Entitlement is the opposite of enchantment ~~ Guy Kawasaki
I recently read a hotel review by a fellow blogger. I was interested in reading it since I had stayed at the same hotel during the same days for the same conference. Whereas, I thought the hotel was very nice and would happily return, he seemed to find fault with many aspects of the hotel experience based on his notion of what a diamond is entitled to. I thought his comments reeked of entitlement and probably negatively colored his whole experience at the hotel.
Of course, I thought immediately of this infamous Youtube video which cracks me up every time I see it:
Don’t get me wrong, I like having status. I like loyalty. I like having nice things. And I like when the loyalty is rewarded. I’m not afraid to speak up or ask for something. But I try to remain appreciative and humble. I don’t want to forget how much I have to be thankful for.
It’s not difficult though to lose track of things, and I’m not without fault. We’ve come to expect upgrades, bigger rooms, welcome gifts. (The hotel chains are not innocent either – they bestow benefits upon us hoping that we will keep returning to them). We compare room sizes and amenities and then complain about the smallest things and expect compensation for horrors like gum wrappers found in corners of hotel rooms. The same holds true for airline status. Of course, I prefer to sit up front, but, for me, what ultimately counts at the end of the day is not showering in the sky but the ability to travel and getting to the destination safely and timely. (I mean, if there’s turbulence, I’m still going to throw up, and it doesn’t matter whether I’m puking in economy or puking in first class).
When I first attained hotel status with Hilton and then Hyatt, I didn’t have a full comprehension of what to expect with that status. I was thrilled to receive a warm greeting, a room that didn’t look like a box, a late checkout and a light breakfast. I’m sure that the delight I felt for some of the hotel rooms I stayed at early in my loyalty years, I’d now say aren’t really so nice, or are just eh. When did I become so fancy?
In deference to my fellow blogger’s negative hotel review, there are facts other than a sense of entitlement that could have colored his opinion. For me, something as seemingly minor as the front desk agent’s attitude can mean the difference between a good and bad impression of a hotel.
At what point does having status push some people beyond wanting nice things and treatment to being jaded or unrealistic or even rude?
At what point can having status ruin the experience and make people look like jerks to those who must cater to them when they drone on about the suite we wanted or the unsavory selection of breakfast items in the club?
At what point does entitlement shatter gratitude?