If it seems like I always have ethics dilemmas to deal with on the road, your impression is correct. I’m at a hotel in Boston, and I have another one.
I arrived at the hotel after a late flight tired, with a headache. The door was locked, which is sometimes the case after 10 or so at small hotels; it was 11:30 PM. So I rang the bell. Nobody. I rang it again. And again. I knocked. Then I rang again. Finally, I went into the pub next door, which was also closed, but the door was ajar. “Does anyone know how I’m supposed to get checked into the hotel?” I asked>
Someone did know: the hotel night clerk, who had gone next door to watch TV.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day:
Should I complain to the hotel management about this?
I am torn. The Golden Rule is no good. Who am I doing unto others like I would have done unto me—the clerk, the hotel management, or the next guest who is going to encounter lousy service. The nice thing would be to let it go. Yet this is how service gets worse and worse, how people get ruder and ruder, and how the quality of life declines. The woman muttered “sorry about that” after she checked me in, but she was pretty blase about it. This is the entitlement problem. She feels she has a right to her job, and as a customer I’m supposed to just accept the level of service I get and be grateful for it.
I have stayed at hundreds of hotels. I gave never had trouble getting in the door, or had to search for a clerk. It costs me nothing to just check out tomorrow morning and forget the incident. But would I endorse a standard in which inexcusable rotten service like that is always allowed a pass? I think such a standard would be a societal disaster. Doesn’t the balancing of outcomes dictate that the clerk has to learn a lesson, perhaps a hard one? I don’t want her to lose her job. I just want her to be a better clerk.