Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday FAQs: What do Innkeepers fear?

What do Innkeepers fear? Some consumers would immediately say "a bad Trip Advisor review." That would be regrettable, of course, but it is not our biggest fear.

The loss of your phone service for 24 hours is pretty horrible. We survived that last Monday by forwarding to our cell phones so it certainly can't be the worst thing.

Experiencing cable and Internet outages for three days? Well, that certainly bothered both the guests and the Innkeeper. Dragging off to an Internet hot spot to check email and reservations is a big drain on time.

No, the piece de resistance has to be electrical problems. Brief outages are bad enough but when the cable repair person tells you to kill the power to the whole building because the electical lines from the pole are sending uncontrolled power surges that could cause a fire (and seriously hurt him as he worked on the cable line) you have met your greatest fear. The smell of electrical circuits shorting in the kitchen speeded my feet toward the power panel.

Something totally out of our control that can harm humans and our livelihood.

Especially when it happens on the busiest Friday of the year when I would need to relocate a whole houseful of guests if the power can't be fixed pronto. And there isn't a B&B, inn or motel in the county with an open room because of a perfect storm of Newport Music Festival, weddings and great beach weather.

I must applaud the National Grid for responding within 15 min. to my panicked request for emergency service. I don't know who the workman was, but he ran a new line from the pole to the house in less than an hour.

Thanks to John the Cable Guy for giving me his cell number so I could call him back as soon as the power issue was settled. (I was too rattled to take his photo. He looks like a teddy bear though.)

Our guests were very understanding about the situation. Most people will accept some inconvenience if you can show them you are doing everything possible to fix the problem. And seeing three workers scurrying around, pulling cables and climbing poles gave me credibility when I told them I thought we'd have everything working within hours.

The crisis is over except for repairing the handicapped lift and replacing a few appliances that fried from the power surges.

And that is my excuse for posting Friday FAQs on a Monday. Monday Memories should be out tomorrow.