Monday, October 18, 2010

Marketing Fail

Sweet Daughter and I traveled to Yorktown this weekend for our last event of the season. As a treat for ourselves, we stayed at a “mid-level” hotel with an indoor swimming pool. While checking in, I noticed a table at right angles to the check-in area with some brochures on it, and a gentleman talking to a couple.

After successfully checking in, SD and I turned to grab a luggage cart, and go get all of our stuff out of the car. The gentleman with the brochures jumped up, came around from behind his table, stood in front of me, and asked if I was traveling alone.

I thought, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??” The desk clerk had done a great job not specifically mentioning what room, or even floor I was in/on, but told me where to park, what staircase to use, and handed me my key envelope upside down so nobody could see the room number written on it. Why was this guy asking me this question in a crowded lobby?

He asked again, “Is your husband traveling with you, or are you traveling alone with your daughter?”

This guy was not some roly-poly, unassuming type of guy. He probably had 6” in height on me, an athletic build, and had a rather aggressive manner.

I surprised myself a bit, and didn’t back down. “THAT’s a little bit creepy” I said just as aggressively. Somehow, I must have offended his inner salesman.*

“That’s not creepy!” he retorted.

“Are you traveling alooooooooooone? Just you and your daughter?? Yeah. THAT’S JUST A LITTLE BIT CREEPY!” I stated emphatically. I comforted myself as I pushed past him with the fact that I had 49 rounds of defensive ammunition with me.

And I thought of Breda and her comment:

“Women often can't tell the difference between being polite and being submissive. We believe we have to be accommodating to perfect strangers.”

And I was happy that while I was raised with that mindset, I seem to have gotten over it.

*I'm prety sure he was selling timeshares. And I think I need to contact the hotel to find out what company he was with and rat him out.


  1. Yes, that was creepy. The guy was deluding himself.

  2. Considering you might have an inch or so on me, giving up 6" to this guy is saying something. Good for you for getting into his face. Hopefully SD understood the lesson.

  3. Newbius -

    While walking out to the car, I explained to SD why acted like I did. She was non-plused by the whole event, so either I'm doing a good job not acting like a victim on a daily basis, or I'm a bigger bitch than I thought.

  4. Absolutely, complain to the hotel, complain to his employer.

    As a bonus, you can point out that it was exist as well as creepy!

  5. "Sexist"! "Sexist as well as creepy!"

  6. Too bad SD was with - I would have turned around and canceled the stay. The hotel is *responsible* for predators and sales people they permit on premises.

    I am sure he really only wanted you to get the Hubby there so he could launch into his sales pitch to the half of the couple he is most likely more successful with. And I don't give a rip. Sales people too often think they have a license to harass, that I despise reinforcing.

    I certainly would have immediately called for the manager, to ascertain: 1) was the dude permitted to be there by the hotel; 2) why was the hotel allowing someone to prey on "guests" at the hotel; and 3) Had there been a background check on the anonymous dude that accosted you in the lobby of the freakin' hotel!

    The dude's actions are a reflection of the respect the hotel feels toward it's guests - you and SD. By permitting Unsolicited Commercial Accosting in the lobby - it might as well have been a uniformed hotel employee. What next, scantily clad women knocking on the doors with, "Want a date, honey?"

    Yep. I would have been satisfied to walk away from that hotel - canceling the credit charge to be sure it didn't get onto my bill.

  7. "No, I'm traveling with a large party. Smith, Wesson, and several members of the Hornady family are with me."

  8. ". . .so either I'm doing a good job not acting like a victim on a daily basis, or I'm a bigger bitch than I thought." That's awesome stuff right there!

    Good on you for recognizing that giving up information like that can be dangerous. Most people on this earth seem clueless as to what's going on around them.

  9. Write a letter to the hotel you were staying in. Let them know that you will no longer patronize their establishment owing to the types of people employed by companies they allow to operate under the auspices of their establishment.

    Make sure to send a copy to the company he was working for. Hopefully you got his name; at the very least you can note the time and day when this happened.

    In the letter, make sure you stress that you were traveling with your young daughter and the effect that his actions had on your peace of mind. Set the scene effectively: Here you are, two of you, mom and daughter, treating yourselves to a stay in a nice hotel as a treat. You don't even get to your room and you are accosted by a loud, rude, overbearing person trying to sell you something - and asking entirely inappropriate questions.

    It does two things: It puts the hotel on written notice that they are, intentionally or not, condoning these types of tactics - and when (not if) someone gets attacked, they will be liable. It will be easy to prove in court that this sort of thing was going on and that they knew about it. Most likely you'll get that company booted from the hotel premises and (if lucky) the hotel will sever business connections too.

    And you might get a complimentary night's stay out of them as well...