In the service industry you are constantly exposed to complaints and as we all know people like to rant. After many years of experience I can tell you that at least 80% of complaints have nothing to do with what the guests complain about; it has much more to do with their own lives, pressures and challenges. They key is to know which is which. Sure there are valid complaints; “the room is not properly cleaned”, “the bed is too soft”, “the fish is over- or undercooked”, or “too salty”, “a staff member has given poor service” etc. However, most of the time the complaints are much more general or just silly and then you know. We once had a single male guests for whom nothing was good enough. We tried everything we could and after a few days and constant complaints I suggested to the guest that he was free to leave. The guest was shocked that I was essentially throwing him out and started shouting that he would not pay. “That’s the whole point” I said, “I do not want your money I just want you to leave, but you have to leave within the hour”. The guest was quickly gone. A few years’ later I had a wedding guest arrive ahead of his niece’s wedding and after having done the check in the client came down and complained about the noise in his room. I went upstairs to find that there was no real noise, maybe a slight hum from a far away boiler. We visited several other rooms and in each one the guest heard a noise. In the end I had to say that I thought the noise came from within the client’s head. The guest left and only later was I told that he was suffering from severe depression with suicidal tendencies. My most recent experience with a complainer was only a few days’ ago. An older couple arrived to stay for a few days. It quickly became apparent that it was a new couple and my feeling was that the man wanted to impress the lady. Despite that I had explained that due to COVID there was no restaurant and limited staff, the guest insisted on his “Apero” in the room, with “salted biscuits please”. When the pizza they had ordered arrived he decided his table was not large enough for the pizza and it was cold and had to be reheated. The following day they were “out of small spoons” in their room. On their last day I explained that I would be picking up my son from school around 7pm and would therefore be gone for about half an hour. My phone rang at 7pm and the guest ordered his drink to his room. When I said I was outside my son’s school “oh really?!” was his response and I told him that I would bring his drink as soon as I came back. Upon check out the guest sat down in front of me evidently ready to give me his list of as he called it “constructive advice”. I smiled behind my mask and said “Dear Sir, you have yet to give me one positive comment and thus I can tell you that I will not really be listening to your “constructive advice” as I would be surprised if you want to come back”. The guest was very surprised and it seemed he was even a bit ashamed. “Did I not tell you that you have good taste?”, he said. “No” I said. “Did I not tell you that the gardens are beautiful?”. “No” I said. In the end I could hardly get rid of the client. He insisted on being given my direct contact details and he assured me that we would be recommending Le Manoir to his friends and colleagues. So in the end were his complaints deep founded ? Not really, he just had to feel important.