I walk into the hotel, wheeling my luggage and briefcase behind me. I am taken aback by the spacious and open modern lobby. I approach the front desk, and Carlos greets me with a smile. We have a friendly exchange - how are you doing, did you have a good flight, how do you like our city - that kind of thing.
The dinner meeting is off to a good start. You reserved the executive meeting room in your restaurant on your properdark wood-grained conference table, plush high-back chairs, and sleek, modern art adorn the walls.
You've heard it all before. You've also said it to clients and customers:"I'm booked that day." "We don't have any availability." "We're full that week." In each of these cases, and many like them, your words set the tone for what's about to follow.
What do you do when Larry Csonka, two-time Super Bowl champion and MVP asks you to pack his favorite lunch for an afternoon of fishing at your all-inclusive island resort? Or when Steven Tyler, lead singer for Aerosmith, strolls into your off-the-beaten-path Hawaiian bar and asks for a private, out-of-the-way corner for him and his guests? You say, "It would be my pleasure.
Do you remember your first job? My first real job was in the restaurant business. It was the summer of 1981 when I started as a dishwasher/busboy at a Bonanza Steakhouse chain in Marietta, Georgia. That was my introduction to the world of service.