I’ve recently had a months-long saga with my bedsheets. 

Well, not exactly the bedsheets. The woman who was supposed to clean the bedsheets, to be more precise. 

She had taken the linens offsite to wash them, but then never returned them. I needed to do some inventory, and asked her to bring them back. She said “of course, no problem, I’ll bring them by this afternoon”…over a dozen times!

It wasn’t that she had outright stolen them. She acknowledged that I needed them back, and even promised to return them many times over.

She just never actually returned them. 

What started as a simple need to do inventory turned into an increasingly frustrating battle, which eventually ended in me firing the cleaner and writing off the missing linens as a loss. 

I was thinking about this story as I was writing last week’s article, When Guests Give You Grace.  What was it about this situation that made me so upset, when my guest had been perfectly willing to give up her own paid-for room for a man she’d never met? Was I really that much more terrible of a person than she was?

The short answer is no.

There was 1 key difference between those two stories: communication.

With my guest, I had communicated what was going on with her throughout the entire process. She knew of the issues as they came up, and thus was mentally prepared to be flexible as needed. My cleaner not only didn’t inform me when her plans were changing, but she actively told me untruths over and over again. 

This was the source of my true frustration; not the loss of a few cheap sets of bedsheets. 

The moral of the story? People will put up with an awful lot from you, as long as you’re communicating with them about what’s going on. 

I know I harp on the importance of communication a lot. But that’s because it really is that important! You don’t need the fancy locks, upscale furnishings or amazing amenities. The only thing you truly need to be a good host is effective communication skills. Communication will cover a multitude of mistakes!