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Perception Lost

There are times when a stay at a hotel is less than desired.  Several weeks ago I had such an event at the Marriott Marquis downtown Atlanta.  The surface issue was almost 90% of the hotel's 1000+ rooms were rented to college students.  The mid-level issue for me was not being treated as a business traveler by some of the staff.  The reason I am writing this blog posting is what I see as a loss of perspective.

When I realized the hotel was booked solid by college students, I strengthen my resolve to deal with kids for the weekend. Although, I did not party at hotels as a college student, I did remember the stories I had read in the news.  I am a short woman but at no time did I fee threaten by the students.  Even when I redress them in regards to a comment , the only thing they said to me was yes ma'am.  I am not writing to state these students were angels but their event was not Armageddon. 

My issue arose when a member of hotel security did not treat me with the proper respect due a long-term stay guest.  When I mentioned the company for whom I am a contractor, the employee gave to me a dazed and confused look.  The kicker was the lie told to me by the employee.  It was in that moment I had to inform the employee, I had worked for Marriott during my college years. 

To the credit of the hotel, my incidentals were paid and I was given bonus points.  However, another guest at the hotel, who did not stay that weekend, was given more bonus points & free rooms.  This guest did not endure the long elevator waits, loud noise, or the wading through the trash as had I.  However, this guest has made it a crusade of sorts to "trash" Marriott for the behavior of the college students.  This guest pulled down video from online to show to others about the event at the hotel.  At first I could not understand why such anger.  This guest, I know, left the hotel while the students were there.  I then wondered if the matter was racial. 

The college student were predominately Black.  This guest insisted FSU students would never behave as such. It was in that comment, I knew on some level this crusade was about perception rather than the actual event.  Florida as a state has long been party central for college students.  These students didn't start the fire, it was there long before even I existed.  It is true Marriott management should have thought out the logistics and the care for the guests not part of the student event.  However, management did have extra security on hand for the event.  

I am not against guests complaining about kids in the hall.  I am against what I perceive to be racially motivated complaining.  The hotel overall was staffed by very kind and loving people.  Their care was at the level expected of Marriott.  I would stay there in the future.  I should say, I shall be staying there in the future. 



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