car doors, so I can hurry.
Well now you've just hit on the all-time best way to get someone to arrive that you've been waiting and waiting for...just drop your pants and have a seat and DING DONG, there goes the doorbell! Murphy's law at its best...

 

SeeBen21

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Also...see I have much to say on this subject, there IS a divide between North and South on this one. Small town vs big city. West Coast vs East.
Seriousely. A southerner always shakes hands, kids, ladies, all of them. Scroungey lookin' covered in red dirt - missin' teef, they shake your hand after wiping theirs on their overalls first.
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
My sister lives in Europe, so they have to KISS you, people they know- Kiss, People they don't know - Kiss. Kiss Kiss Kiss and a fake little shoulder embrace type hug. No bear hugs.
There is also a divide between North and South in Europe about the kissing. Try to kiss someone from Norway, Sweden or Germany. Normally it will not happen especially with people you don't know.
I would bet your Sister is living in France or more South. There it's more common to Kiss.
Oh, of course there is one time in Germany during Carnival where everybody kisses everybody but only in the region of cologne where they really go mad during Carnival.
.
SeeBen21 said:
Oh, of course there is one time in Germany during Carnival where everybody kisses everybody but only in the region of cologne where they really go mad during Carnival.
Ah are you speaking of Fashing? I can't spell it - it's the week of festival and anything goes? When my parents were first in Germany, my father forgot to explain Fashing to my mother. She was in for a suprise....!
Riki
.
Gotcha, yes it´s Fasching. You nearly spellt it right. Chapeau.
I just call it the “fifth season of the year”. Your MOther really must got traumatized.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Tim,
Perhaps your guests just need a few minutes to unwind in the car when they first arrive. Maybe they are not prepared to be immediately met by you and feel a bit overwhelmed by your prompt attention, especially after a long drive or plane trip.
We shake hands upon arrival and always hug upon departure, unless it's a returning guest and then we always hug when they arrive.
.
I should have seen this one coming. Sorry for not having every "i" dotted and "t" crossed.
I don't run out to the car while its running or the wheels are still spinning.
I'm in the reception room at my desk usually catching up on emails, trying to be as clear as possible with folks here, paying bills, etc. when they pull in.
Sometimes, I'm even folding laundry or ironing and can hear the tires on the gravel as they pull in the drive, or I'm unloading the dishwasher, setting the dining room tables if its after 6:00pm, or any of the other dozen or so chores that make up my afternoons and early evenings.
TMI, but sometimes I even go take a dump during our check out hours, and try to listen for car doors, so I can hurry.
When I see the car doors open, both people's feet hit the ground and them looking around like "WTF is our host?" or "Is this the place?" I calmly and casually walk out of the house and approach them.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
TMI, but sometimes I even go take a dump during our check out hours, and try to listen for car doors, so I can hurry.
Well now you've just hit on the all-time best way to get someone to arrive that you've been waiting and waiting for...just drop your pants and have a seat and DING DONG, there goes the doorbell! Murphy's law at its best...

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Oh for sure. If unsure of a guest's arrival time or if we have plans we're crossing our fingers to still do, I have two sure fire ways of getting a guests to arrive.
Go do a number 2 or pick up the phone and call a long distance friend or relative to catch up.
 
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