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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Taj GMs Come to the Deccan

At least once a week I meet my friend Anand at the bar at the "five star" Taj Deccan Hotel. Last night we were there with Prasad, another acquaintance. A large group came into the small and usually empty bar. The group was male except for two women. It turned out the men were general managers of different Taj hotels and the younger of the two women, who was very attractive, was a corporate trainer. Apparently they had some seminar happening at the Deccan.

The Filipino duet, Jimbo and Sheila, performed like their jobs were on the line (or maybe they were trying to land a gig at the Taj in Calcutta or some other more exciting location than Hyderabad). The bartender, an assistant manager, and several waiters were a sweating big time serving these 20 guys, and many of the GM's were definitely playing the nizzams and nabobs roles.

A couple observations:

1. Why did these hotel GM's suck up all the service at the Deccan's public bar rather than get a private banquet room? They seemed pretty insensitive to the needs of the hotel guests and other customers. Since they were GM's for this same hotel chain, this kind of surprised me. Anand and Prasad were not surprised. They're used to that sort of behavior from senior Indian managers. It a kind of 'hey, I'm important, and I even want to make sure my customers know it' attitude.

2. My daughter is 18 years old and tends bar at the local volunteer fire company in Pennsylvania. I think she could have handled this crowd with one waiter, tops, and not broken much of a sweat. Prasad and Anand had both spent lots of time in the States and we all agreed the Deccan bar staff wouldn't last an hour at any bar in Daytona during Spring Break.

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