Phone Book

Mary, the front desk agent who had been with the Boden Oceanside Resort and Lodge for nearly six months now, was trying her best to persuade the Wade party to take a look at one of the stylish executive suites in the lodge. Mary had that southern hospitality and didn’t like to see guests leave dissatisfied without having done her utmost to show them the opportunities at the resort. Mr. and Mrs. Wade were celebrating their 20th anniversary and had looked forward to a romantic get-away in a quaint lodge. The brochure for the Boden had described the Romance Package, which included a two-night stay, Champagne, carriage ride, dinner for two overlooking the ocean sunset, and a beautifully appointed room. They had phoned reservations to be sure everything they wanted would be available.

When they first saw the room that they had been assigned, the bottle of Champagne, two fluted glasses and a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers adorned the coffee table. Mrs. Wade wandered over to the bathroom to see what it was like. As she returned to the main room, she told the bellman who was delivering the luggage that the bathtub wasn’t fit for two. He looked somewhat puzzled and then replied that it did appear to be a single-person tub, but that it did have Jacuzzi fittings. Mrs. Wade asked the bellman if there were any rooms with tubs fit for two in the lodge. He didn’t think so, but they could go check.

Mary was hoping that the executive suite would so impress the Wades that they would accept its single-size tub and decide that tub for two was an unnecessary amenity. They consented to let her escort them to the suite. As the manager on duty (MOD) watched them ascend the staircase, he commented to no one in particular that they would be back. He decided to anticipate the next step in hopes of satisfying the Wades even if they chose to move to another hotel in the area. He knew that Mrs. Wade was counting on the tub. He picked up the phone book to find the number for two of the upscale, yet small resorts in the area. The second one had just what he was looking for. A nice suite with an ocean view and a large Jacuzzi tub that could fit up to five people comfortably. He also checked on availability in the main dining room to be sure that the Wades would have a table with a view. He knew that they had reserved seating at the Boden for 7:30 p.m. He made the reservation at the new location for this same time.

Mary and the Wades arrived back at the front desk and Mary asked the MOD if she should refund the Wades’ deposit. Of course, they had made the decision to leave and so it was up to the resort to decide whether or not to give the deposit back. Mrs. Wade insisted that she had been led by the reservations agent to expect a Jacuzzi tub for two and that she never would have made the reservation if she had known it would be different.

In addition, Mrs. Wade had expected a more quaint style of lodge. This was just another typical hotel. And it wasn’t anywhere near downtown, as she had expected.

The MOD told Mary that the Boden would be happy to return the deposit and that they were very sorry that the Wades had felt misled by reservations. The MOD went on to tell the Wades that he had phoned another resort in the area that they might really like and that a nice suite with a large Jacuzzi tub and an ocean view had been served in their name. In addition, the new resort was located closer to town, was smaller in size than the Boden Oceanside Resort and Lodge, and the very elegant main dining room had a table reserved in their name for 7 p.m.

The Wades left feeling satisfied and yet a little disappointed. The MOD commented to Mary that they may even have seemed a little embarrassed because they said that they might return on another occasion. They just really wanted that tub for two.


1. What were the main expectations for Mr. and Mrs. Wade?

2. When and how were these expectations formed?

3. If you were the MOD, would you have gone to all that trouble to help the Wades?

4. Was Mary right in trying to find the Wades a substitute room in the resort?

5. Should the MOD have refunded the deposit in this case?

Each question is worth 5 points. Please share why you answered questions 3, 4 and 5 yes or no.

Spelling and grammar will also be graded.

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