CAUTION: RANT AHEAD
Last week I was at the Birmingham Marriott for a speaking engagement. As is my usual routine I shipped the audience handouts to the hotel with the customary “hold for arrival” indicator on the shipping label.
The morning of my presentation I called the front desk at 9 AM and asked if they had the box. The front desk clerk confirmed they had it and offered to hold it at the front desk until I came down for the gig.
Wholesalers, this all sounds familiar right? You and I have done this part 1000 times.
Then it got strange.
At 11:30 I went down to meet my client, do a sound check, and set out the materials I had shipped.
It was then I learned that the front desk was now looking for the box – the same one that had been confirmed as received and waiting two hours earlier.
Concurrent with the scramble to find the box I checked my Blackberry and this is the message that I found:
Wait, let me get this straight. A wholesaler who happened to be staying in the same hotel made off with my box and then leaves this message?
“You can have mine as a consolation”, he writes?
Sure, the materials that support the 90 minute presentation I’m about to give will be easily replaced with your box of prospectuses.
I needed to know how it came to be that the hotel released the box to someone else.
As it was explained to me and my client by the hotel, a guy in a rush stormed the front desk and demanded his box. They related that when the front desk clerk said she would need to look for it he apparently threw a fit and berated the clerk, threw something at the clerk and then demanded to be handed the box that was in plain sight.
Flustered and intimated the clerk handed over the box – yes mine.
Really? You threw something at the front desk clerk?
At this point I called the wholesaler via the number in his email.
My client also called the wholesaler – as did the hotel.
Three minutes before I was about to go on stage he called back and said, “I don’t know why your are copping the attitude – it’s the hotel’s fault.”
THE HOTEL’S FAULT!?
So I ask you wholesalers, what was the right thing for this guy to do?
Maybe it was not to be a schmuck to the staff at the hotel.
Perhaps it was to read the label on the box.
It could have been to not be such a wise ass in the email.
Or maybe it would have been the offer to return the box as soon as you saw it was not yours.
Folks, this is not about the materials – the presentation went off perfectly without them.
It is about the disrespect that this guy showed to the hotel staff and me.
It’s about the sense of entitlement; that the world appears to revolve around this wholesaler.
It’s about being way too big for his very young britches (he’s on LinkedIn).
Sadly, I predict that this is the same way he treats his internal wholesaler and the staff at home office when he doesn’t get his way.
Lastly it’s about him never thinking that being a asshole can come back to haunt him because he made off with a random guy’s box.
Yes, it’s about karma dude. Surprise, I’m not some random guy!
I’ll play nice for now and not reveal who he is in the hopes that he will grow up and start treating people as he might wish to be treated – even though I must admit that it’s a long journey for me up to the high road.