AIBU or were they in the wrong?(14 Posts)
I'm staying at a well known hotel chain in the UK with work, and have for the past three nights.
Today, I've had a great day at work and came back to the hotel to go and get dinner and watch the football like I always do whilst eating dinner. So I go into the restaurant and was given a table by a server. A woman came up to me and said that she'd already given this table number, so I said okay and moved to the next one up.
I put my headphones in and watched the football until I finished dinner. Followed this couple from the table towards the hotel itself and each time the husband opened the door I smiled as I still had headphones in. Their voices were getting louder and louder so I took off my headphones as I thought they were asking me something.
Instead I was met with a torrent of abuse about how rude I was, that 'I need to go back to college to learn some manners' and that 'thats the one who at the table was miserable when I told her to move', and the best one 'I'm a terrible excuse for a human being and a typical awful Northerner'. All because I smiled and didn't say thank you when holding the door open, and I've no idea what she wanted me to say when switching table other than okay. Maybe she wanted a gushing apology!
So a young guy had witnessed the whole thing checking into the hotel. And bless him, he waited for me and checked I was okay, asked if I wanted to go for a drink to calm down. To be honest I went to my room and cried as I've never known what it's like to be made to feel so so small, I didn't have a clue that it was so important to say thank you and definitely not smile.
Was I being unreasonable in any of this at all? I feel like there's something wrong with me and that I'm just a terrible person right now. I probably should've said thank you but I had my headphones in and I thought a smile was fine. Also, I've got a branded polo shirt on from work and I'm so scared they're going to complain to my employers too.
DP said to go and speak to reception and lodge a complaint against the couple but I don't think they could do anything? I'd love them to be thrown out for the way they've made me feel but doubt that'll be happening! Definitely avoiding breakfast tomorrow.
Don't you dare avoid breakfast, they sound awful. I would go and explain to reception what happened and how intimidating they were in case they contact your work.
they were been obnoxious but i hate it when i hold a door open for someone and they dont have the manners to say two words thank you dosent take long to say and shows you have manners, the other day i held a door open for someone they just walked through without a thank you so i shamed them by saying loudly "your welcome"
I think you could have said thank you, but they were incredibly rude and passive aggressive. I wonder if they’d have been the same if you were a 6ft burly man? 🤔
I'd always say thanks to someone for holding a door, but probably the only time I wouldn't would be if I were wearing headphones! I'd be worried I'd shout, or overcompensate and whisper. I think a friendly smile and nod is fine. They held the door, not like they paid for your dinner!
Rest assured that even if you were inadvertantly rude, they were far worse!
It’s easy to say short phrases when wearing headphones. I’ve spent a long time learning to talk and, apart from the odd occasion when I’m overexcited, I manage to get approximately the same - and appropriate - volume when I open my mouth to speak.
So, OP, I really think you could have managed thank you. In your shoes, if I really didn’t trust my speaking voice to come out the way it has done for years, I’d have removed the headphones and engaged politely.
However, there response was appalling and disproportionate. They are ‘more wrong’ than you.
And I suppose one could ask ‘how did they know you could speak?’
I always have my headphones on when walking to work, but still manage to say "hello" or "good morning" when meeting somebody coming the other way (there seem to be lots of friendly early morning dog walkers on my route).
If I pop into a shop to pick up a paper on the way I just take out one earbud, because I might say more than just 2 words and don't want to shout.
It's really not tricky to speak to people when you are having headphones on.
Having said that, you weren't deliberately rude. By giving a friendly smile you were acknowledging that the husband was holding the door for you.
Their reaction was incredibly over the top, rude and aggressive - otherwise the friendly man checking in wouldn't have checked that you were ok.
Don't worry about them complaining to your employer - I doubt very much that they would. In the unlikely event that they did then all you have to do is explain the situation as you did in your OP.
I wouldn't bother saying anything to the hotel management unless anything else happens. The other guests were rude, but it's not really anything to justify throwing them out.
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to respond.
I had those over ear headphones on, which is why I smiled rather than removing them as I was carrying my laptop in one hand also laptop bag in the other, in fact I was greatful to them for opening the doors as I'd have had to put something down otherwise.
Going back over it in a more calm manner, I do think from the fact I overheard them in the restaurant complaining about the size of their portion of chips (it was so loud I heard it with headphones in), that they're the type of people who complain for complainings sake. And I doubt they'd have done it if one of them was there. I've called my manager and she was more concerned as to if I'm okay as she said I sounded quite shook up! I wish I could find that guy, all I know is a general description and he was on the floor above me to say thank you, he was completely lovely to stay and check I was okay.
They were looking for a reason to kick off. As a lone woman, you were an easy target.
They were probably annoyed you didn't make a fuss about the table so couldn't shout at you then.
No one is owed a thank you. Of course politeness is great but they were rude so don't deserve a thank you and definitely no apology.
I would practice what you want to say and tell them tomorrow morning. Something like 'Do not ever talk to me like that again. If you ever try to intimidate me again, I will call the police.'
They were probably annoyed you didn't make a fuss about the table so couldn't shout at you then
I think Minerva has hit the nail on the head.
Their reaction is disproportionate to you not saying thank you. A bit of an eye roll maybe but certainly not verbal abuse. That's horrible and I'm not surprised you are upset by it. They are the ones with the problem, not you. Good idea to see if you could join the friendly man for company at breakfast as that would make it less intimidating.
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