How would you feel if an employee of a venue you were patronizing slandered your name, had you arbitrarily removed from this place of business and was told by a more senior level manager that you could no longer patronize the location even though you did nothing wrong or out of the ordinary? That is exactly what happened to me at the Skyroom Hotel and I want all companies and individuals who use their services to know about it. I wrote the following letter addressed to the owner(s) of the Skyroom Hotel on Tuesday, September 24, 2013; I slightly edited the third paragraph to provide more clarification and insight:
On Friday September 20, 2013 I arrived at the Skyroom Hotel around 9:15pm. I am a promoter and contract through an event planning and hosting agency. Another promoter (Olivia) invited me to sit at her table with my friends. She asked me if I could come downstairs and introduce them (my friends), I assume, so the woman tallying the guest would know that she actually had an additional 5 people who arrived before the function officially started, 10pm to 4am. I asked my friends to come downstairs so they could meet her. They all insisted on staying upstairs, so I went down, “alone,” to meet Olivia. When I got to the lobby one of the bouncers asked me if I had an argument with (someone I would become aware was the floor manager) Carol. I said no, I had no interaction with her whatsoever at that point and was not even aware of who she was. I shrugged it off and proceeded to the lobby area near the main club entrance where the flat screen TV is located.
I met Olivia (around 11:47pm) and confirmed to the woman tracking the guest that I had an additional four friends upstairs. On my way back upstairs, I was asked by the bouncers to stay downstairs because they had to have a situation cleared up regarding a promoter who had a disagreement with Carol; they said I fit the description. Carol came downstairs and said that I was inviting patrons to leave the club and escorting them to another venue. She slandered my name. I tried to explain the situation to her, but she insisted that, “I know what I saw.” There is no one who can corroborate her version of events including her staff, but I can have Olivia and two of my friends confirm mine’s.
Carol not only refused to allow me to go back upstairs, but I was told that I could no longer patronize the venue. Her defamation not only compromised my position with the promotion company I contract with, but she also prevented me from networking with other attendees and building my presence and potential contacts; I usually get 8 to 12 numbers a night through my interactions with other guest. The agency that I represent was hosting at the Skyroom Hotel and I am one of their Event Host/Promoters. How would it be in my interest to divert patrons to another location?
Carol has some type of bias against me for reasons unknown. Her conduct was unacceptable and cannot go without reprimand. I hope that you will address this situation appropriately.
I look forward to finding out how you will ameliorate this situation. I do not think you would tolerate this gross abuse of authority. Nevertheless, if I do not hear back from your company within a reasonable time frame, I am prepared to escalate my complaint to the media and take legal action.
As stated above, this letter was treated with indifference by a higher level manager that I forwarded it to. I addressed the letter to the owner(s) of the venue. I doubt it was brought to their attention. Sign this petition to let the owner(s) of the Skyroom Hotel know that you will not stand for this type of treatment of any individual or company that does business with them, and to have Carol fired.
Food for Thought
I’m sure you’ve heard clichés like do the right thing, always tell the truth, just be yourself, etc…. In reality, these phrases are difficult to live by especially if there is a price to pay for our integrity. I have seen and have been a victim of injustice a number of times in my life. It takes fortitude, courage, selflessness and strength of character to live a life that affects change.
Contrary to popular belief, men like Martin Luther King and Malcom X had very few followers. They were called and viewed as agitators and trouble makers by the majority of the public even among blacks. In spite of this, these men devoted their lives to doing what they believed was in the best interest not just of themselves, but of society. As one of the signer’s of my petition wrote, quoting the late Martin Luther King Jr., “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Should a private organization (in my case the Skyroom Hotel) be allowed to infringe on an individual’s Civil Rights simply because it’s not a public accommodation venue? Martin Luther King is one of my favorite historical figures. He once said that we should, “never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal” and that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”
Unfortunately in this microwave society of ours, the majority of us are satisfied with the status quo. As long as my bills are paid, I have cable TV, my Xbox, etc… life is just fine. Something that has been stirring in my mind is yet another quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Will you make your voice heard? I beseech each and every one of you to read and sign my petition and share it with your friends, https://www.change.org/petitions/the-skyroom-hotel-abuse-of-authority-defamation-of-character-arbitrary-mistreatment. I sincerely thank all of you who have done so already; regards.
A Dialogue About Food For Thought
Note: my interjections are in bold the rest is original correspondence. This is a dialogue between myself and someone who I notified about my petition on Linkedin
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:11 PM
Subject: Food for Thought
Dude, pick your battles. Is this really that serious in the grand scheme of things?
There's another saying, "make more friends than enemies." Granted i don't know the full story but still...is the forum for this? i.e. potential employers / professional colleagues?
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:08 PM
Subject: Food for Thought
Yes, "in the grand scheme of things"; clubs like the Skyroom Hotel and other venues routinely violate promoters and patrons Civil Rights and get away with it because they are private organizations. The forum is perfect, why, because Linkedin could potentially get this information to corporate clients who have relationships with the Skyroom Hotel ultimately costing them money. These types of establishments, generally, will only do the right thing if you force them to. If they start losing money over the negative publicity, they will undoubtedly do what is most appropriate. This will set a precedent for other promoters and shift the landscape as far as how these types of venues deal with their customers and event host who help bolster their parties. Change.org was created to provide an alternative means to ending atrocities, Human Rights violations and other ground breaking results.
Your attitude and comments are a reflection of the naysayers that existed during Malcom's and Martin's life time whether you realize it or not. I have sent my petition to over a thousand people, and many of them share some form of your sentiment and disposition; out of all of these contacts, 20 people have signed my petition of which 5 or 6 are not even in my network. Maybe you can extrapolate some worth from the brief historical information I provided; unfortunately though, more than likely, you won't, but it's possible you might surprise me, https://www.change.org/petitions/the-skyroom-hotel-abuse-of-authority-defamation-of-character-arbitrary-mistreatment. Don't worry; I'm not holding my breath. One of our former mayors (Giuliani) once said that, to the best of my recollection, his father told him, "It's better to be respected then liked." I agree.
- The Skyroom Hotel
Fire Carol, the Skyroom Hotel Floor Manager and those who have colluded with her.
Ruldolph Pongnon started this petition with a single signature, and now has 33 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.