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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sticking With the Errant Doctor

A guest had a flight in a few hours, explained the front desk manager of the Marina Marriott. His wife was ill and needed a doctor’s note to reschedule. How fast could I get there?

“Very fast,” I said. It was Saturday evening, and I was at the computer.

The Marriott had called regularly throughout the 1980s and 1990s before falling silent. Hotels occasionally do that, and this call gave me hope.

My competitors enjoy an active social life. It was the weekend, and hotels often turn to me when the regular doctor is hard to reach.

After caring for the guest, I returned to the lobby where the manager shook my hand.

“Thank you so much for coming,” he said. “We have your card, and we’ll be calling in the future.”

I drove off in a happy mood. These urgent requests arrive several times a year, and my prompt response has won me new clients.

But not often. Few hotels give a high priority to providing medical services. Ninety percent of the time the staff continues to call the errant doctor.

Still, I have fond memories. Twenty years ago, Loews phoned when its regular doctor hadn’t appeared after several hours. I hurried, but when I knocked on the guest’s door, it was the regular doctor who answered. The embarassed manager promised to make it up to me, and he kept his word.

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