"You guys are idiots," he said. "Excuse me?" I answered, a little surprised.
We were a few days away from opening a restaurant in the Eaton Centre in Toronto back in the mid-eighties. "You invest all this money, you design, you pay all sorts of professionals, you research the market, you pay guys like me to build it" (he was a professional painter), " and then you pay some waiter $4.25 an hour to go to the table and blow it."
He continued. "One waiter in a bad mood who gives crummy service makes all this investment worthless, and you pay them minimum wage and roll the dice that they won't bankrupt you." A sobering thought, and I have spent the rest of my career making sure that doesn't happen, either at the minimum wage front line level, or at the managerial level either.
Here's one Room Service attendant who cost herself a tip and cost the hotel my future business. She didn't do it alone. When I called the hotel management to let them know about the card that was left in my room, their answer was a matter-of-fact reply, without a hint of an apology, that they were in negotiations with the union and this sort of behaviour was to be expected.
Not by me. Not by any reasonable person. Contrary to what my painter friend from the 80s thinks, I'm not an idiot, and I won't be back. Don't ask me the name of the hotel. Between their management and the union, they don't need my help putting themselves out of business.