Hotel employees take the brunt of recent protests
Hotel employees take the brunt of recent protests
19 JANUARY 2018 8:12 AM

Recent protests against the hotelier-in-chief have targeted his hotels, which should serve as a warning to any hotelier who might ever consider a run for office.

There comes a time in many people’s lives that they consider going into public office.

Some start locally, running for city council or the school board before working their way up. Others jump in at the state level. There are those who think the national level is the right place to dip their toe in the water. Regardless of whatever ring into which they throw their hat, it’s usually an eye-opening experience.

Oftentimes business owners step into the fray, tired of this tax or that regulation or thinking the government should be run more like a business. Whatever the reason, it’s a step from the private sector into the public sector, and that can cause some headaches, for themselves as well as those working for them.

Hoteliers, especially if you’re an executive whose names could associate with your company, should think twice, or even three times, before jumping into the political arena. I’m not saying don’t do it, I just urge you to think out all of the possible consequences.

Say whatever you’d like about President Donald Trump. You might love him, hate him or be anywhere else on that spectrum. That’s fine, but you at least have to admit he’s definitely one of this country’s most divisive leaders, and he’s done a really good job upsetting people—intentionally or by accident.

I bring him up because, as I’m sure you all know, Trump is part of the hotel industry. His name appears on a number of properties, many of which have been in the news lately for a number of reasons. While his name appears out front, there are lots of people inside those Trump hotels working hard to earn a living, serving guests, cooking food and cleaning rooms.

Not one of those people deserves to have the word “shithole” associated with them in any way.

But it is, and that’s a shame. I’m not mad at the person who, in protest of the president, projected that word on the face of the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. The same goes for all those people who went online and left terrible reviews of the property using the same terminology. A large number of people are mad at the president, and they likely feel their voices aren’t being heard by the administration, so they’re turning to his business.

But the problem is, his business isn’t just him. It’s all the people who work there, day after day, just trying to earn a paycheck. They know that going into work means facing some kind of indignity because the public is angry at something the president has done or said. After almost a year of his presidency, I’m sure it’s become demoralizing for some. A demoralized workforce can potentially lead to poorer guest service and higher turnover.

So again, if you are thinking of stepping into politics, go ahead, but make sure you think about more than yourself, your family and your friends (which is more than enough people to consider as it is). Think of your employees who would be associated with your name and your company. I doubt few of you could manage to create this type of reaction from the public should you enter office, but the odds are you would say or do something that would upset somebody enough to make your business the target of their protest. You might be divested from it, but the employees won’t be.

What are your thoughts? How do you think employees at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., are feeling? Let me know by leaving a comment below or reaching out to and @HNN_Bryan.

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