While reading B3, several times I found myself circling the word “empowerment,” drawing an arrow to the margin, and writing “no, it's not!” Having worked as a community organizer, empowerment denotes a very specific meaning: individuals garner skills and a level of confidence that allow them to act in the best interest of themselves and their communities in order to achieve goals which they have set. It does not mean, as the hotel management contends, that you are empowered to achieve someone's goals set for you, for example to “empower yourself to satisfy your guest” (p. 112).
In addition to the program being a flop practically (Hunter observes only one instance of 'empowerment'), it fails rhetorically. No matter what the management wants to call it, the staff can see through the co-opted terminology and read that “empowerment” is not about their well-being; it's about company profits. Furthermore, ameliorating a situation involves an implication that you or another staff member messed up and cost the hotel money, and with a guest dissatisfaction scale that terminates at “suicide,” is there much of a semantic leap to guess how a serious guest complaint will impact your job (or lack of one)?