Let me take this opportunity to apologize for being “missing in action” on our blog for such a long time. An unexpected personal matter kept me away for many months, but I’m now good to go! In the past I liked to think that our blog was educational, fun and somewhat humorous. That will continue to be my goal going forward. The question and challenge always is to find a topic that will fit into all those categories. Ready or not, here goes.
Let’s talk about hospitality. While that may sound kind of dry, I think it is worth mentioning as I learned a lot about care giving over the last year. And isn’t that what hospitality really is – care giving to a point of making you feel special when you feel like one of many? I went into a restaurant the other day and while I frequent this establishment, you can bet it made me feel special when they called me by name. Without asking, they brought me a glass of iced tea and then asked me how I was doing that day. So, my reward, in addition to having a good meal, was receiving a very personal touch. Can it get much better?
Another example falls on the opposite side of the hospitality barometer. While attending a concert recently at a historic theater, I didn’t find it hospitable for the staff to decide to sell alcohol. It wasn’t an issue of selling it, it was the matter of beer bottles being thrown down which proceeded to roll along the slanted concrete floors and hit the back of my feet. At one time I had six beer bottles stacked up in a row behind my heels! So in thinking that beer sales were a good idea, the theater failed to be hospitable to those enduring the ever moving “rolling pins.” Hospitality isn’t always thought of from all angles, but it should be. We need to ask ourselves, who are our audiences because often times we have more than one.
Festival going is one of my favorite things to do. That is until my husband and I attended a regional event based on things done the old fashioned way that excelled in only one way – not being hospitable! The parking was poorly planned and we heard several handicapped people being told that there was no special parking set aside for them and they would just have to walk over rough terrain for a far piece or leave. Can you believe it? Suggesting someone who had probably gone out of their way to attend should leave? I couldn’t. How many of those people won’t be returning next year?
It’s nice sometimes to get away for an overnight. If you stay in a hotel, there is no supper to cook, no dishes to wash, no clothes to launder and so on. A recent overnight at a limited service hotel made an impression on me that will be forever in my mind. When I arrived my suitcase was wet – the result of it sitting on the tarmac at the airport in a pouring down rainstorm. In casual conversation with the front desk associate, in my exasperation I mentioned how my day had been going so far. After getting into my room, a knock at the door revealed the hotel’s general manager who proceeded to ask me if he could take my suitcase and have all the clothes inside dry cleaned! What? Was he kidding? No, he wasn’t and that’s what happened. Within two hours I had all of my clothes back in ready-to-wear shape. Not only did it salvage what could have been a very wrinkled stay, but guess what hotel I tell all my family and friends about? Right!
So, what’s the point? There is good and bad hospitality. This isn’t a concept that is earth shattering but it is something of which we should be conscious. Seek out those that excel and there’s no doubt that you will be indirectly rewarded for choosing them.