Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tourism Towns

You know, I have decided that I no longer wonder why travelers often say that people in Alberta are rude and oboxious. I know, that sounds awful, but we just spent a week in BC, 4 days of it in Victoria on the island, and we were continuously floored at how nice people were - people in the restaurants, shops, museum, horse carriage ride staff, hotels, etc etc. It was fantastic! My mouth dropped when I phoned a restaurant near our hotel and she apologized that it would take 15 to 20 minutes to have our meal ready for pick up.... I was like "you are SORRY for that?? it will take me that long to get over there anyway". I hung up the phone in shock lol.

My 4 yr old was being a pain in the arse in every gift shop we entered, but staff laughed it off and tried to entertain him or interest him in something so that I could look around. Were these people INSANE? How could they do this day after day with endless numbers of foreigners visiting?

Then it hit me - that's exactly why - because they are a city that relies heavily on tourism and staff wont last long who are rude to their bread and butter. If word got out that you would spend a lot of money in that city and get rude people serving you, then they wouldnt have many people visiting anymore and that would be the end of it.

Coming back to Alberta though, Im sorry to say, we were immediately faced with rude hotel and restaurant staff. And I promise you, I am not a demanding customer. Even though I am paying, I always feel bad if I ask for extra pop or something lol. I'm not saying I am sure every person in victoria is fantastic and never rude, but in 4 days and going to multiple places, we never encountered a single rude person. Well aside from the British-Canadian woman who was handing out tourism information near the US ferry port. That was on our first day and she asked where we were from and then proclaimed her surprise that we were the first Canadians she had met in three days. She was quite rude saying that there were 'all these americans all the time'. Hmm fancy that, meeting a lot of americans when she was stationed beside the ferries that come in from Port Angeles and Seattle Washington LMAO. Duh! But anyway, she was the first and only.

It was refreshing and we felt spoiled. We felt like royalty! Our hotel was fabulous. My son threw up in the elevator right before we reached our floor so I took it back down while daddy rushed him to our room, to tell the front desk staff. and their first reaction was 'oh no! is he okay??'. She might have been thinking 'OH GROSS ! BARF!', but she never betrayed those thoughts with her face and concern. But meanwhile back home, I ask an A&W staffer for an extra napkin or two, and I get an eye-roll and a heavy sigh. That's nice. I told the hotel staff that I had grabbed their wet floor sign and plopped it on top of the puke so no one would step in it and I felt terrible, but they practically pushed me into the other elevator, saying it's no problem at all and not to worry about it, laughing that I was so sorry. I have never been treated so well in my life.

You would say 'well, that's their job', but honestly, it does not happen often around here. I have been disgusted with how the service industry has become here, and how it's only a few shining individuals that take their jobs seriously and stand out from the crowd of bitchers and moaners - but in Victoria it was like a giant parade of fantastic helpful people and we were honestly overwhelmed. People in other places that do not rely so heavily on tourism need to take notice and smarten up. PEOPLE, CUSTOMERS, are your real bread and butter at the end of the day, and if the poo hits the fan with other industries, tourism and visitors is all you will have left, and you better know how to treat them. Enjoy your job, be glad you have one, and remember that if those paying customers dont want to come back, YOU wont be getting paid anymore. Easy peasy to figure out, but too many people no longer seem to follow that rule. They expect their pay even if they are doing a crappy job, and that has seriously got to end, in every industry.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, interesting post. I live in Victoria and I can honestly say the friendliness and hospitality isn't something put on for tourists. It is genuine and is evident year round with tourists and locals alike. Don't have any theories why that is the case, but it's a pleasure to live here. Come and visit us.

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  2. We will certainly visit again when we can. We went to Vancouver 4 years ago and did not notice the same type of service as we did in victoria. Even though it was Canada Day weekend and it got pretty busy, everyone we encountered had taken happy pills or something lol. It was a great trip :)

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