I remember being nine years old; it was Saturday night, and I was sitting in front of the TV. I had just said good-night to Julie, Doc, Isaac, Gopher, and of course Captain Stubing, and I was impatiently waiting for the next show.
Suddenly Tattoo was warning us that “the plane, the plane” was arriving; Mr. Rourke was reminding the greeters, “Smiles, Everyone, smiles”.
The visitors who were arriving didn’t realize the twists and turns their fantasies would take - some dark, some not, but always unexpected. But in the moment, they were thrilled to have finally arrived, and they were in awe of the beauty of their surroundings and the friendliness of their hosts.
I have just experienced something similar. Paul and I flew into NYC and drove to Long Island For the weekend. Let me qualify what I’m about to say: I am from the South. I am used to wide open spaces, lush greenery, genteel people. So I was less than impressed with the scenery and the fact that every square inch of space is jammed with living quarters or businesses.
But the minute we walked into our hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Westbury, my impression changed. (I promise they are not sponsoring this blog or bribing me in any way.) The staff was amazing just checking us in. As we were getting our keys, another family was checking out. The new general manager, April, literally hugged them. The family was beaming from ear to ear.
The hotel itself was super clean, well-appointed, and well-maintained. It looked like it was brand new, but that wasn’t the thing that made it stand out.
The following morning I was in the lobby nursing my 1st cup of coffee when I started to realize something odd was going on. Everyone was so happy, and I’m not talking about just the guests. The employees themselves were smiling and greeting each other across the lobby. They seemed genuinely happy to be at work and to see each other.
The barista in the lobby was asking how each customer was doing and was doling out gentle wisdom with the same care your grandma might. She remembered peoples’ names; she remembered what they liked to drink and the way they took their coffee.
I don’t know what the Marriott is doing at this location, but one thing for sure is that they are doing it right.
It made me wonder what if we all left our problems and bad attitudes at home and arrived at work like we were happy to be there and grateful for the job? What if we treated work like, if not a good thing, then certainly not something to simply be gotten through? What if we did our jobs and took pride in them instead of trying to get by with as little as possible?
I’m thinking of the ripple effect from this one hotel. Every patron leaves for wherever they are headed for the day and spreads the cheer and good vibes that began at the Marriott. Extrapolate that. If we’re not careful, we might not even need that gentle reminder: smiles, Everyone, smiles!