How do I work the hair dryer?

Warning: Rant-ish post to follow. You’ve been warned. Carry on.

Is it just me, or are people becoming increasingly helpless? Dealing with the public on a daily basis, it’s understood that we are going to run across a wide variety of people, of varying backgrounds and education levels. In the last several years though, it would seem that people are becoming more and more needy.

Take this weekend for instance. We have a group of 4 staying in one of our airbnb properties in Charlotte. The main guest, who is also apparently an Airbnb host in her hometown, had the following issues:

  • She needed the door codes a week in advance “because she wouldn’t have wifi when traveling”. Mind you, she’t not exactly coming in from Namibia on a cargo boat, she’s flying here from Naples, Florida. And as it turns out, has an iPhone. Does it not work all the way up here in North Carolina?
  • She asks for a list of all the nearby grocery stores. I comply. Yet, see above re: iPhone. Am I wrong to assume that if you are savvy enough to wield an iPhone successfully, and book Airbnb’s as your form of lodging, that you also could possibly be well versed in using the map to find a grocery store? I digress.
  • She texts upon arrival, and asks how to work the hairdryer. This one doesn’t need a deeper explanation does it?

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  • There are 4 guests and we have 3 queen beds in the home, yet she needed an air mattress as well. No biggie, everyone wants their own bed, I get it. But she couldn’t find the air mattress. We said it was in the bedroom closet upstairs (there are only two), she “couldn’t find it”. Then, 10 minutes later, “we found it”. Great.
  • Then the airbed apparently had a leak. After informing her there are two there, she asks which one has the leak….? What? There are two, the one you just blew up is leaking apparently… my advice would be to use the only other one available.
  • She said she, “didn’t know how to use it.” So we left dinner, drove to the house, and set it up for her. It was difficult. You plug it in, and turn the knob to “inflate”. But I, again, digress.
  • That airbed was apparently leaking too. Mind you it’s questionable, due to the nature of the previous “problems”, but I’ll play along. She also states that “it was a rough night, I was basically sleeping on the hardwoods all night.”. Multiple questions arise here: 1 – none of your 3 friends snuggled into their pillow top queen beds would help you out? 2 – you couldn’t press the “inflate” button for 15 seconds? 3 – you decided to sleep on the floor instead of, worst case, walking down to the couch for the evening? Did I need to suggest these three options via text for them to become available?
  • Now that 2 air mattresses are “bad” I directed her to the brand new one (still in the box) that “is in the closet in the entryway”. She immediately asks, “where exactly can I find the new air mattress”. What? Well…. in the closet by the entry way. Do I need to draw a map? There is one entry way, and one closet in it. I indulge her and say, “when exiting the building through the front door, before reaching the door, there is a closet to your immediate right in the entry way, the air mattress is located in a box, on the floor, inside that closet”. Ten minutes later…. “we were able to find it.”. Great.

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What continues to fascinate me in these scenarios is that this person likely has a good job, likely raised a family, likely is a wonderfully contributing member of society… yet, by all accounts is completely helpless. How is that possible? It’s hard out there…you know? How does someone like this navigate complex things like medical insurance, investments, taxes, driving, grocery shopping, breathing?

Now let me be clear. Having dealt with the public in one professional capacity or another for the last 20+ years, I have developed a great deal of patience. But some people just take you past your limit. I’ve treated this guest with respect, and will continue to do so both for her and her inevitable twin that will stay with us at a future date. Knowing nothing good ever comes from showing your frustration to the world at large. Plus, that’s what you all are for! Smooches.

The reality is, no amount of preparation and house manuals would have prevented this scenario. There are simply people who ask before looking, want help before trying, and want you to stop what you are doing and tend to their needs, no matter how trivial – period.

Rant over.

See you on the journey…

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