Ioffered to run my parents to the airport. They had an early flight so I decided I would book us all into a hotel the evening before.
Normally, I leave everything to the last minute but, because my parents were involved, I made the booking a month in advance.
My father is old school. He carries cash and would never entertain doing anything over the internet.
When he asked how I had made the booking, I lied, saying I had called the hotel directly. In truth, I booked through a branded website, bagging an awesome wine and dine deal in the process.
We arrived at the hotel on Saturday. After a two-hour drive on a hot day, Master A and I were ready to check in and hit the indoor pool to cool off. However, there was a problem – there was no record of our reservation.
• Also by Working Mum: It's cheaper to pay a fine than take a peak summer holiday
It became apparent we weren’t the only ones out on a limb. There was no room at the inn – or the four-star manor house hotel in this case.
I didn’t need to look at my dad to know what he was thinking.
Master A slumped on a nearby sofa. Although tired, hot and hungry, he didn’t moan or whine, which was in stark contrast to the hotel manager.
Instead of helping to ease the situation, he was rude and couldn’t have been more unhelpful if he tried. Fearful of admitting fault, there was no offer of refreshments, or help to find another hotel.
Some two hours later, we were still at the hotel trying to find alternative accommodation and still no support from the manager.
I don’t work in the customer service industry but faced with a sea of angry faces and weary children, I feel sure I would have handled the situation more effectively, laying on sandwiches and refreshments, calling local hoteliers, releasing high-end suites.
When I finally got through to a pub that had two spare rooms, I cried. Not only through relief but also with pride at how positive my son had stayed.
The hotel manager could learn a lot from him.
Working Mum, wondering how the manager slept that night.