Saturday, August 04, 2012


"..and how will you be establishing credit with us sir?"

So spoke the receptionist handling Mine Host's check-in to a fancy hostelry in USA.

First impressions are meaningful. Sometimes a first impression is too bad to recover from.

Mine Host's nostrils flared. Never would he dare to speak to a client with such phraseology. Offended, nay borderline riled, Mine Host presents his credit card, vowing to not spend one brass razoo at this hotel beyond the room charge. Extending the stay? Not a hope, buddy!

The receptionist, with that one abrasive phrase, has guillotined any chance of Mine Host raiding the mini-bar, dining in-house, or using the telephone.

In a case of most unfortunate timing, Mine Host had spent the previous hour regaling his travelling companion with tales of how the American hotel industry is a world leader in how they handle matters at reception.

First impressions count.

It speaks volumes for the hospitality of the people & positive atmosphere of the nation, that most anyone who has visited the USA is actually able to recover from the first impression that is dished out by the immigration officer at passport control.

Using the scientific sample size of every border crossing he has ever made into the USA, Mine Host authoritavely states that commnist countries, with all the frigid baleful glares they could muster up for a representative of a "non-fraternal" nation, were never as unwelcoming as is the typical immigration officer with which one is confronted when entering the USA.

For a contrasting and very positive first impression, visit New Zealand, which has possibly the world's most friendly & disarming passport control officers.

First impressions count. One enters New Zealand feeling positively buoyant!


Sackerson said...

Maybe the receptionist (or her trainer) was merely tripped up by the American habit of euphemism. Surely she just meant "What method of payment do you intend to use?".

Veeshir said...

If you don't like our immigration folks, imagine the reaction of Americans returning home to those surly, power-mad, bureaucratic iceholes.

Our bureaucrats are getting out of hand. It's just no fun.

richard mcenroe said...

Maybe they thought, "Sure thing, mac! Now what's in it for us?" was a bit TOO informal....

mojo said...

Next time, try this phrase:

"All my credit cards are green and have dead presidents on them."

davis,br said...

Tell him to come to Spokane. It's still 1966 here. He'll be treated well. Even the teenagers on the street are polite. Serious.

(Moved to Spokane from California last October, and still utterly bewildered by the cultural civility, and amazingly open friendliness.)

Sackerson said...

Do wide open spaces civilise people? I sometimes think they do.