No Mask, No Service, No Exceptions

, , , , , , | Right | December 21, 2020

I work for a small boutique hotel, and the owner is very strict about hygiene and personal safety. All staff are required to wear masks and use hand sanitizer frequently, high-touch areas are cleaned every thirty minutes when feasible, and, of course, customers are required to wear masks in public areas and while interacting with staff. We make this very clear at every point: while booking online, while booking over the phone, and with signs at every entry point.

When people try to circumvent the mask rule by claiming medical necessity, the owner changes tactics and, for those we suspect are faking it, he hits them where it hurts: their entitlement.

I am booking a room for a lady over the phone.

Me: “…and I will inform you now before I book your room that masks are mandatory for all guests in public areas and while interacting with staff. Please confirm that you understand this requirement and you’ll be good to go.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t wear a mask.”

Me: “Then I cannot book this room.”

Customer: “You have to. It’s the law! I know my rights! You can’t make me wear a mask.”

Me: “I can only waive the mask requirement in a case of genuine medical need.”

Customer: “Yes! Yes, I can’t wear a mask because I could die! My doctor said so. You can’t make me.”

Me: “In that case, we are happy to accommodate our medically delicate guests. For instance, we can arrange curbside check-in to lessen your exposure to our staff.”

Customer: “Yeah, great, book it.”

Me: “However, I must also inform you that in the interest of your safety, our restaurant will be available only as an in-room dining option.”

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Further, there will be no housekeeping service during your stay.”

Customer:What?! No! Absolutely not! That’s not acceptable!”

Me: “Ma’am, in order to protect our medically compromised guests, it’s important to minimize contact as much as possible. For your own safety, we will not allow housekeeping staff in the room or expose you to strangers in our restaurant. Now, if these accommodations are acceptable to you, I will add the note to your reservation.”

Customer: “It’s not acceptable! I want housekeeping on my vacation!”

Me: “Then you must make a choice, ma’am: mask and housekeeping, or no mask and no housekeeping.”

Customer: “You can’t make me do that!”

Me: “I can. This policy was set by the owner and as it is his business; he may implement any policy that is necessary to protect our visitors and staff.”

Customer: “This is the worst customer service I’ve ever received! I’m going to tell the world about your s***ty policies!”

Me: “Oh, one more thing: if a mask impairs your breathing, a plastic face shield is acceptable for our purposes.”

She cursed at me and hung up. I booked the room she wanted a few days later to an older couple who praised our mitigation efforts, and I felt a small sense of satisfaction.

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