Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Special Treatment

“Our general manager’s husband has an eye problem. Could you see him this morning?”

“I could.”

“She’s wondering how much you’d charge?”

“There will be no charge.”

The concierge sounded delighted. I was also pleased. She worked at a large West Hollywood hotel that doesn’t call often. The list of doctors at the concierge desk contains several names, but mine is not at the top. Given a list, most people call the first name first.

I don’t charge hotel staff, but caring for them delivers priceless public relations. A lower level employee will certainly talk about the experience. This is important because, even at hotels that call regularly, many employees don't know that I exist, and guests who ask for help usually ask only once.

Hotel managers, of course, have the power to make important decisions.

I’ve never been asked to see a general manager’s spouse, but it seemed wise to give him special treatment. He was staying in the penthouse. The eye problem presented no difficulty; I informed him that no treatment was necessary and symptoms should vanish once he began wearing goggles when riding his motorcycle.

On my way out, the general manager expressed gratitude. I nodded modestly and kept my hopes to myself.

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