Devil in the details

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The strangest thing happened the other day, one I figured worth sharing since in hindsight it’s a pretty funny story. It all started with a bit of departmental miscommunication on the status of a few rooms. We had provided maintenance with some rooms to do some preventative maintenance in and during our Friday morning meeting, housekeeping mentioned the room had yet to be worked in. Of course this caused a bit of a ruckus with Saturday being our check in day and my mind flying into all the work that would go into having to change assignments.

After some back and forth, I finally decided to just run up to the rooms in question and have a look at them for myself. Granted I have no technical skills, but sometimes you need to just see something for yourself. I got the resales agent to come up with me and have a look at the rooms, we started on the one closest to us that required a patch and paint. As soon as we walked into the room a curious series of events unfolded. Bear in mind I’ve been working in the same place for almost nine years and our resales agent spends every day showing rooms as part of her sales pitch. The both of us are very much familiar with the rooms.

Imagine our surprise when we walk in and notice the dining room wall is painted blue. Tea light blue to be specific. The sales agent and I both look at each other perplexed for a moment, because the living room walls are supposed to be cream colored. How did maintenance make such a big mistake? I quickly take some pictures and we make our way to housekeeping, maybe they have an explanation for this. We get to the housekeeping coordinators office and show her the colors and to our horror, her reaction is the same as our own. She had no recollection of any living rooms being blue. I call down to the General Manager’s office to advise him the room is good to go, however for some reason the living room wall is blue and I ask him if he’s aware of this change? He states the wall should be cream. Now everyone is in a panic because what is happening?

Just then two housekeeping supervisors walk in and we ask them about the living room color. Both seem unsure and think they have rooms with blue living rooms, but they aren’t sure. Collectively we decide to check out other rooms, before calling in maintenance for answers. So I and the sales agent head to the stairs in order to go to the second room to be inspected. As we are in the stairwell, I receive a call from the maintenance chief to discuss the earlier miscommunication. Once we all have our ducks in a row I ask him about the living room color. Finally he confirms that in fact several suites had their living room painted tea light blue by his predecessor.

As if by an extra bit of confirmation, the next room we went into had the same color in the living room, but it was much more subtle since it was dry. It just goes to show that even if you’ve been working somewhere for a long time and think you know it like the back of your hand, sometimes you go blind to the details. I think after this we will all be a bit more alert the next time we go to a room.

Aruban born and bred Shanella Pantophlet is passionate about tourism. That is the world she studied and works in, so we might as well call her a specialist. Luckily for Aruba Today Shanella also loves to write. And together with the fact that the majority of our readers are tourists, we found ourselves a perfect combination for a column: Hotel Hustle.