Dear American Guests

Dear American Guests,

I love you, but sometimes you drive me crazy.

I understand that you are traveling thousands of miles to this foreign country and may feel a bit stressed out about that, but I have a few requests from you so we can stop embarrassing ourselves in front of the rest of the world.

First of all, please stop trying to use US dollars in the UK. Can someone use pounds in the US? No. Also, why do you insist on tipping in US dollars? I mean, I don’t mind and sure the pound is getting weaker, but my poor colleagues don’t visit America as often as I do and they can’t use it! Oh, and just because we are in Europe does not mean you stop tipping. If someone goes out of their way to help you, tip them. We don’t make that much and we still appreciate earning a little extra.

You might not know this, but I’m happy to educate you about this one. A “double” room generally means a room for double occupancy, not a double number of beds. In Europe, most beds will be a “Double Bed” (full size bed) to fit 2 people. So when you book a a Classic Double room, you’re getting a full size bed. No, you did not confirm a King bed. Also, European and UK King beds are smaller than American King beds. Don’t come yelling at me that I gave you a small bed. The rest of the world doesn’t sleep on California Kings.

Also, what is it with your obsession with ice? You are the only people who ask for ice. It’s already cold out here, why on earth do you need ice?!

Can you also stop being so lazy? I get that you’d rather pay for convenience, but seriously! Walking across the street to an ATM will literally save you £10 in commission/exchange fees. £10! You can reward yourself with a fancy drink with all that extra money just for walking across the street.

Next, please know that I can pinpoint you in a crowd without even hearing your American accent. You don’t need to explain to me that in the States, things are done a certain way. I know. Believe me…. I know… (And do you not recognize my distinctly American accent?) But some of you do recognize my American accent. I’ll acknowledge you. I’ll even applaud you for not asking me, “Where are you REALLY from?” when I tell you that I’m from California.

I also love it when you say, “You’re not Scottish!” Thanks for reminding me.

While I am genuinely excited to meet another American, please know that I have also met 10 other families just like you in the past hour and I apologize for not remembering who you are the next day. I would also like to take this time to apologize if I’m not as excited to explain where in California I am from, why I am here, how long I’ve been here, what I am doing here, how I feel about here, and the weather. I’m from San Francisco. My husband is studying at the University of Edinburgh. I’ve been here for about a year and I take vitamin D supplements since moving here. It is my absolute pleasure to explain my existence several times a day. Now, please go to your room. Thank you.

Let’s all stop being so ignorant of other cultures. We are a beautiful diverse country of hundreds of different cultures. You have arrived to this foreign country as a guest. Stop trying to Americanize them. If you have trouble understanding a certain accent, please be polite. The rest of the world does not need to speak American English.

We are just lucky that the entire world watches Hollywood movies that revolve around American culture so everybody seems to understand us. You are visiting a country where they speak English. Be thankful. Every other foreigner has somehow learned English and has to communicate in this language that has ridiculous grammar rules.

Lastly, why do we feel entitled to everything? I know I’m guilty of this as well, but Americans, we are professional complainers when we don’t get our way and the whole world knows it. We have a culture of entitlement, complaining, and getting free stuff. Now, I love free stuff, but let’s all learn how to complain well. My favorite line is when you tell me that you “stay in 5-star hotels all around the world.” How does staying in hotels all around the world change your situation? If you’re a world traveler, you know that things happen, sometimes out of your control. If something bad happened, just tell me. I’ll do my best to fix it. Also, please stop demanding things. You want a free upgrade to the presidential suite with views facing the castle, away from the elevator, inter-connecting with your friend’s room that has large windows, and a sofa bed that is clean and ready? Absolutely! Please come back in a few years while I build it for you.

Oh, and you people who check-in at 7am! You need a room at 7am? I know you’re tired from traveling, but you booked a red-eye flight. You saw what time you’d arrive. Please read your confirmation letter. Check in time is at 3pm. Check out time is at 12pm. Make arrangements ahead of time. Please do not sit in front of my desk and stare at us just so you can complain that we’re not doing anything. It’s 7am. There is a guest sleeping in your room. There is nothing I can do.

Thanks for reading.


your friendly American receptionist

P.S. I hope you are reading my sarcasm. I’m still a proud American.



One thought on “Dear American Guests

  1. Well said, Chelsea! You have echoed so much of what I experienced
    (and continue to experience) since living in the UK from 1979.

    Love, Auntie Carol x


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