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a blog by Chris Barrow

Multi-tasking receptionists

When I arrived at the Preston Marriott last night, I was dog-tired after a crazy week (so far) and a long day. At least it wasn’t the Holiday Inn Express – counting my blessings – Marriott can be relied on for a good night’s sleep. Their beds are always good. Lovely hotel set in the grounds of an old country house in Broughton, a few miles North of the city centre. I lived here for a short time 25 years ago – and loved the area (out for a run this morning along Garstang Road brought back many memories). The receptionist was busily checking me in, going through her “brand standards”, when another guest arrived behind me. This is 9.30pm and the hotel reception is deserted bar the three of us. The new arrival is clearly a regular – a distinguished looking gentleman. As soon as she sees him, she breaks eye contact with me, ends our conversation mid-stream and reaches round to pick up his key, waiting in an envelope with his name printed on the cover. He queries the choice of room. She suggests he take a look and if not happy she will move him. I have been abandoned – the baton dropped. I had my key and was organising a taxi for 7:45 this morning to take me to a dental practice nearby. She and he are chatting about what type of room has been allocated – to him. My blood pressure is rising, my chest tightening – I’m just too tired to cause a scene. So I wait – until he has been satisfied and wandered off to check his room. And she then returns to me. Unforgivable. And at 5:45 this morning my room phone rings out and the overnight duty manager tells me that my 5:45 taxi is waiting outside. Stupid cow. I don’t want a multi-tasking receptionist, thank you very much. They get stuff wrong. Bloody good job I was up and about – if I had wanted a longer sleep there would have been hell to pay. Make sure your receptionist doesn’t ever do that with a patient – had I been at a first consult for dental implants, I would have taken my business elsewhere, however good the dentist.

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