No one likes to find out someone has been talking behind their back. Complaining behind their back. I’m surprised enough when someone find out this website exists and that it belongs to me. But to have a random stranger (okay, not so random) find this site, read a post, take exception to just one paragraph in the whole post, call someone who wasn’t even there to complain about the post, and not once try to contact me first? I don’t like that.
It made me feel cautious when writing a new post. Like I was looking over my shoulder even though the topics were completely different. Because, what if he keeps checking in to see if I recant my 4 sentences? Or if I’ve changed it completely to give glowing praise? Technically, I don’t know who reads this and who doesn’t. If someone leaves a comment, I’ll see it (and yes, Chef Niles is kind of hot and who wouldn’t want to be served dessert by a guy like him? Hi, T! Luv’ ya! Your smile is way better.)
Bah! I don’t talk about people close to me or name names. If you know me, you’ll also know who I’m talking about and I don’t have to spell it out for you (literally, ha ha!) If there’s anywhere in the world I get to complain about anything just because it makes me unhappy, it’s here! And if you don’t like it, well, go complain about it on your own site.
We kind of feel that we should just let the whole thing drop, barring any further communication from the offended party. In order to tie up loose ends on my part, I offer up this response to the unoffical complaint against me (because until you complain to me, I don’t consider it official at all).
We had a lovely weekend at your inn and appreciate your letting us commandeer the common area Saturday and Sunday mornings for our meetings. While I understand you didn’t have to do this, considering that we comprised the total of your guest count with the exception of the cottage guests (one of whom we met when we first arrived) there really weren’t any other people to complain if we unofficially gathered our group in the common area. You were nice and helpful when we checked in, offering us water and sodas and baking the cookies in the evening. The cookies were good.
Yes, we moved your round sectional couchy chairs for our meeting and were also planning to move them back (those 4 chairs and the pedestal in the middle were the only pieces of furniture we moved, though; oh, and a dining chair) and it just seemed unnecesary to pointedly ask if we were going to move them back. By the way, we also swept up with a napkin the dust bunnies and leaves that had been under the couchy chairs. They are very comfy chairs, too.
After that, and reading the paper in the room on the encouragement of using coasters, I found myself quite often looking around to make sure everyone was using a coaster if they had a beverage. I don’t even check that closely in my own house! But, I also have a dog who chewed the corner of my coffee table and I didn’t even blink. I understand water rings on wood are just awful, but perhaps some lace tablecloths that absorb moisture would relax your concerns and allow for less obtrusive coaster placement.
Your rooms are very cute and comfortable and I like how they are all decorated completely differently. As decor goes, your B&B is spot on.
I’m sorry a deep scratch was left in a table due to a poker case. I personally wasn’t there but I can understand how you would have been disappointed at seeing a scratch in the table. To a point (see above re: dog that chewed the coffee table). However, I think that is a matter that you bring up to a guest individually and not at the breakfast table. Or you just, you know, chalk it up to something that happens when you run a B&B and your guests like to entertain themselves with something other than a book. Or Scrabble, which we played, although some people cheated and made words that really don’t exist just so we could finish the game.
It was a personal observation regarding your reaction to our visit to JoAnn’s. It doesn’t reflect on your character whether or not you like the place. I wasn’t offended by anyone there, but I do admit being a little leery of the characters who were there. Honestly, they were a little bizarre but provided for some good people watching. We were entertained, let’s just leave it at that.
What mostly left me uncomfortable was the announcement at breakfast that you cannot legally serve people who were not overnight guests, that there would not be enough food to do so, and while the overnight guests were welcome to breakfast, it was implied that anyone else would not be. First, when arrangements were being originally made, we were given the impression that while you cannot technically serve people who are not guests and cannot charge separately for a breakfast meal, if a couple of our group were to show up for the family style breakfast, a “who would know” kind of thing would occur. Perhaps there was a lack of communication somewhere. I get that you can’t serve meals to non-guests. This would put you in a restaurant-type of deal or license or something that operates under separate conditions of a bed and breakfast. But to make an announcement at the table seemed unnecessary. Not to mention, we had a “registered guest” who did not attend at the last minute. Did you account for that absence in the detailed portioning of the food? By serving family style, there was plenty of extra food. We also had guests who opted to sleep in and not come down for breakfast. If they came down later, would you have reheated the leftover strata from one of our dishes, made new food, or not served at all? I almost felt like I shouldn’t take seconds, because what it there wasn’t enough food? If you didn’t charge extra and weren’t counting heads, why feel the need at all to even mention all this?
I perviously acknowledged that, as a large group, we brought a different dynamic to the place. You tended to have a group of people where typically you would have seen only one or two couples at a time. But I, personally, just didn’t feel as comfortable or welcome as I have previously at B&Bs. According to TripAdvisor, I’m not the only one. I’m used to relaxing and feeling at ease, with the owner always coming out with a warm smile and telling us not to fuss over stacking the dishes and asking if there’s anything else we need. I’ve never had a host make a remark in any way that suggested there was something we needed to improve upon as guests. Which is how I, personally and not as a collective of the group, felt at the end of the weekend. Like you were disappointed at how we, as guests, had behaved. However, even if this were true, isn’t the proper channel to just let it all go and vent to co-owners or staff? Let your guests go home happy, thinking everything is well and looking forward to returning another weekend. Let them leave feeling that they would be openly welcomed again so they go home remembering their lovely weekend and tasty appetizers and warm cookies and when friends ask how their weekend was they can respond cheerily and mention that they stayed at your inn and it was all great.
How did you even find the post in the first place? It didn’t show up in any searches I conducted. If it’s that hard to find on the internet, who in the world did you think would find it and think less of your establishment? I certainly didn’t post any of my thoughts on any established lodging review sites where other people actually go looking for reviews. So, what does it matter? Who cares what I think? And, sorry, but if you felt that going to our “Director” would get you better results and maybe, possibly, have me reprimanded for something I said on my personal site that isn’t even tied to my volunteer position, it’s just not going to happen. For all intents and purposes, we could call our Director postion the “Grand Poobah” and it still doesn’t carry much weight. Plus! My complaints towards you were limited to one short paragraph at the very bottom right after I had said your inn was cute! Sorry to say, but if that’s what got you all riled up, then perhaps you really do need to lighten up. You could have just brushed it off, been relieved that no one else would read it, and then I wouldn’t have felt compelled to write this much longer post addressing the situation.
Wow, what a pain in the rear! This happens to me occasionally when I write something negative. I’m always torn between speaking my mind and being true to my feelings, and reservations about hurting someone’s feelings or their business (After all, who the heck am I anyway, just some self-appointed blogger!) What this guy did in going behind your back is really low though. I have to say, I’ve stayed in places exactly like this before, with hosts with similar attitudes. I think some B and B owners eventually start to dislike having to entertain people constantly and it becomes a sort of “us vs. them” dynamic – it really makes for an unpleasant experience!
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The good that has come out of all of this it that I now know about a really nifty website — I’m totally going to send some of those chocolate coffee candies from Trader Joe’s to my honey in Iraq. And a note to Innkeepers who may be upset or shocked to see a post containing some criticism: offer to make it up to your guest (i.e. half-price room) and ask them to give you a second chance!