I like snark and sarcasm. I take that back. I love snark and sarcasm. They are a few of my favorite things. If I was Oprah I’d be trying to give it away to people every year amongst the greatest gadgets (or whatever it is she gives out every year). This is why I requested a review copy of the book How May We Hate You. It is written by two aspiring entertainers who took jobs as hotel concierges to make ends meet. The book is designed to look like the kind of little book you’d find in a hotel that would be titled How May We Help You with the word “help” scratched out and with the word “hate” scribbled in next to it. Presentation wise, the book is great. As I sat down I was sure it was going to be great.
However after reading a while it became clear that the biggest gripe these two have is that people don’t seem to know what a concierge does. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that these two didn’t know before they started working as one either. I get the jokes when someone just won’t accept that it’s not the concierge’s job to break the law or materialize sold out tickets from thin air. However those don’t seem to be the most common.
They seem to be upset that people don’t know that their particular labor union won’t allow them to do anything that has to do with the guests stay inside the hotel. Two things, that’s stupid and the hotel needs to negotiate better contracts (except labor unions won’t let them, don’t get me started). If a guest of the hotel is talking to you by mistake (especially if they’ve stood in line to do so) don’t be surprised if they are upset that they then have to go stand in another line because your labor contract with the hotel won’t allow you to call housekeeping for them. You’re a representative of the hotel, not of the labor union. That’s how the customer sees you. If I ask the guy making fries at McDonalds for some ketchup I’ll be a little peeved if he tells me that his labor contract won’t allow him to give stuff to the customers directly. It may not be your job technically, but in the end everyone at the hotel has the job of making the guest want to stay there again.
All in all it wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t as funny as I was hoping. I remember when I worked retail we would make jokes about customers all the time (I worked at an art supply/picture framing store). It was there that I realized that just because a joke about customer behavior is funny to those on the inside of an industry doesn’t mean it would be to someone on the outside. This book probably falls squarely into the category of hilarious for concierges but not so much for other people.
Oh, and I was given this book for free for the purposes of this review, it hasn’t changed my opinion of it (obviously).