Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweet Deal

I was glad that reservations at the Four Seasons had been made weeks in advance when we received notice that overflow conference attendees would have to find accommodations at nearby hotels.  After cramming in three appointments before leaving Houston at 2:00 on Tuesday, I'd just driven three hours while juggling work related challenges via cell phone. When I arrived to claim my hotel reservation, I had just over an hour to resolve one more work related issue before engaging with the attendees at our event.  All of my carefully orchestrated logistics had worked so far. I was glad to have arrived with ample time to spare and I expected to have a room waiting for me.

The vibrant crowd at the bar was the first indication that all those making reservations had actually arrived.  I congratulated the gracious young woman assisting me on the hotel's stellar occupancy.  When I asked when most guests had arrived she responded, "Sunday".  Because the hotel was fully booked, it took longer than usual to locate a vacant room.  Though the hotel clerk was trying not to reveal concern, I knew something was amiss, but exhibited no angst or frustration.

I patiently waited and when she announced that she was putting me in a room with a lake view, I enthusiastically responded, "That will be lovely."  A few more moments of computer key strokes followed before she broke the delightful news that she was putting me in an executive suite.  I quickly told her how grateful I was for the upgraded accommodation.  She came out from behind the registration desk to present my key, apologize for the wait and provide a brief logistical orientation. 

I suspect that this composed, considerate hotel associate had been dealing with frustrated, demanding guests all day.  When she had the opportunity to reward a guest who pleasantly engaged and patiently waited, she did.  I've already shared the story of her exceptional customer service with a few others.  She brightened my day and reinforced my belief that when we treat others as we believe they want to be treated, the giver and receiver are often rewarded in unexpected ways.

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