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When guests bicker in public. Do you intervene?

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The Farmers Daughter

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Good Morning !
sigh.....I have squabblers at the breakfast table who are making others uncomfortable. She is all over her companion who purchased the wrong shoes by mistake and now everyone is hearing about it. She using deragatory terms like 'numb nuts' and 'brain dead'. I keep trying to change the subject, but to no avail.
I think I get more than my fair share of the 'travel challenged'. ****sigh****
 

EmptyNest

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Sorry...It is not your business to butt in. It may be uncomfortable for the others, but everyone there are adults. You are not their keeper.
You tried to change the conversation..which is what I would have done. Didn't work..so don't do anything else.
 

seashanty

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crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
.
seashanty said:
crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
No the problem was with sneakers. (obviously not really, but a symptom of a larger issue). The husband bought sneakers without trying them on and they turned out to be womens sneakers. Apparently this ruined the wifes day of hiking, so now she is 'punishing' him in public for the error of his ways.
Now we all know.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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None or our business unless it becomes a full blown domestic then ask them to leave or call the police.
 

seashanty

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i totally understand that the problem was with sneakers and not your great breakfast. if i asked the complainer that question, i'd be hoping to distract/diffuse and hopefully stop her rant ... i'd be playing 'dumb' like i didn't know it was a personal issue. i really can't stand name calling in a relationship!
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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How great are the other guests and would you expect them to possibly return someday?
We'll always first try the tactics described by the others here, but at some point you have decide if the other's experience and opinion of you are more valuable in the long run than the bickerers.
If after a few of the other tactics don't have any effect, then I'll try humor and say something like "Do we have to separate you two?"
To allow five other couples and possible repeat guests to be uncomfortable just to avoid dealing with one that you probably wouldn't want back anyway seems to be bad math to me.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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How great are the other guests and would you expect them to possibly return someday?
We'll always first try the tactics described by the others here, but at some point you have decide if the other's experience and opinion of you are more valuable in the long run than the bickerers.
If after a few of the other tactics don't have any effect, then I'll try humor and say something like "Do we have to separate you two?"
To allow five other couples and possible repeat guests to be uncomfortable just to avoid dealing with one that you probably wouldn't want back anyway seems to be bad math to me..
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
If after a few of the other tactics don't have any effect, then I'll try humor and say something like "Do we have to separate you two?"
.
That's a good tactic. I will arm myself with that for tomorrow morning. I just saw them park and I noticed that they have shopping bags from 'Famous Footwear' so maybe the problem is solved.
As far as the other guests. They were young and like >>
<<.
They couldn't finish breakfast fast enought and the first ones to leave the table.
 

Morticia

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Wow. I've only had that a couple of times but it's been hissed whispers. I like SS's 'Is there something wrong?' implying with the breakfast. Anything to get the tirade to stop and focus elsewhere. It's not like a restaurant where diners can avert their eyes and talk about them later. These are people they will see again at breakfast (possibly) or on the deck, patio, porch (possibly) who have now made everyone around them uncomfortable.
The 'do we need to separate you two' said with a laugh could go either way so be prepared. Guests could realize their mistake and subside or could turn on you. So be ready for Plan B.
Another tactic which would (possibly) save face for all is to walk over with the coffee pot and get right in the way and ask, 'More coffee?' Then turn to the other guest and ask the same thing. If that doesn't slow things down, 'May I clear your plates?' 'Would you like more juice?' I wouldn't ask what they're planning to do as that was a bone of contention.
'I'm going to have to charge all these other guests extra for the show,' might cause her to realize where she is. But, that could go bad quickly, too.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Wow. I've only had that a couple of times but it's been hissed whispers. I like SS's 'Is there something wrong?' implying with the breakfast. Anything to get the tirade to stop and focus elsewhere. It's not like a restaurant where diners can avert their eyes and talk about them later. These are people they will see again at breakfast (possibly) or on the deck, patio, porch (possibly) who have now made everyone around them uncomfortable.
The 'do we need to separate you two' said with a laugh could go either way so be prepared. Guests could realize their mistake and subside or could turn on you. So be ready for Plan B.
Another tactic which would (possibly) save face for all is to walk over with the coffee pot and get right in the way and ask, 'More coffee?' Then turn to the other guest and ask the same thing. If that doesn't slow things down, 'May I clear your plates?' 'Would you like more juice?' I wouldn't ask what they're planning to do as that was a bone of contention.
'I'm going to have to charge all these other guests extra for the show,' might cause her to realize where she is. But, that could go bad quickly, too..
Bree,
There is great risk in any and all of the options.
Like I said, I'd try all of those things including what you just added before taking that last step, but at some point the enjoyment of all the other guests has to be factored in.
 

