You know what it’s like. You go into a shop, eat in a restaurant, take your car to the garage only to realise that you have been ripped off. A horrible feeling sits uncomfortably at the pit of your stomach that leaves you facing what to do? Should you be active and confront or be passive and say nothing? That will depend on many factors but whatever you decide, you will certainly not want to go back.

Recently, a colleague and myself stayed at a hotel in Fleet. The service was shocking and they charged exorbitant prices. To add insult to injury, I was told that I couldn’t eat the meal at the bar. “No, you’ll have to eat in your room” they informed me, giving the impression I was unworthy enough to grace their posh surroundings. On top of that, the seeming uncaring staff didn’t even offer to take it to my room! I also ordered a bottle of water so when the food was finally delivered half an hour later MINUS the water, you can imagine my disbelief. Then I discovered the chips were cold. After one phone call and fifteen minutes later, my water and another portion of chips arrived (being charged £40 for the privilege). By this time I had eaten the fish and the salad.

Now, I’m not that posh about carrying food to my room it’s just that I wanted my water and food at the same time. A small thing to ask for, I’m sure you’ll agree. I am wise enough, though, to realise that in the big picture of life, this is an extremely trivial event. I’m also understanding enough to realise that everything is relevant. So, in this case, the lackadaisical attitude of the staff made the whole experience so much worse than it could have been. My view therefore, falls against their favour because I’ll never go back again nor will I be recommending the hotel to anyone.

Meanwhile, in Ipswich, our AV man Simon found a delightful pub (with the help of his good pub guide) that sold about twenty real ales. We found it refreshing to find the pub owners were so enthusiastic about their beer! When we asked for a sample of an ale they happily gave a quarter of a pint to make sure we got a proper taste. In loads of other pubs I’ve asked for the same only for the disgruntled bar staff ask his supervisor who then had to ask the manger if my request was allowed. How ridiculous is that?

Our hosts not only had their own food menu they also had a take-away menu for customers to pick up their meals from the pub with plates and cutlery provided. So not only was this pub providing an excellent beer service, they were also making sure all their customers other needs were being taken care of.

This pub was heaving on World Cup night, everybody had a great time and the atmosphere was electric! Interestingly enough, as we left the pub and started heading back to the hotel, we noticed that the rest of the pubs in the area were empty. Not much of an atmosphere in those places.

This is because our landlords had created so much more value than they’d asked for in return. Such small acts of caring on the humanistic level make big impressions. If you were to create more value than you ask for in your relationships; with your family; at work; among your colleagues and among your friends, would you experience a greater quality of life? Undoubtedly the answer is yes.