Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Introducing...What Not to Do

Almost everywhere we look someone seems to be telling us what to do.  Click on any news app or social media site and we're guaranteed to see something geared toward optimum performance: eat these fruits, exercise like this, use these kinds of words.  Well, I'd like to take a different approach and share true-life stories of "What Not to Do."  I would love to hear your own stories of common sense gone awry. After all, we're in this thing together.  

A business man travels to Salt Lake City for a day of meetings. He has been a monthly guest at the same hotel for over ten years and usually holds his meetings in the large lobby restaurant. He is in the middle of a meeting with 5 colleagues and prospective clients when hotel security approaches him accompanied by 2 Salt Lake City police officers who ask him to come with them immediately. Caught by surprise and concerned about the nature of their request, he immediately excused himself from his meeting to join them.

They call him into a private room and asked his name and then showed him a surveillance picture of a man walking through their hotel lobby and ask if that is him. He recognizes himself and says yes. They then tell him that he is being charged with theft. They essentially said he was in the hotel the month before, used a different name to check in, said he claimed he was there on a corporate account, and skipped out on the $450 bill.

The businessman says, “I was in your hotel last month, but I checked in using my name and my credit card and I did not skip out on the bill, I can provide you with a receipt to prove it if you let me call my office.” He called his accounting department immediately and provided additional details of his stay to hotel security who left to verify his provided information. During that time, the SLC police officers begin the arrest process, read him his Miranda rights and force him to sit in a chair. The businessman is in complete disbelief.

After 15 minutes hotel security returns and says, “We are deeply sorry for the mistake. We verified the information you provided and have a case of mistaken identity.”

I am thinking they need a few more EQ skills in those security employees, namely self-control, problem solving and empathy. But, let’s assume for a minute that the hotel had been right: the man was a scammer who had defrauded them the month before and had the incredible guts to show back up and spend a day at the same hotel. Was that really the best way to handle it? Had no one considered the risks of doing it that way if, as it turned out, they falsely accused and embarrassed a good customer who routinely spends $750-$1,000 a month on room and restaurant charges?

Don’t do this.