THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

More receptionists

Dreadful check-in experience at the Hilton Watford yesterday. I hand over my Diamond VIP card, expecting a brass band and fireworks – what I get is a confused male receptionist punching buttons on a computer keyboard and telling me there is no reservation in my name. Now I know the reservation was made weeks ago – when we booked the hotel for our workshop – but I also know that conference people don’t always talk to reception people – different tribe you see. I’m a Diamond VIP member – I stay in gazillions of Hiltons – I have enough loyalty points to buy a bloody hotel. When I stayed at the brand new Hilton London Bridge a few weeks ago – they took me up to the Executive Lounge in a private lift and sat me down to check me in – I felt like royalty. Here in Watford, centre of the known world, I stand around in reception for half an hour (after a 3-hour drive), waiting for people behind closed doors to sort out their mess. Eventually I get a smoking room – the only one left in the hotel and nowhere near my first choice. I’ve been handed over to a female receptionist who “isn’t bovvered”. I am beginning to hate this hotel – and I’ve been staying here for 10 years. Maybe they spotted I’m a Manc and cannot forgive me for Man United turfing them out of the FA Cup on Saturday. Such that Watford will sink back into it’s ignominious “chav”-dom once more. Last night a presentation with Dr. John Barry of Isoplan and Dr. Kenny Barr – dentist from Stranraer. I’m so impressed with Kenny’s speaking skills – he is uber-professional and tells a great story of his own experiences on conversion. It’s a late finish and today I have 55 people for workshop 2 – financial controls and team-building. Then a drive to Cobham – I wonder what my check-in experience will be like there tonight?

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