Monday, 26 March 2007

Moaning

Exactly ten years ago, I was working as an office lackey in this swanky hotel in Perth. I'd been travelling for over a year by then and was desperately trying to save up a few dollars for the last few months' travelling before returning to the UK. I was temping in the marketing department there and part of my job was to go through the guests' questionnaires about how they enjoyed their stay. This was a five-star hotel and it used to really wind me up that ANYONE in their right mind could complain about staying in a five-star hotel (especially as I was skint and sleeping in horrible cockroachy hostels or on people's floors at the time). And it always seemed to be the people who were staying in the penthouse suite who whinged the most, about the stupidest little thing. Moany tossers, I'd think, rolling my eyes and huffing as I read through more gripes about air-conditioning or other trivial, pathetic little complaints. Get a grip, for Chrissakes! Get a life!

You know where this is going, don't you?

So. Anyway. Just to refresh your memories, partner and I went to a swanky hotel on Friday. Not five stars, but still the poshest place I have ever been in my life. We're talking flash. We got there and this bloke came striding over towards me with his hand out. I'm Brian, your concierge, he said.
Oh, all right, Brian, I said, shaking his hand. Nice to meet you.
That was when I realised he was holding out his hand for my BAG not for my hand. (I am rubbish at this posh lark.)
Anyway. It was that kind of place. Concierges taking your bags and pretending not to notice you were a pleb and thought they wanted to shake your hand. Splashy waterfall thingy in reception and huge overstuffed armchairs and ginormous bed in room, plus bathroom to die for.

And...
we complained.
I know. Do you hate us??
First we complained about the fact that partner's veggie dinner (grandly called Vegetarian Gourmand in the menu) consisted of boiled carrots and green beans, a single tomato, a single mushroom, about five olives and two little bits of potato. That was it. (I'm sorry, but having a laugh or what? And for £14! Our six year old could cobble that together.)

THEN - oh, there's more - we complained about the fact that the hotel website and brochure had gone on and on about what a perfect place it was to relax - but all we could hear in our room was really loud and really crap sub-club dross until midnight. You know, if I wanted to lie in bed listening to the Macarena blasting through the wall, I'd have stayed above a pub on Brighton sea front.

Ahem. So we complained. And I know damn well that the 26-year-old me of 1997 would probably have slapped the 36-year-old me of 2007 around the chops. And wouldn't have been in bed at midnight in the first place, anyway. Oh, and called me a moany tosser, and told me to get a grip, and a life while I was at it.

Still. Fifty quid off the bill. You know, it pays to be a moaner sometimes. And we did really enjoy ourselves despite that, honestly...

12 comments:

Keris said...

Good for you. Bad service is bad service, no matter how many stars. A couple of years ago we stayed in The Plaza in New York and it was dreadful. Did we complain? Did we buggery. Because it was The Plaza. But we've certainly moaned a lot about it since. Glad you had a good time anyway. :)

Jen said...

Hate to say it but, erm, do you think we become just a smidge less tolerant as we, ahem, get older?

I think it's good to feel grown-up enough to complain.

Sounds as if you came back smiley though :)

X

A. Writer said...

Glad you had a great time. I don't blame you for complaining! Well done getting £50 knocked off the bill!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Hahahahaha this post is really funny. Give it another ten years and you'll be saying things like 'young people today have no manners' and 'that's not music, that's just noise' and 'don't you think Marks & Spencer have gone downhill?'

hellojed said...

Oh no! Glad you had a good time though.

Lucy Diamond said...

*peeps through fingers"
So no-one is giving me a slagging for moaning? Phew.

I think the main thing for me was that we never NEVER get to go off on our own like that - twice in the last three years, I reckon. So I wanted it to be perfect, a real luxury treat. And I was soooo disappointed when it wasn't!

But hey. It was still great to have a bit of space, just the two of us. And it was quite something, having these managers grovelling and fawning over us when we did complain. I kept thinking I was going to burst into giggles!

I am definitely getting less tolerant though, it's true. And Zinnia, I read your comment with a creeping horror at your prediction. Oh, it's all going to come true, I'm sure! Just need to perfect my frosty glare and tutting, and I'm away...

Kate said...

I think curmudgeonly behaviour is one of the enjoyable aspects of growing older...good on you for complaining. It's one of my bugbears, the whole veggie food thing, because the cost of raw materials is so much lower (your other half's meal must have represented, oooh, maybe 37p worth of ingredients. If that.) and yet you're made to feel like you should be unbelievably grateful that they've bothered to cater for you, you green freak.

Well done. Curmudgeons of the world unite. Am dying to know where it was now...clue?

Lucy Diamond said...

http://www.alexanderhotels.co.uk/alexander_house/

Have a look! But if you're planning a stay, pack some ear-plugs and smuggle in a cheese sarnie for your tea!

rivergirlie said...

get you! all grown up and complaining. (quite right too!)

Lucy Diamond said...

I think it could well be my new hobby... ;)

Jane Henry said...

Lucy, Send your 26 year old self packing immediately. She has NO concept whatsoever that sleepless nights are caused by anything other then wild partying and cannot possibly relate to being 36 and having small children!

Glad you had a good time...

love Janex

Lucy Diamond said...

Oh - yes, well said, Jane. Absolutely right. The 26-yr-old me can sod off and keep her opinions to herself!