• This past weekend my family and I weathered the crazy heat in Palm Springs (122 degrees) to attend the National and Inter-National gymnastics tournament for my ten year-old daughter. I’m not a big fan of these very competitive events, and the cost and heat were daunting, but because my daughter is totally self motivated and always puts in one hundred percent I felt it was well worth the effort.

    He continued to argue with me repeating the same statement over and over again…

    As we were leaving the hotel at the end of our weekend there was an extra-long wait at the parking exit. Not because of the amount of cars – we were only the second car in line – but because the attendant at the gate seemed to be arguing with the driver of the car in front of me. After about five minutes, I saw the driver hand over some money and then exit past the lift gate. It was my turn and I swiped my room card key in the card reader. It was not working properly and the attendant motioned me to pull forward and said he could help me. “That’ll be ten bucks,” he said. “For what?” I asked. “It’s a ten dollar flat fee for everyone,” he added. So I showed him my room receipt indicating that the parking was included in my hotel stay. He continued to argue with me repeating the same statement over and over again like a broken record, “it’s a ten dollar flat rate for everyone!”

    My blood was boiling – over 110 degrees with a window open and five minutes arguing with the attendant. I told him that I wanted to speak to his supervisor. He dialed his phone and repeated the exact same phrase to whomever he was speaking with, “Right, it’s a flat fee of ten dollars for everyone, right?” Then he hung up the phone, never allowing me to speak to a supervisor. The line behind me started getting longer and frustrated people were honking and yelling out of their windows. A part of me just wanted to pay the ten dollars for efficiency sake but my principals got the best of me. I could tell the attendant was trying to pressure me into paying him as he stuck to his guns. So, I put my car in park and told him that I wanted to speak to the front desk supervisor.

    My four kids were sitting in the car quietly, listening to the confrontation as my husband sat there shaking his head

    My four kids were sitting in the car quietly, listening to the confrontation as my husband sat there shaking his head. “Just give him the money,” he said while handing me a ten dollar bill. “No way, it’s not about the money at this point,” I responded emphatically. The attendant then returned to me and said, “We’re a separate company that’s not associated with the hotel.” This just put me over the edge as he obviously wasn’t going to allow me to speak to any supervisor, so I called the hotel front desk myself. They confirmed that my parking was paid, and that nothing was owed, so I held the phone out to the attendant and asked if he wanted to speak with them. He declined saying, “They always give me mixed messages,” of course externalizing the blame as he opened the lift gate and allowed me to exit. I was still upset as we left so I called the hotel again to let them know about their hostile parking attendant bullying and cheating patrons at the parking exit, emphasizing what a bad name their hotel was going to quickly get.

    I wish that I could say that this was the first time people tried to take advantage in life but unfortunately it happens quite often. Why people try to cheat others escapes me. What I do know is that I always try to stick to my principals- for myself as well as for my children – to let them know not to let anyone bully them and that bullying is never OK. Besides modeling the appropriate ways to deal with it, I make sure to follow up with a supervisor or other authority to prevent others from being bullied as well. So, though these scenarios are a bummer, it makes me feel better if I treat them as the learning and teaching opportunities they can be!