The Scoop: A Professional Experience

“Professionalism is a frame of mind, not a paycheck.” – Cecil Castle

This morning as we sat down to eat breakfast in an Indianapolis hotel, it was evident that an incident had occurred. There was some sort of chaos to the room, and little pockets of conversation going on with all the tables.

The short version of his facts are that a plate and/or buffet tray fell in the vicinity of a gentleman and his young son because it was not properly positioned or secured. Apparently, some “hot” water landed on the man’s hand, which may or may not have burnt his hand. The man felt the need to complain to management, and even came back to take a photo of the incident scene. I overhead a man who stated he saw the entire thing from his nearby table.

His version of the facts were that the young son could not reach the serving spoon in the tray, yet he tried anyway because he wanted to. So essentially, he pulled it all down onto or near him.

I have been in rooms or restaurants before where things have happened. It is all that anyone (including the servers) want to discuss. I would imagine that discussing the hot topic is the natural thing to do.

The woman in charge of the breakfast staff this morning was different though. She would have none of it. She refused to allow this incident to cause a scene and take away from the others enjoying a nice morning breakfast. The best part of it all was that she did not even need to relay this message to her staff. They already knew. They were interacting with their tables (including ours) to talk about their stays and connect in a very personal ways with each one of them. They did not need to be prompted or managed.

It was evident that they had been trained well, listened better, and executed flawlessly. The outcome was that of a breakfast, which could have been riddled with distractions and disruptions (like when the man told the manager that coincidentally in his job he specialized in incidents just like this where his company came in and made these situations correct), that became one the best and most pleasant eating experiences we have had in a long time. So much so that I felt the need to individually speak to the manager about how well I felt she handled her staff and how well her staff performed.

Many negative experiences will make someone not want to go back to a place, but taking a negative experience and turning it into an overwhelmingly positive one will have me choosing a Hilton hotel more often. It was clear that this woman was committed to making everyone’s dining experience the best it could be, and that commitment rubbed off on her staff in their performance as well.

We have a chance to exhibit this same level of professionalism every day we go to work. It is more than collecting a paycheck. It is delivering an experience for those we interact with that is enjoyable and memorable.

The choice is ours. Think about how the experience you would want to receive and deliver that same level of service and professionalism in your work.

Bring your best today!

Love, Noah


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