So here’s a good one for you. I have a lot of joy in hosting my guests as I’m sure many of you do. It’s not just about bookings but for me it’s about providing an excellent experience. I always have a treat basket with foods from our area in Hawaii (macadamias, coconut and pineapple candies, Hawaii cookies, etc.) I find out what people are celebrating and I buy special celebratory things. Sometimes I leave a bottle of champagne (prosecco) if the guests are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or graduation. I have a graduation banner. It says “You did it!” with a cap and diploma and a chalk board spot where I can write the graduate’s name. I’ve used this banner several times for graduates. Recently I had a graduation booking…booked out a year in advance. During that year the mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was on the mend when their trip rolled around. She had endured chemo, hair loss etc. I wanted to make this trip special for the graduate and cancer survivor so I bought a bottle of prosecco and two special stemless wine glasses to match the set of stemless wine glasses in the cupboard except these were etched. One said “the tassel was worth the hassle” with a graduation cap and the other had etched wings with a cancer ribbon that said “warrior”. I figured I would add these to my collection of celebratory things to pull out for special occasions. Of course, my graduation banner was proudly displayed with the graduate’s name.
As a matter of fact, I visited them in the middle of their stay as I needed to take delivery of a new washer. They thanked me for the gifts and for everything that I provided for them. I took the “thanks for the gifts” in stride assuming they meant the snack basket. You know where I’m going with this….they took the wine glasses home with them. I sort of wrote it off, not wanting to embarrass them by telling them that they were only to use but not to take. Each one cost me about $20. Not only that, but they took the graduation banner. I stewed about the banner for a while. I would write to them, then…delete. I’d write again, then delete. I just reordered the same banner for $29 online. It wasn’t worth embarrassing them or making them have ill feelings over a $29 banner even though I think it’s really dumb that they took it. They live out of the country so to ask for them to mail it back would be dumb too.
Please don’t chastise me for being a softy. I’m all about my guests. I don’t feel as if they tried to steal from me or rip me off. I just feel that they really thought the wine glasses were gifts and they didn’t want to insult me by leaving the banner behind (ok maybe “insulting” me by leaving the banner behind is a bit of a stretch).
Just adding an opportunity for discussion on what people have taken from you and how you deal with it. By the way, I HAVE charged people for blatant negligence and for missing things like boogie boards and other things that are too large to take home…..just saying.