I would like to speak to your manager!

Student
June 15, 2023
Student
June 15, 2023

By: Jurriaan Los

They were the first guests we saw all day. The husband looked like he ate breakfast at McDonalds 6 times a week, and the wife was small with blond hair, and huge sunglasses. It was pretty clear, they were Americans. Right before they came in, one of my co-workers, Chris, said to me, “Prepare yourself, here comes a Karen”. Turns out, they were the nicest couple ever. My point is, stereotypes are still very present in todays society. Because of media and TV, we are still a long way from abolishing them. Truth is, that most of us are raised with a lot of stereotypes, and although we know we should not judge, sometimes we can’t help it.

Obviously, you shouldn’t judge someone by their appearance, nationality or culture. Stereotypes can be incredibly harmful to society, a company or a person. However, they can also be very useful. It all depends on what type of stereotype you use. We all know what a stereotype is. A stereotype is an over-generalized, widely accepted opinion, notion, image or idea about a person, place, or thing. There are harmful stereotypes, but also useful stereotypes.

A stereotype is harmful when you base your judgement solely on a persons culture or appearance, and don’t take their individual traits or personality into account. This can be very harmful to a persons confidence, and can for example drastically change their behavior, constantly trying to avoid actions that would confirm the stereotype. It can also change the behavior towards certain individuals by the people in their surroundings, because these people assume something false to be true, without really knowing a person. I know it is obvious, but I am just going to say it again, stay away from these stereotypes!

Don’t live up to your stereotypes. – Sherman Alexie

I also believe however, that some stereotypes can be good, and can even enhance a guests experience. Mind you, to use stereotypes as a positive thing is very difficult, and should in general be avoided. When you do decide to use them, make sure that the stereotype actually implies to the person. The right wording is also very important. If you know that someone from a specific culture has certain expectations of a hotel stay or a conversation, you can adapt your behavior accordingly. It is of course always important to stay polite. If used wrong, you can still really offend someone when using a positive stereotype. A good example of a positive stereotype could be age restrictions. Some 14 year old might be able to pass their drivers test and drive a car efficiently, but in general, its not a good idea.

All in all, I hope you were able to learn something from my blog, and that you were able to form your own opinions about how to avoid or use stereotypes.