Adventures in travel

Staying at The Westin Hotel in Florida to give a speech today. The staff here is very scripted, doing things because they were told to, not because it comes naturally. My favorite example: When you ask for a wake up call in the morning, they automatically respond, "Would you like a follow up call fifteen minutes later?" I said no. They asked me the same question when I called an hour later to change the time. Same no answer from me.

So this morning, as is usual when I travel, I woke up an hour earlier than I wanted to. Before going to work out, I called to cancel my wake up so the ringing phone wouldn’t bother the neighbors. The receptionist then asked, "Would you like me to cancel the follow up call as well?"

Obviously, there’s no reason on earth that someone who is already awake and is cancelling their wakeup call would still want to be reminded of the call fifteen minutes later. Especially if they didn’t ask for the reminder call in the first place. But there it is in the script, so it’s an error that’s repeated over and over.

I know it’s more difficult, but hiring people who can think for themselves is usually a better long run strategy than scripting every conversation. If that’s the plan, it’s probably better to get an automated system. And not just at a hotel in Florida…