Archive for 2011

Be Gracious

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I spent most of last week in Manhattan on a business trip.  As Manhattan is a long drive from my base office, I spent the week at a DoubleTree Hotel.  What amazes me about every stay I’ve had at this hotel chain is the unbelievably kind customer service they provide.  Having stayed at boutique hotels with room rates double (or more) than the rate here, none of them come close to the gracious manner with which they run the hotel.

As an example, I started my days in Manhattan in my typical fashion, with a workout.  One morning, as I was waiting for the elevator, an employee came to wait for the elevator also.  Wearing hotel attire but no name tag, he appeared to be at the end of his shift.  Regardless, he greeted me warmly and asked about my stay.  As we talked, I learned that not only was he going home after working overnight, but he also was fighting off a cold.  He could have stood silently or given a nod, and I would have thought he was polite.  However, all staff members at these hotels make it a point to greet hotel guests and engage in small conversations.  While it may be a small gesture, it makes one feel less like a guest and more like a part of the family.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, all of the hotel staff has made me, and my family, feel welcomed.  When I say all staff, I truly mean all.  In all of my stays, I have never once met an employee at this hotel chain that wasn’t friendly and welcoming.  It speaks well for their brand and encourages me to return.

Reflecting on the gracious nature of the DoubleTree led me to thinking about how nice it is to treat others and be treated in such a way.  All too often we see people who don’t behave with such civility.  In last weekend’s sporting events, we did see this behavior, both in Derek Jeter’s humble acknowledgement of his achievement and the generous return of the ball hit.  Unfortunately, in the winners and losers of politics, there wasn’t quite as much graciousness, but we can hope.

Maybe the spirit of the DoubleTree staff will encourage their guests to follow suit.  I know it inspired me.

 

Hiking Tips 10

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Before your hike, it is best to increase your walking/running and general physical activity before undertaking a hike to insure that your body is ready for the physical demand.

Hiking Tips 9

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Whenever possible, hike with a partner.

Hiking Tips 8

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

If you plan on taking a longer hike, you should invest in a good pair of hiking boots, as sneakers don’t provide enough stability.

Hiking Tips 7

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Learn what the hazards are for the area you will hike.  Every location has unique challenges for which you need to prepare.

Hiking Tips 6

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Bring an extra day’s worth of food.  Non-perishable items, such as jerky or trail mix are great options.

Inspire. Inform. Engage.