Terri’s post from a few days ago really got me thinking about doing things for others and paying it forward. She mentioned that it’s very rare for people to be thoughtful and nice – especially in a work environment. It’s rare in other places as well – She mentioned her run-in at the grocery store and how critical the customer was with the cashier, when in fact the cashier was being thoughtful and unselfish.
That is why I am blown away by my work environment. I’ve been there for 10 months now and everyday I am amazed at what goes on.
I think I’ve eluded to it before, but my co-workers are a special bunch. Everyone there would bend over backwards for the next guy.
I work at a downtown hotel. We’re pretty large – almost 400 rooms, and quite a few meeting rooms. It’s a beautiful hotel. Very elaborately decorated. And we have VERY high standards. Our main focus is the customer, and therefore it requires a lot of bending over, from every department, to serve a wide variety of people with various expectations.
For the most part, the front desk, where I work, is the grand central. It’s where the guests are greeted and welcomed. It’s the place our guests turn to when they need something. It’s where they go for concierge questions, hotel questions, directions, etc. We constantly have to be smiling, warm, friendly and helpful. I love serving people, so I am happy to be that way, but what’s unusual is we are all that way. (Some may complain in the background, but the smiles and friendliness returns as soon as a guest approaches.)
And it doesn’t stop with the front desk. Our housekeeping team is awesome at bending over backwards for the guests. So is the maintenance team. So is the breakfast and ‘happy hour’ team. So is management. It’s incredible, really.
A typical request may go like this. The phone rings:
Me: Front desk guest services, may I help you?
Guest: Hi. Um…our toilet is stopped up.
Me: Well, I have someone I can send up right now to take care of it for you. Will that be alright?
Guest: Yeah, but please have them hurry. We need to leave soon.
Me: Absolutely. They’ll be right up.
(And I can say that confidently, because I know they will be.)
Me (over the radio): Front desk to Maintenance.
Maint guy #1: Go ahead.
Me: Will you go to room 230. They’re in need of a plunger.
Maint guy #1(almost happily): Copy that.
Maint guy #2: I’m on my way to the second floor. I can take care of it for you.
Maint guy #1: Well thank you kindly.
Maint guy #2: No problem.
I kid you not!!! Those are the kind of conversations we have with each other over the radios. I mean, who else would volunteer to go plunge a toilet. But that’s the kind of people we have there. Our management team has no problem mopping a floor, doing dishes, checking someone in, cleaning rooms…. whatever it takes to make sure the hotel is running smoothly and our guests are taken care of. I literally get goosebumps when I think about it.
It shows in our surveys and trip advisor ratings as well. Our chain has won the JD Power Award 6 years in a row. So not only does our hotel have a lot to live up to, but our entire chain has a lot to live up to. When someone is hired, it’s because they have gone through 3 interviews: The first is with the HR director. The second is with the manager of their department, and then finally they interview with the General Manager of the hotel. All three of the interviewers look for certain characteristics, and if any of them don’t see it or feel that they are a fit, they don’t get hired. In short, our company does not settle for anything. I’m amazed really.
Obviously I am very proud of the place I work. Yes, I do a lot of complaining about it – but mainly it’s because I’m desperate for more hours and more pay. We’re totally living on savings right now while my husband works diligently to get his business off the ground.
It’s that pride that has me driving 50 miles to work, one way.
And it’s what is going to be the topic of our family meeting in the morning. Poor kids don’t know what’s about to hit them…. but I’m going to propose we run our house the same way our hotel is run. Everyone working together to help each other out, and doing it selflessly and happily, just because it’s the right thing to do. I’d like to ban the words: “But I didn’t leave the ketchup out!” and replace them with “Oh… the ketchup was left out. It needs to be put away. I’ll do it!” If this works, maybe they’ll feel the same pride in themselves and their ‘space’ that I feel when I’m at work.
What do you think? Do you think they’ll jump on board with me?
I have my doubts, but I’m goin’ for it anyway. 🙂