A Dirty Room Destroyed my Trust

This week I ventured back out to re-experience air travel and hotel stays after my long hiatus, compliments of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m vigilant about handwashing and other precautions. Other than mask wearing and tripling my hand sanitizing and surface wipe-downs, I felt ready to ease back into a little business travel. 

So many businesses are going above and beyond to communicate about all the precautions they are taking to ensure customer safety. Prior to my travel, I received emails from the airline, hotel and car rental telling me I could feel confident in their cleaning measures. 

Sunflower Seed Hulls?!

That’s why I was shocked, no, horrified when I opened my hotel room door to find the carpet littered with sunflower seed hulls (yes the ones people spit out), dried up flower petals, and a pair of dirty socks. Surfaces were dusty and cabinets and drawers were ajar.  

Needless to say, I got a new room, but my trust had been broken. Always the coach, consultant and mystery shopper, I spoke with the manager. I asked him to please relay this message to the housekeepers. COVID is a frightening thing that we cannot see. What we can see, are the visible signs that a room has not been vacuumed, dusted, and put in order. When ignored, these things mean I cannot trust the “deep cleaning”. My trust broke and I’m suspicious of everything being dirty.

This was a hotel experience but it was a great reminder of the importance of the need for attention to details when it comes to cleaning and other precautions in healthcare. Patients and family members must see evidence that every step istaken to protect them. Show them and tell them that their safety is your number one concern. Let them know what precautions you have taken. 

As we carefully move into our new normal, we must build a new level of trust. Once it’s gone, it’s hard to get back.

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