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    August 2008
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Fake Smiles in Waikiki

Rob Tucker, President of FoPF posted the following on PUNAWEB:

I had to go to Honolulu yesterday on business and spent the night and came back this afternoon. I wouldn’t normally mention such a trip except for this:

Everywhere I went and everyone I dealt with from hotel staff to ABC store to Design Center to airport was super nice and making an extra effort to make me feel appreciated. I noticed. Sales staff would toss in something extra to take home for the kids for free. Stuff like that. Or a nice smile with eye contact and some conversation.

So instead of being dejected about the state of the economy and tourism slacking off and people in traffic- as an apparent tourist I felt great. If this holds true people will return again and again. All that aloha is what Hawaii is really about.

This is my response to the question:

I have to ask… do you not feel the Aloha here in Puna?

It sounds from your post that you are surprised to see this?

I lived in Honolulu for the last 10 years, and I’ve heard those same people in the tourist industries bitching about the tourists when they aren’t working.

Getting paid to smile is different then real aloha.[:D]

People at ABC stores actually have “Fake” Customers that come in and see if they are greeted with a friendly smile…. if that fake customer reports back to management a bad experience…. then that employee is put on a “warning.”

I bet this holds true at many places that cater to tourists.

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