Proud Texan

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Wow. I've only had that a couple of times but it's been hissed whispers. I like SS's 'Is there something wrong?' implying with the breakfast. Anything to get the tirade to stop and focus elsewhere. It's not like a restaurant where diners can avert their eyes and talk about them later. These are people they will see again at breakfast (possibly) or on the deck, patio, porch (possibly) who have now made everyone around them uncomfortable.
The 'do we need to separate you two' said with a laugh could go either way so be prepared. Guests could realize their mistake and subside or could turn on you. So be ready for Plan B.
Another tactic which would (possibly) save face for all is to walk over with the coffee pot and get right in the way and ask, 'More coffee?' Then turn to the other guest and ask the same thing. If that doesn't slow things down, 'May I clear your plates?' 'Would you like more juice?' I wouldn't ask what they're planning to do as that was a bone of contention.
'I'm going to have to charge all these other guests extra for the show,' might cause her to realize where she is. But, that could go bad quickly, too..
Bree,
There is great risk in any and all of the options.
Like I said, I'd try all of those things including what you just added before taking that last step, but at some point the enjoyment of all the other guests has to be factored in.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
Bree,
There is great risk in any and all of the options.
Like I said, I'd try all of those things including what you just added before taking that last step, but at some point the enjoyment of all the other guests has to be factored in.
When all is said and done, the A_holes are still guest in your home. How do you handle non-B&B guests that squabble? I agree with Tim, your responsibility as an innkeeper is for the overall comfort of your guests. Ignoring it is a mistake because a squabble can escalate into something even more distracting or dangerous.
If the temperature of the room is too hot, do you ignore it or do you adjust the thermostat?
 

Country Girl

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This happened here with one couple all the time. They stayed with us 4 times a year for 5 years. Little bickering back and forth over absolutely nothing. Drove us crazy. She was always bitching at him. I would try to make light of whatever it was she was bitching about and then engage them in a conversation about something else. It was a temporary band-aid until she found something else to bitch about. Nice guy, very successful, great dad. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack a year ago at 62. I never saw her again, but I wonder if she ever regrets all the times she berated him.
 

Proud Texan

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This happened here with one couple all the time. They stayed with us 4 times a year for 5 years. Little bickering back and forth over absolutely nothing. Drove us crazy. She was always bitching at him. I would try to make light of whatever it was she was bitching about and then engage them in a conversation about something else. It was a temporary band-aid until she found something else to bitch about. Nice guy, very successful, great dad. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack a year ago at 62. I never saw her again, but I wonder if she ever regrets all the times she berated him..
Country Girl said:
This happened here with one couple all the time. They stayed with us 4 times a year for 5 years. Little bickering back and forth over absolutely nothing. Drove us crazy. She was always bitching at him. I would try to make light of whatever it was she was bitching about and then engage them in a conversation about something else. It was a temporary band-aid until she found something else to bitch about. Nice guy, very successful, great dad. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack a year ago at 62. I never saw her again, but I wonder if she ever regrets all the times she berated him.
That reminds me of an old Henny Youngman joke: "Why do men die before their wives?.....They want to!"
 

Morticia

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This happened here with one couple all the time. They stayed with us 4 times a year for 5 years. Little bickering back and forth over absolutely nothing. Drove us crazy. She was always bitching at him. I would try to make light of whatever it was she was bitching about and then engage them in a conversation about something else. It was a temporary band-aid until she found something else to bitch about. Nice guy, very successful, great dad. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack a year ago at 62. I never saw her again, but I wonder if she ever regrets all the times she berated him..
Country Girl said:
I never saw her again, but I wonder if she ever regrets all the times she berated him.
I wonder if she regrets killing him?
 
