When I decided to embark in the corporate world in my 20’s, I figured if I just display that I am articulate and smart this will be a snap. I was wrong. Apparently, there is this unspoken rule that black women must stay within a medium of: not too happy, not too sad, never angry, and always willing to be the team player (even if the team does not want to play).
I have walked this fine line for 20 years. I have found I can never be fairly judged based on the negative stereotypes given to black women. This is what I do know about myself:
Many companies are already understanding the importance of accepting all races, genders, and age ranges. These companies are enriched with diversity and a range of experience and skills that further grow the company. If an employer wants to take the necessary steps to understand how individuality leads to true diversity they need to eliminate stereotypes. Many opportunities can be missed by not understanding the negative effects of stereotyping.
This new segment will specifically be labeled on a page titled “Opportunities for Excellent Service”. When you see this title, the content will include a review of one of my many adventures or research trips. The goal is to provide an objective view of the experience. The information will have facts about the experience, my personal feeling on the experience, and what could have been done differently (if anything at all). The company name will be listed; however, employee names will be left out for purposes of anonymity.
This past week my husband and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary. Due to personal medical issues, the goal of the trip was to remain in stress free environments that allowed the opportunity for rest and health monitoring. The trip started with a short cruise and ended at the Historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa. (http://www.missioninn.com/)
The Mission Inn is near and dear to us since we renewed our vows at this location 12 years ago. We have stayed at the property 1 other time after renewing our vows. We were familiar with the beautiful property and amazing guest service. On this stay however, something different happened.
The true opportunity for excellent service is something I talk about in other blogs when it comes to setting the customer expectation. If the hotel was going to dismiss the incidental deposit policy that is listed on their website and on their front desk counter, they should have advised me correctly. This changes my willingness to order room service at all.
It also appeared the front desk manger was not trained correctly in some manner on how to address incidental holds in relation to incidentals charged to the room. When the agent heard me, and acknowledged that there were already holds on my account, he should have followed standard hotel policy to release the holds or allow the charges to settle. If he was not aware how to do this he should have waited for senior management to assist.
This does not change my view of the property and how amazing the grounds are. I would still recommend this property. I will however work with management to make sure this does not happen to any other guest. This is just another opportunity for excellent service.
We tend to be selfish human beings with this expectation that everyone should be in a special charity that develops and helps us personally. It is not possible for everyone to make you feel great all the time. It can be a slap in the face when you try to move forward in life seeking the support from friends and family only to find out they do not support your goals.
It is more important that we develop each other and give life to our goals and dreams more in this generation than ever before.
When you talk to people about what's new or important to you, there is an expectation of overwhelming support. Instead you are given a weird look and an underwhelming response. This can be deflating.
It is helpful to everyone's success to provide helpful information or necessary criticism. If you can't provide that, give feedback that lets the receiver of your information know that you may not be as informed as you need to be. As a result, you truly can't provide feedback. There is nothing wrong with this.
Let's work together to breathe life into our goals. At the end of the day we want to succeed. We can succeed if we have the right support and the right information to succeed.
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor