Thursday, January 18, 2007

Being a hotelière is very tiring.
I spend most of my days being grumpy and angry. 'What is that bucket doing in the middle of the drive?' 'What are those sheets doing still hanging on the line? They were dry hours ago!' 'Have you cleaned the Malenke suite yet? Why not! The new guests are arriving in half an hour!'
'there are three cigarrette butts in that ashtray. I know, because I counted them this morning, and I have been waiting to see when they would be removed!'
This sort of thing is exhausting, and I hate the grumpy sound of my own voice.
And then, today, when I took some time off, my staff decided to surprise me, thinking that I would be pleased. Twelve Dutch people arrived at about 2.30, asking if they could have lunch. My cook decided he could handle it and told them ' yes, of course, please be seated. I was in town and noone called me. So he gave them cucumber salad followed by omelette and chips and finished with a slice of pawpaw. Then he charged them the full price of the menu: 5000 FCFA! And bless them, the Dutch payed up without complaining, so when I arrived we were 70-80 000 francs better off. My staff was beaming proudly at me when I arrived. And what do I do? I get ANGRY!
I try calmly to explain that I cannot have people leaving here being given a sub standard meal for that amount of money. At the same time I have to admit that in a way my staff did of course do a great job. Oh, dear, it is all too stressful. My friends who just arrived said: but that's great economics. You give people a meal which costs you 500 francs to produce and charge people 5000. It is perfect! Posted by Picasa


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