Bad Guest Boundaries
By Lynn Grigas
Jack was one of the best Concierge's at one of the most exclusive hotels on the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their clientele were many of the elite who have high expectations. They arrive ready to be indulged by an array of entertainment options, with one cohesive theme Jack wanted to meet; for every guest to have an extraordinary level of personalized service at his hotel.
sparkling pool in their private cabana; they would wave to Jack as he strolled by. Other guests in the mood for nightlife had Jack's cell phone number right at their fingertips with one call to the Concierge desk he was ready to open the gate way to all the best of shows and nightlife in Las Vegas.
Jack noted how many guests tended to shed many of their usual inhibitions in LasVegas because they had arrived at one of the most exciting places on the planet. The lights, the music, the gaming, the heartbeat of the strip is intoxicating in and of itself.
Jack was a friend to all who knew him with a beautiful brilliant white toothed smile, shortcropped dark hair, and sparkling dark eyes he became the object of infatuation by one of his guests he regularly served. The couple came to gamble often and the husband was a big fan of golf which left his wife alone a lot. The "Mrs." would to go to the spa and be pampered a great deal of the time.
She started calling Jack just wanting to talk. Right away Jack remembered about guestswho have bad boundaries. She started sharing some things that Jack realized were too personal for her to be sharing with the Concierge. She elaborated about details on her life with her husband and some of the challenges in their relationship. Jack was wise and kept the conversations very professional.
One night Jack was working unusually late and the "Mrs." dropped by the desk to seehim. She was a bit tipsy and started to touch Jack with a familiarity that was immediately uncomfortable. Jack had learned in a recent training that people who lack good boundaries do not respect the boundaries of others. He also remembered that the boundaries had to be maintained by him, he was responsible, not the guest, for keeping good boundaries.
Without offending the "Mrs." he quickly moved to put the desk between them, andsteered the conversation away from the more personal topics and focused on arranging for a day at the spa. Fortunately, she complied and was successfully re-directed. Jack made a mental note to be sure to have extra good boundaries when encountering this particular guest.
One of the more humorous and imaginative ways he had learned about goodboundaries is to think of them as a door. Each person has their own personal door into their personal lives. On that door is a personal doorknob. It is on the inside of our personal door, not on the outside. The phrase which helped Jack most was to "Keep the doorknob of your life on the inside." He learned to be very clear about personal boundaries and his hand was on the doorknob and he decided wisely who to let into his life. He also learned to become aware when he needed to close the door.
Jack learned that good boundaries helped him working with guests and co-workers andwe all must communicate our boundaries to those around us in a gentle but firm way. Jack was grateful to have the training so he could recognize someone who potentially had some bad boundaries.
Just a few signs that he learned to recognize unhealthy boundaries were:
- A guest who reveals too many intimate details about their lives.
- A guest who touches another person without asking.
- A guest who falls apart so someone will take care of them.
Jack's training served him well and he was able to save the dignity and relationship withthe guest as well as setting a healthy boundary and keeping the door knob of his life on the inside!
By Gay Lynn Grigas, MA Psy. - Author of 12 Tools to Keep Your Cool and Confidence