You’ve Been Selected For A Random Credit Check

, , , , , , | Working | November 16, 2017

(During my week of exploring professional opportunities in the Boston metro area, I sign up to attend an evening networking event at a hotel. For what it’s worth, I am an Indian-American, with no accent, and this hotel is in an affluent, predominantly Caucasian suburb just west of Boston. I arrive at the hotel several hours early and plan to work on my other job search activities while having a late lunch. The waitress immediately seats me and gives me a menu. I order my sandwich.)

Waitress: “Okay, so, that is [sandwich] and just water. Great! I will immediately place your order. Now, I just need to keep your credit card on file.”

Me: “Um, why would you need to keep my credit card with you?”

Waitress: “Well, that is our policy for our hotel guests.”

Me: “I’m not a guest here; I’m a little early for an evening networking event on your patio.” *points to the outdoor space just past the patio doors* “Also, I have never experienced or heard of this type of hotel restaurant policy. Don’t you keep hotel tabs?”

Waitress: “Oh.” *pause* “Well, I still need to hold onto your credit card. It is our policy.”

Me: “Well, I will just pay for my meal with cash instead.”

Waitress: “You can pay with cash… and I still need to hold onto the card.”

(At that point, I am very upset with this terrible treatment and decide to leave.)

Me: “This is absolutely horrible service! You clearly do not want to serve me. I am going complain to your management!”

(Still fuming, I ask the front desk person if this hotel has a policy on keeping guests’ credit cards “on file” while they are dining in the restaurant.)

Front Desk Staff: *with a completely bewildered expression* “Um, no, ma’am. I have never heard of that policy, and I am certain it is not our hotel’s policy. I am very sorry you experienced that from our restaurant staff.”

(In the end, another coffee shop gave me two free desserts after hearing this story. I also returned to the hotel for the networking program, walked straight through that same restaurant with no problems, and enjoyed that event.)

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