Too much of a bad thing, something poisonous for example, is bad. However, too much of a good thing, like sugar for example, can be equally as bad. All in all an excess of anything can end up spoiling it. In the case of over-pampering this is especially true. Pampering can be defined as being afforded every bit of comfort, attention, and care one needs. This steps into the realm of over-pampering when people begin paying too MUCH attention, leaving you things you do not need or doing things you do not want because it is what they believe to be a universally “kind” thing to do. David Foster Wallace captures the essence of this dilemma in Shipping Out when one of the porters offers to take his luggage to his room for him, which was a polite thing to do but not what Wallace wanted.
I am putting this guy, who barely speaks English, in a terrible kind of sedulous service double bind, a paradox of pampering: The Passenger’s Always Right versus Never Let a Passenger Carry His Own Bag
This situation, and the mess that follows, perfectly sums up how over-pampering is a lose-lose situation for both the pamperer and the pamperee. The pamperer is liable to get yelled at by his superiors for not following the proper extent of care (too much care) but he is also not supposed to go against the pamperee’s wishes for that too would be unacceptable. The pamperee also loses since they are held up from their original task to argue with the pamperer that they are overstepping their bounds. Wallace also later has to hear from a Greek member of the crew how the porter was chewed out, guilting him when it wasn’t even his fault. In the end, I believe that at resorts and cruiselines instilling the expectation that you need to overpamper your guests puts unnecessary stress and pressure on everyone involved. All this causes is a unbearable sense of despair where things are taken out of your control.