I recently overheard an interesting conversation at a Westin hotel check-in counter. It went something like this:
“… and we’re energy efficient!” said the Westin receptionist.
“That’s great …” the customer’s hesitating response was only met with her static smile.
“So … What does that have to do with my room?” he added.
“Well, you will have to use you room card to turn the lights on,” she replied with the slight hint of an eye roll.
“Oh … ? How does that work? Do I have to have it on me or wave in front of the …”
“You put it in the light card holder. We are energy efficient.” she interrupted.
“To turn the lights on?” The customer asked with now his own slight hint of an eye roll.
“Yes, a lot of hotels are doing it now,” she replied, slightly defensive.
Trying to get her to break from her conditioned customer service pose, and make a slight acknowledgement of the absurdity, the customer joked, “Ah … well all the hotels I have gone to have these light switch things.”
He failed miserably at this attempt, obviously not cut out for comedy.
“We are an energy efficient hotel!!” She said again, but this time with two — yes, two — exclamation points.
“So … where is this card holder thing?”