If you don’t ask for what you want, who will do it for you?
Shake The Room
The older I get, the less I care about holding my tongue, especially when it comes to “me” these days.
Strangely enough, growing up, I never hesitated to defend the underdog or speak up for those who couldn’t or wouldn’t do it for themselves. It was part of DNA. But when it concerned me, that wouldn’t always be the case.
But during my last trip, I realized just how long gone those days are.
Being a last minute decision to tag along to a friend’s conference, the research I did on the resort was quick and dirty but enough to add a few requests onto the reservation – a room not located next to an elevator or ice machine and no view of the parking lot, if possible. From the reviews on Trip Advisor, I knew that an upgrade to an ocean view room was next to impossible.
We couldn’t check in until 3PM so we killed 3 hours taking pictures, having coffee and simply chilling out. At check in and as part of friendly conversation with the young lady at the front desk, I mentioned the requests we had made and asked if the room had a garden view. She nodded and gave us half a smile before handing us our keys.
Before we could swipe our key to get into the room, we noticed the service elevator right next to the room.
Then a few kids whizzed past us with ice buckets in their hands and that’s when we noticed an ice machine directly behind us.
Whirrrr…whirrr..bang…bang sang the ice machine until their buckets were full.
Hmmm, not good.
Knowing that Murphy’s Law never stops at two, as soon as we got into the room, I made my way to the balcony and pulled the curtains back to enjoy this view.
Not only was this lovely concrete monstrosity in the way but we could the conversations of everyone walking back and forth under that structure as clear as day from our balcony.
My first reaction was disappointment. I’m in Maui and this is the view I’m going to enjoy while having an early morning coffee and writing?
My second reaction was annoyance. Okay, technically the view wasn’t of the parking lot I’d read about but really? Why couldn’t the front desk agent have said something?
My third reaction was resignation and trying to convince myself to go with the flow. I’m in Maui. How much time am I really going to spend in the room anyways?
Then I remembered the half-smile from the front desk agent when I asked about the view and that’s when it hit me – she knew exactly which view we were getting.
And that’s when I got angry with myself for even considering letting it go. If this had been about a friend of mine, I would have been the first to say, “ask them for a room change and don’t take no for answer”.
Nope. This was not how the next 7 days were going to go down.
It was time to shake the room.
I called the front desk, politely explained the situation and asked for the possibility of another room.
“Oh, we are so sorry about that but the hotel is fully booked. Maybe we could see what is available tomorrow?” is what she said.
But what I heard was, “Go ahead and unpack because by tomorrow, you won’t be interested in wasting time, repacking and moving rooms after settling in.”
I took a deep breath. “No, that doesn’t work for me. I’ll be at the front desk in 5 minutes.”
I snapped a photo of the view and headed back. Before we could even rejoin the check-in line, the same front desk agent ushered us to her.
Before she could start talking, I preempted her.
“I fully understand that requests are not guaranteed but the resort struck out on all 3 requests. No view of the parking lot translates to a room with a decent view.”
“We apologize for that but with the conference, the resort is fully booked. Like I mentioned, maybe tomorrow….” she tried to say.
I lowered my voice and leaned on the desk that separated us.
“I don’t want to interrupt you but …there are 2 things that I’d like you to keep in mind before you continue. One, my friend and I had no problem waiting 3 hours to check in and that is what we did – we checked in at exactly 3PM. Right now, it’s only 3:15PM. Are you saying that all other guests expected today checked in during the last 15 minutes and because they have, it’s impossible for you to assign us another room?”
I think that the combination of my politeness, my question and my smile threw her for a loop because there was silence from her.
And the other two front desk agents glanced over curiously, waiting for her response.
“Two, my friend and I traveled 15 hours to get here and the least we can get is a decent view of this beautiful island from the balcony. We never expected an ocean view but would you like to have this view for the next 7 days?”
I showed her the photo I’d taken on my cell and she couldn’t hide her surprise.
At that point, my friend simply walked away.
Silence as she punched at her keyboard.
Within seconds, I had new keys in my grasp and I was thanking her for her help. I think she realized that I would have no shame in returning to the front desk again if I had to again.
As we walked away, my friend whispered, “That poor girl never had a chance, did she?”
No, the poor girl didn’t have a chance.
What is the point of this long-winded post?
When it comes to other people, we often don’t have a problem going all out for them but when it concerns ourselves, we hold back or think twice.
But sometimes you’ve got to shake things up for yourself. There’s no harm in asking for what you want or saying that you’re not happy with a situation and in most situations, being polite, diplomatic, reasonable and firm will go far.
If you don’t ask for what you want, who will do it for you?
And if in the end, you are still told no or things remain unchanged, at least you would have tried, right?
Side-note: Granted, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the room but when we did, at least this was the view.
Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.
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