All’s Well That Ends Well

A few weeks ago my husband and I went on an eight day vacation to celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary and his 50th birthday. I made all the reservations at an awesome resort in Hautulco, Mexico five months prior to our trip. I reserved the best room; with a king sized bed, a private swim out pool, and a membership to the Preferred Club…where you get extra special perks.

Upon arrival and check in we were told that the hotel overbooked and that our reserved room would not be available until the following day. In turn, we would have to sleep in a less appealing room with two double beds, in a less desirable location, with no private swim out pool. The bed and room situation was bad in and of itself, but the notion of unpacking and repacking and moving rooms was such a hassle and such an inconvenience…one we were not looking forward to. We wanted to unpack, settle in, and get our vacation started!

When I first heard the news, I felt disappointed. I then became really mad, as the head concierge, Luis, was not making me feel like we would be rightfully compensated. I explained that I made my reservations five months ago, and that they should “bump” someone who didn’t have the foresight and proactive planning skills that I had illustrated.

Internally I was rightfully fuming. I felt that this was an injustice to my practical planning. Have you ever felt like this? You’ve taken all the right steps to insure that everything runs smoothly, and then your efforts are thwarted by someone else’s lack. It is so very frustrating. I felt ripped off and jilted. I kept thinking about the other people who inadvertently shoved us to the side and were not affected by the hotel’s overbooking.

I really try to practice what I preach. Like I always say, “I am not responsible for how other people act, but I am responsible for my actions and reactions!” also, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!” So…since I was rightfully mad, I could have thrown a fit and yelled and made a spectacle of myself. I could have made a scene and scarred my name. I could have stormed out of the resort and ruined our vacation. I could have done a lot of unattractive and nonproductive things.

But, I had to ask myself: Were all those reactions in line with my character? Would I be proud of my words and actions if I had spouted off? Absolutely not! When we find ourselves in a not-so-comfortable situation such as this, we need to take a step back and evaluate the situation. This is not always an easy thing to do, especially when you are in the heat of emotional turmoil. I find there is always a lesson to be learned or taught…and there is always something to be gained if handled correctly, and always something to be lost if not.

It just so happens that I was very calm and mature and matter-of-fact with Luis. It served me well, as it always does when I handle things with composure and tact. For our inconvenience, Luis gave us a private candle-lit five course dinner on the beach, which was a $250 compensation. He also gave us the lower room rate for all seven nights, which saved us a tremendous amount of money! Was it the ideal situation? No. Is this how we wanted our vacation to start? No. Did we make lemonade out of lemons? Yes. And because of that, it ended well.

The best part of this ordeal is the fact that whenever we saw Luis after that first encounter, we were able to smile and talk with him, and feel proud of the way we handled the situation. If we had acted inappropriately, there would have been some embarrassment and guilt following us around. Have you ever acted foolishly and later felt the embarrassment of your words and/or actions? I have definitely been on that end before, and it doesn’t feel good at all!

My Mom is the “Queen of cliches”, and growing up she always taught us lessons using these funny, but highly insightful sayings. The one that stood out during this situation was, “If you plant sour grapes, you’ll get sour grapes. If you plant happiness, you’ll get happiness.” We chose to plant happiness, and we did indeed get happiness in return!

Take Action: This week and moving forward lets evaluate these uncomfortable situations when they hit us instead of just reacting with negative emotions. Lets take a deep breath and try to find the lesson to be learned and/or taught. Lets take the high road and set an example to everyone involvedyou just never know who you may be influencing!

Because Together is Better,


  1. Don’t let her kid you folks! I had to practically pull her off of poor Luis!!! That guy was scared sheet-less (as they say down in Me-he-co). Holy smokes, I have never seen my little sweet D so irate and I pity the next hotel that screws up our reservations!
    J/K of course ;~)

  2. Gina Manzeck says:

    Great story D~ How true it is… in fact I can’t think of many or any situations where everything goes absolutely PERFECTLY like we want it to. At the end of the day it’s all about our perception and how to react to them.:)

  3. Gigi Peterson says:

    wow! That is the ultimate “GET ME THE MANAGER NOW!!!!” situation. And I have definitely been guilty of handling these situations with probably less grace than I should have had. In the end, even though I have gotten the situation resolved, there is that “yuck” that lingers from how I handled myself. Much better to take a deep breath and have patience and kindness even though you think you are “deserving”. I have found from working in the guest services industry for years, that when the customer is nice to you even when they have been wronged, their kindness goes so much further than those who are nasty. Great lesson D!!!

  4. Christopher Hopkins says:

    What a wonderful story. I am so glad that you and G had a great time!! When you put positive things out into the Universe, you receive even more powerful things!!

  5. What I love about what you wrote is it really teaches us that the little glitches that happen in life can actually end up more benefitial in the long run if you can get past our original expectations. It happens all the time to me and my family for example when we go out to dinner. You plan to order and get your food in a timely manner with exactly what you asked for, but what seems to happen is the food takes longer then it should to be served and then when it comes out it is not what you asked for. Although an inconvenience because you are hungry it ends up turning into free or discounted food! A negative turns into a positive! Can’t beat that.

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