The slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.
Booking.com and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ad
I’ve never established a Hall of Fame here, but if I did, this letter would go into it:
After watching your ad several times I am moved to do something I’ve never done before- write a company to complain of the image they are portraying of my profession. As a 15 year veteran teacher, I can assure you that my stress does NOT come from the students in my classroom. My stress comes from endless meetings forcing me to enact tactics that do not help my students learn and achieve; my stress comes from not getting a cost of living raise in 10 years; my stress comes from national figures who know nothing of public education working to destabilize our system in favor of private, religious, and for-profit charter schools that are free to discriminate against differently-abled children with no penalties.
If you want to show a teacher needing a vacation, how about showing one burnt out on caring too much? Giving of her own time and money to her kids while an uncaring administration makes ridiculous demands on her? That would be relatable and not turn off the 3.1 million public school teachers in the US.
That letter is from Alana Milich, God bless her.
Because, yes, it’s absolutely hilarious how this teacher is apparently incapable of doing her job is not very interested in trying, because children are awful wild malevolent creatures and teachers would certainly be doing anything else if they possibly could.
“There’s nothing more important to me than my vacation”??!! Really? I’m pretty sure that teachers have a long list of things that are far more important to them than their vacation. “Now I can start relaxing before the vacation begins.” Sure– that’s what teachers want to do. Anything except our jobs.
Do not tell me that it’s “just a joke” and I shouldn’t take it so seriously. Passive-aggressive attacks masquerading as humor are never funny. “Hey, honey– move your fat ass! Oh, don’t give me that look– I’m just kidding.” Hi-larious.
I’m not sure what makes this okay. If this were a bored, incompetent, slack-eyed housewife dreaming of getting away from her kids, or a husband dreaming of getting away from the wife he hates, or a doctor standing over an open patient on the table while the doctor absently severs organs and dreams of getting away from stupid sick people or a minister who can’t stand his congregation or a national elected politician who can’t stand his job and dreams of going golfing every weekend– well, you get the idea. I know as Americans we get yuks out of people who hate their jobs or their lives or the people around them, but damn– do we really need one more suggestion that teachers really just suck? And if someone were telling you that’s how they see your children, would that be okay with you?
Booking.com sent Milich (and apparently a few other complainants) a tepidly generic response:
Thanks for your feedback.
We’ll be sure to pass it on to those relevant. At Booking.com we value all professions, including teachers, and this ad was only intended as a light-hearted bit of fun. We are passionate about connecting our customers with great stays, empowering them to experience the world in the easiest, most seamless ways possible, which this advert aimed to convey.
Those relevant what, exactly? “Light-hearted” doesn’t really fit, I’m afraid, unless you’re the kind of person who considers Ann Coulter books a wacky romp. “We were just teasing” is, unfortunately, a whole long distance away from “We are sorry. We respect teachers and should not have treated them so insultingly.”
If you’d like to add to the chorus of unamused audience members, here are some places to try.
Booking.com has a Facebook page. Their twitter handle is @booking.com. You may also be interested to know that they are part of the Priceline group, along with Kayak, Agoda, and Open Table. And while none of the categories is exactly “Complain about our insulting advert,” you can find many customer service contact options here— why not use, well, many?
Join the many folks already complaining. While this is certainly not on the order of, say, threats to gut public education and destroy the teaching profession, these folks deserve to be part of a flap– maybe even a kerfuffle. It would be nice if advert-makers would think two seconds before they used shots at teachers for cheap punchlines. Do better, booking.com.