Thursday, July 13, 2006

Does The Squeaky Wheel Really Get The Grease?

I have a dear friend who believes the answer to that question is absolutely, 100%, “Yes”. Never accept less than the best, he claims, and never hesitate to make a stink if you don’t get it. In fact, make a stink beforehand, and you’ll get treated even better.

For example: He and his wife love to travel, and because they can afford it, they stay only in 4 to 5 star hotels (must be nice, hm?). Nonetheless, no matter how swanky the surroundings, my friend’s standard practice upon checking into any hotel is to inspect the room he’s been given before signing the register. His wife will quietly take a seat in the lobby and wait for the inevitable result of this inspection, which is that my friend will return to the registration desk and demand a better room. No rooms near the elevator or the ice machine for him; no noisy a/c units or crappy views. Nuh-uh. No sir.

The kicker? He usually gets an upgrade. He expects it – nay, he demands it - and 9 times out of 10 he gets what he wants.

Me? I can’t do it. I’m too nice. The room would have to be filthy or the a/c broken before I’d complain, and then I’d do it in the nicest way possible. Does this attitude sometimes mean I’m taken advantage of? Probably. Occasionally. But most of the time, I smile, they smile, and I get what I want anyway. See, I’m a big believer in the old adage, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

And I’d rather be ‘done to’ nicely, thank you. I think most people do.

What about you? Do you make a stink whenever you feel a stink needs to be made in order to get your way? Does the end really justify the means?


MariaGeraci said...

I'm like you Terri, I only complain when there's a reason, smile a lot, say please and thank you, and expect the same treatment in return. Now, let me tell you about the squeaky wheel in my line of work. I'm a Labor and Delivery nurse (have been for 21 years) Do we have patients that jump up and down and scream? Yup. Sometimes it's warranted. Sometimes it's not. Do they get what they want? If it's in the patient's best interest. But I'll tell you this, no one wants to take care of that patient. If you could only hear what most physicians say about their patients behind their backs, you'd be shocked (well, not really. Physicians are only human, after all.)

It's the nice patient we all fight over. Sometimes we have patients (high risk patients in pre-term labor, or whatever) with us for weeks. Believe me, if she or her family are hard to deal with, no one wants her. And if I'm in charge, I'll usually assign that sort of patient to the toughest nurse I have, someone I know won't allow herself to be walked all over.

Whew! Didn't mean to write a book. But it's a touchy subject in my line of work!

Terri said...

Exactly, Maria! Me, I'd be thinking... 'don't make the nurse mad - she controls the epidural!' LOL Or, 'don't piss off the waiter - he'll spit in your food!' LOL

Anyway, I feel better about myself if I treat people the way I wanna be treated, period. An extra-nice room in a hotel isn't worth the dirty looks, nasty comments and who-knows-what kind of treatment I'll get behind my back. Thanks for confirming it.

MariaGeraci said...

Yeah, after the week I've had at work, your post really hit a nerve! Honestly, I'll bend over backwards for someone nice who appreciates what I do for them. But those other type of people...grrr

Mel Francis said...

Okay, I had a similar experience this weekend. I booked a room, printed my confirmation, took it to the hotel and they said, "Sorry, we don't have record of the reservation and we're over booked."

Now, at first, I started to boil as was my husband. I sent him to the bar and said, "You'll have a room for me. I'll just stand here until you get a cancellation."

You know what? They redirected the next 10 people to another hotel with free vouchers and they gave me a room for half price.

I could've been a bitch. I know a couple of people who would've done the uber-bitch thing. But if I had done that, I would've been sent down the road.

You gather more flies with honey.