Worldwide Hospitality. Joe and I recently returned from a trip to Europe where we primarily went to Germany and Greece with Vienna and London as transit cities in between. What fascinated me about the trip was the way people treated us wherever we went.
The Germans were very direct, prompt and gracious in all our interactions, and our Greek hosts were especially fond of treating us to wonderful views of the city, coffee in the afternoon (frappe) and late night eating.
One of the striking things that came about on our return trip was how we were treated by two cab drivers in London. Mind you, we had just finished a five hour layover plus two hour delay in Vienna on our way home, and we were going to a hotel to rest for only a few hours before heading back to the airport.
Let me share with you an excerpt of a complaint I sent regarding “the tale of two cabbies”, thankfully the second one redeemed our view of the English.
London: The Tale of Two Cabbies “When we got to the line of taxis in London on our return trip home, the first taxi driver first barked at us. ‘Do you have cash? And you do know it’s 35 pounds?’ once he heard from the taxi manager that we were going to the Hilton at Terminal 5. He then told us to load our own bags into the cab and to wait for him. He later came back and told us that he wasn’t going to take us, but instead took another group who was waiting right behind us. He didn’t lift a finger to help us unload our bags, and he just looked annoyed at us because we had a short trip.
The woman managing the taxis was very nice and told us not to worry that she would find a cab driver that would take us. The BAD driver whose license should be taken away or at a minimum should be reprimanded for his behavior is #29648. Let me repeat that #29648 does not give us a good impression of Londoners. In fact, as I was unloading my bags, I said ‘Nothing like English hospitality.’
Thankfully, the second driver was the complete opposite of the first one. First of all, he was very gracious and helped us load our bags into the cab. He said he was surprised that the first cab was given another fare since he booted us out. He told us not to worry, he would take care of us and get us to the Hilton at Terminal 5. He did also ask the question, ‘You do know it’s 35 pounds?’ but in a sincere, kind way, unlike the first one who was barking at us. We said indeed we did, and that we had cash. He pleasantly told us how that was how this works this late at night, and we were fine with the explanation.
When we got to the hotel, he graciously helped us unload our bags, and he also gave us tips regarding our return trip back to the airport including the options for the buses that stop at the hotel, the cab drivers and the vehicles supplied by the hotel. He was a true ambassador for the city, and even though we are only staying a few hours in transit to our home destination, I feel it’s important to reward him for his good service. His number is #58462.”
I am thankful that we received a good experience with the second cab driver. The second driver truly made me feel better about Londoners and the English.
Communication Powerhouse Tip of the Week: Your Actions Represent Your Country
Even the smallest actions you take can be a reflection on how others will perceive not only you but your country, your State, your City or your neighborhood. Remember that even though we come from countries with different values, in the end we all want to be treated well. Take the time to treat people well in all your interactions, and you will not only make a good first impression as an individual, but you’ll also make a good impression of the country you represent. And if you’re ever in London, do not get into cab #29648!
How About You? Have you ever had an experience while traveling with two totally different outcomes? I look forward to reading your comments below.