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This happened here with one couple all the time. They stayed with us 4 times a year for 5 years. Little bickering back and forth over absolutely nothing. Drove us crazy. She was always bitching at him. I would try to make light of whatever it was she was bitching about and then engage them in a conversation about something else. It was a temporary band-aid until she found something else to bitch about. Nice guy, very successful, great dad. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack a year ago at 62. I never saw her again, but I wonder if she ever regrets all the times she berated him..
Sounds like my former Mother In Law in Oregon.She would yell at her husband "Albert shut up" Albert sit down" this and that, on & on . He died early also but she lived a sad life till 93 (lots of health problem). After he died she would tell all "what a beautiful&happy marriage we had" . They lived in a small town in Oregon and as with small towns ,everyone knows each others life style. She had lots of
in her and not in a good way.
 

SweetiePie

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crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
.
seashanty said:
crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
No the problem was with sneakers. (obviously not really, but a symptom of a larger issue). The husband bought sneakers without trying them on and they turned out to be womens sneakers. Apparently this ruined the wifes day of hiking, so now she is 'punishing' him in public for the error of his ways.
Now we all know.
.
The wife does have a point. Who buys sneakers without trying them on? Also, who doesn't know when they are shopping in the Women's Department? The high heels on the surrounding shelves should have been a clue. Duh!
Either this guy is really dumb, or perhaps he has a mistress. Either way, it should have been handled privately.
 

Morticia

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crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
.
seashanty said:
crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
No the problem was with sneakers. (obviously not really, but a symptom of a larger issue). The husband bought sneakers without trying them on and they turned out to be womens sneakers. Apparently this ruined the wifes day of hiking, so now she is 'punishing' him in public for the error of his ways.
Now we all know.
.
The wife does have a point. Who buys sneakers without trying them on? Also, who doesn't know when they are shopping in the Women's Department? The high heels on the surrounding shelves should have been a clue. Duh!
Either this guy is really dumb, or perhaps he has a mistress. Either way, it should have been handled privately.
.
SweetiePie said:
The wife does have a point. Who buys sneakers without trying them on? Also, who doesn't know when they are shopping in the Women's Department? The high heels on the surrounding shelves should have been a clue. Duh!
Either this guy is really dumb, or perhaps he has a mistress. Either way, it should have been handled privately.
Uh oh. Hubs buys everything without trying it on. He brings it all home and then takes back what doesn't fit. In some shoe stores, especially 'sport shoes' there may not be a clear delineation between his and hers and a lot of times it's only the size that gives it away. He wasn't paying attention, he was trying to wind her up, he has a GF on the side, he bought them for her but they were the wrong size and he was trying to back pedal, all good options!
 

gillumhouse

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crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
.
seashanty said:
crank up the music
engage other guests in conversation, ignoring this person.
(i sure do hope the other party is defending him/herself)
if the entire breakfast area was totally overwhelmed by this kind of discussion, i might address the woman and ask 'is there a problem?' meaning of course that maybe there was a problem with the breakfast. jeez.
No the problem was with sneakers. (obviously not really, but a symptom of a larger issue). The husband bought sneakers without trying them on and they turned out to be womens sneakers. Apparently this ruined the wifes day of hiking, so now she is 'punishing' him in public for the error of his ways.
Now we all know.
.
The wife does have a point. Who buys sneakers without trying them on? Also, who doesn't know when they are shopping in the Women's Department? The high heels on the surrounding shelves should have been a clue. Duh!
Either this guy is really dumb, or perhaps he has a mistress. Either way, it should have been handled privately.
.
My right foot is an inch wider than my left so the ONLY place I can get shoes WIDE enough for me is the men's sneakers dept. Fortunately men's sneakers these days look a lot like the old lady shoes of my Granny's day and since I am now an old lady, I wear old lady shoes.
 

ginocat

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It is difficult. In a restaurant they might step in if it was really loud and disturbing other guests. Then you run the risk of them starting in on you. I would probably ignore it if at all possible and if the other guests were talking. What was the husband doing during all of this??
 

MooseTrax

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What about teenagers yelling at their parents or being overtly snide and sarcastic? This would be loud enough to be disrupting conversation at other tables and causing obvious wincing from other guests. Would it embarrass the parent more if the innkeeper spoke up? Do you pretend you don't hear this? I clench my fists when hear this behavior and I have to leave the room. My initial reaction is to speak to the recalcitrant child but I think that would make it worse for the parent. They can no longer deny to themselves what is obvious to everyone around them.
 

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