Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Grapevine TX

As my friend said... "Ah, Grapevine.... A City built because there was no more room in Dallas"
I flew into DFW Saturday night, nice and foggy. They put me up at the DFW Hyatt. The Hyatt is a very nice hotel that has had a facelift. I went to the bar and ordered a beer and a club sandwich and brought it back to my room. The next morning, I retrieved our cases from the hotel and went to the loading dock to meet the truck. We drove over to the Hilton Lakes Conference Center and Loaded in. I set up the client office and got them printing and connected to the Internet. The rest of the crew was not scheduled to arrive until late afternoon, so, instead of just sitting around, I set up the screen, pipe and drape and then my audio system. Just for the record, it is not easy setting up a 9' x 12' Fastfold rear screen with full dress kit by yourself. It takes a bit of engineering to figure out what cases you need to prop the screen up with and some drape poles.
So, around 5:00 pm the security guard was to arrive and then I was going to get some dinner. Around 6:00 pm, there was no security guard, so I called the hotel security and they sent someone up to talk with me. 
This guy tells me that he saw the security schedule that we had requested, posted on their board in the office, but that none of them would volunteer for the shifts because they don't think that the hotel is paying them fairly. My jaw dropped.... Lets not even talk about the pay thing yet... This guy just told me that they basically ignored our order and never told us!
After listening to this guy.. lets call him Jocko... Jocko tells me that if they work the shift, the hotel pays them $18.00 per hour, but if the hotel sources it to an outside company then they pay the outside company $30.00 per hour. So, the Jocko crew refuses to accept the shifts because they want to screw the hotel.  $18.00 PER HOUR... to sit in a room... listen to your iPod... Read a book... that night was worth $252.00 for doing absolutely nothing but sitting around!  I was trying not to be the problem client... and I figured at this point... I am just not getting a guard for the night.  So, I ask Jocko to lock the doors to the ballroom. He tells me that he has to make me aware of something, and we walk to the door that leads to the service hallway. The door is broken, and he says he can't lock it. 
Great... so, I push some heavy road cases in front of it, and he chains and padlocks the main doors. So, I say good night and go to my room. Around 9:00 pm, Kevin calls me and tells me that he needs a monitor out of the room. I went down and called Jocko and asked him to unlock the room for me. As I walk into the room, the airwall has been opened, and the doors in the back that I had pushed my cases in front of, are wide open. Jocko walks into the room, and I tell him that this is totally unacceptable! He just looks at me and says he doesn't know what to tell me. So, I tell him to get the Manager on Duty up here. 
The MOD shows up and I read him the riot act... I didn't yell or raise my voice, but I gave it to him good! 
The interesting.. yet sad commentary is that... I was totally right.. I had a bullet proof argument. I am the client... they can't say no to me.... and yet... there still was no security guard posted.  They apologized... got the back door locked... Said that they would check the room every hour... but they just refused to do whatever it took to provide the guard that we had ordered... the one that they said they would provide... the one that we were paying for. 

So, if you are going to train an MOD for a hotel.... apparently... the customer is not always right... you don't have to say yes... you don't have to follow through on what you said you would provide, and lastly... you can always push it back on the customer, and still collect the money.

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