I didn’t recognize the number on caller ID, and when I heard “This is Adele from L’Hermitage” I nearly dropped the phone in my excitement.
L’Hermitage never calls. I serve many luxury hotels (the Langham in Pasadena is the most luxurious of all), but the celebrity Beverly-Hills-area establishments (Bel Air, Four Seasons, Beverly Hills Hotel, W, Beverly Wilshire….) as well as L’Hermitage pay me no mind. I don’t market myself, and plenty of doctors are eager to serve them.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is a borderline exception. I’ve been its doctor four times since the 1980s, making about 150 visits. Each period lasted a few years before a more entrepreneurial physician snatched it away. It’s been ten years since the last call, but I remain hopeful.
The L’Hermitage guest needed to speak a doctor, Adele informed me. Was I available? I was.
“I need help,” said the guest.
I listened, and my heart sank as I realized that L’Hermitage had not seen the light.
You can guess what had happened. His request rejected by L’Hermitage’s regular doctor, the guest was demanding that the staff find someone else.
Recovering from my dashed hopes, I explained that I could not accommodate him. Going beyond the call of duty, I discussed his options, emphasizing that harassing the staff would not solve the problem. This was stretching a point because there are always a few doctors who would not resist.