Flexibility

Along with a cabin deposit check received in yesterday’smail, there was a note thanking us for “being so flexible.” I don’t often receive notes like this because I learned a long time ago that in running a small business, it rarely pays to be flexible.

As parents it’s our nature to be flexible. Raising kids is always a crapshoot and we often don’t know what’s going to hit us on a daily basis. Some rules, of course, will not be broken under this roof; however, sometimes we need to stretch the rules. For example, if one kid has a huge amount of homework and there's really no extra time to do the dishes, someone else can step in and take the chore.

The same holds true for running a Mom and Pop operation. Dealing with people who have varying degrees of expectations and experience with planning family vacations, I never truly know what to expect each time the phone rings. In seventeen years of operation, I have a pretty good guess. But one thing I’ve learned for certain is, if you stray from your policies, it’ll bite you in the ass.

We usually give guests the option of using a credit card to confirm their reservations, or a week’s time to get a check to us. If the check is mailed immediately from any state in the Union, we should receive it in a week. Sometimes, however, checks don’t get written or sent for a few days, and we all understand how paperwork can either build up or slip through the cracks of one’s desk.  If more than a week goes by and I fail to notice, that may seem flexible to some, but what actually results is a stray from the policy and potential consequences. A reservation not confirmed in the book can lead to a double booking.

This happened today for the FIRST time. And it was because of checks either not being sent or being delayed. It was my fault, but I have to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Looks like we’ll have to forgo the option of allowing deposits by check. If you make a reservation over the phone, we will require a credit card deposit to hold and confirm the reservation. This is how the big hotels do it and it’s gonna have to be the case now for Mom and Pop. Because our kids are pulling us in all directions and the calendar on the wall is stuffed with their activities, Mom can’t keep the resort calendar in her head anymore.

I always knew the day would come when I’d lose a bit of my flexibility. Better go stretch.

 

 

 

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