Today I am posting from Sevierville TN, where we are on a family vacation. My husband carefully researched and made reservations at a hotel that had an indoor waterpark. Being that we have a 4 year old daughter, and various members of his family were going to be joining us, this seemed to be a fabulous fit. The room he reserved was a suite that had two queen size murphy beds. We were all looking forward to a great get away.
Everything changed the night before we checked in. We had journeyed about halfway, and was staying at Mark’s sister’s house in Ohio. He called to see what time check-in was the next day, and was told that the waterpark part of the hotel was closed for annual maintenance. Seriously? No, really, seriously??? It was not a joke, they were serious.
Our daughter, Lexie, had been watching the video on their website, and singing the jingle that went along with it, since the reservations were made on October 6th. Disappointing her was probably the very worst of the whole thing. I found out really quickly that I had a pretty darn big expectation that we were going to have the vacation situation we signed up for. I tried hard to focus on the fact that this wasn’t a life or death situation, that nobody was hurt, and things would work out somehow. Being around Mark’s anger and frustration made it even more challenging to focus on that positive, and then to figure out how to redesign our vacation.
Of course, the person that made the reservations for Mark, was not the person we had to deal with. We decided that when we got to the hotel, I would be the one to go in and talk to the manager in person. I must say that all the people who were left trying to clean up the mess were very sympathetic. It was challenging at time not to let the frustration and disappointment come out at them. Our roomrate was cut drastically, and we were provided with some meals and alternative venues of entertainment suitable for Lexie. I felt that the managers I talked to and who helped us out really understood the magnitude of the situation for our family. Being understood makes all the difference.
I am certain that being understood and being flexible are the big lessons in this for me, not only in this situation, but of course, in working with horses and other people. Feeling that I was understood made all the differnce in the world. I will be so happy to get home and see my herd! And, I will remember not only to listen to them, but to be compassionate to their experience. Here and at home, I will pay it forward with the compassionate understanding that I was shown on this journey.
Now, I have a vacation to get back to….