I am an American working in a hotel in Scotland. I spend a lot of time talking…and I thought you’d appreciate to hear some differences. At the same time, a lot of things are the same. Have a fantastic day!
Conversations I Have
(On the phone)
ME: Good morning! Thank you for calling the *hotel name.* My name is Chelsea. How may I direct your call?
GUEST: Are you in Edinburgh?
ME: Yes, I’m in Edinburgh.
GUEST: Is this a call center?
ME: No, this is the *hotel name* hotel.
GUEST: Are you in Edinburgh?
ME: Yes, I am in Edinburgh.
GUEST: You don’t sound like you’re in Edinburgh.
ME: -__- This is the *hotel name* in Edinburgh. How can I assist you?
Yes, guests think they are talking to an American call center when they hear my American accent on the phone. Great. Yes, you have reached the United States of America. Do you want me to help you?
Me: Enjoy your stay!
Guest: You’re so kind. Cheers!
I love it when they say “you’re so kind.” It makes them sound so kind, unassuming, and grateful. I also love hearing “Cheers!” more often. It sounds so happy.
(Guest arrives at the hotel at 7am and check-in time is at 3pm. First of all, I would also like to point out that 7am is way too early for people to be asking me anything because I’m usually hating life at that ridiculous hour)
GUEST: I know that I’m here early and the room is probably not ready.
THANK YOU for being so thoughtful and reading our check-in policies. I will reward you by giving you a room early…and maybe even upgrade! This is of course a generalization. There are still guests that arrive in the morning demanding a room, but there are a lot more understanding guests here in Scotland.
GUEST: So…you don’t sound like you’re from here.
ME: I’m not. I’m from California.
GUEST: Oh wow. How are you adjusting to the weather?
Yes, people in the UK really do talk about the weather all time. I must mention the weather at least 10 times a day. There’s an article that say that more than half of Britons bring the weather up in conversation every six hours. It’s something I don’t understand since it’s so wet and gloomy, but whatever. I don’t mind. I’ll talk about the weather.
Conversations I Don’t Have
GUEST: Where is the ice machine?
No guest here has asked for ice from me. Okay, maybe once for a champagne, but that’s once. I remember getting multiple calls a day asking for ice in the room at my previous hotel. I don’t even know if there are ice buckets in the rooms. Andrew and I have visited 3 hotels in Europe so far and completely forgot about needing ice. What is with Americans’ obsession with ice?
GUEST: How long is the wait for this restaurant?
Restaurants are either fully booked or have availability. You don’t wait. I don’t understand how restaurants here make money. Servers don’t give you your check unless you ask for it (which can be nice, but also annoying if you’re in a rush) and service is generally a little slower, but I don’t understand how restaurants (I am referring to casual restaurants) here straight up turn people away. Wouldn’t you be able to make so much more money and if you’re able to get more people in? During my restaurant days, I remember groups of people willing to wait for 2 hours for a table at Elephant Bar on a Saturday night. 2 HOURS. Are you crazy?!? I’d also like to point out that Andrew and I have never waited in a queue for a restaurant in the 6 months we have been living here. We were either sat immediately or told that they were fully booked. I guess that’s nice. Some guests here will complain that there is no tables in the bar available. Well sir, in my opinion, if you wait here for an hour and a half, there will be a table for you.
GUEST: Can you just email me my bill?
My “I’m too busy to wait for you to print that out,” “don’t waste paper” guests would always ask us to just email their invoices to them. I probably sent 50% of their invoices by email. Here, I get asked for an emailed invoice once or twice a week.
ME: Do you need assistance with transportation?
GUEST: I’ll just take an Uber.
Nope! This is a very rare conversation I have now. People still take taxis here (even though Uber has been here since November). The only person that gave me this response was this hipster millennial techie from San Francisco (at which I immediately was embarrassed that he was representing my beautiful city).
Don’t get me wrong. I love Uber, especially since we don’t have a car. It’s cheaper, quick, and so easy to use…and sometimes, I just don’t want to walk.