Generally speaking, I’m pretty laid-back when it comes to interacting with the hard-working men and women of our service industry. Customer service reps, restaurant servers, repair technicians, whatever…I try not to be the dick so many other people seem to relish in being when it comes to lording over these folks. Most of the time, they’re working their asses off to make my life easier in one fashion or another, and they deserve to be treated with–at the very least–the basic courtesy and civility due any other bipedal humanoid creature wandering this planet. It takes an extraordinary set of circumstances for me to become “that guy,” and even when it’s warranted, more often than not I feel bad for having to take things that far.
On the other hand, whenever someone goes out of their way to do something extra for me? I take great delight in singing their praises to all who will listen. As for those who won’t listen? Well, fuck them; they need some shit like this to brighten their otherwise crummy day, the bitter assbags.
So, here’s the story: Every year, the Mrs. and I try to do an overnight getaway to celebrate our anniversary. This past anniversary, we stayed at a pretty swank hotel here in KC. I booked its most expensive, elegantly appointed suite with all the bells and whistles, and the hotel is short walking distance from the shopping/dining mecca known here as “the Plaza.” We had a great time there, and figured we might repeat it again next year.
Thinking about that this morning, and knowing that our anniversary falls during a pretty busy time around here, I went to the website and checked availability dates, only to see that the weekend of our forthcoming anniversary showed the hotel as booked solid. Wondering (read: “Hoping”) if the website and the reservation system might not be in synch, I called the hotel directly. After the obligatory chit-chat about why we would be staying at the hotel (which ends up being very important), the reservations rep tells me that, yep, the hotel’s booked up thanks to a wedding party group reservation. Lamenting that sad fact but knowing it’s not the rep’s fault, I suggest the following Saturday, as we’d decided that the hotel was enticing enough that waiting an extra week would be worth it. Once again, I’m told the hotel’s booked up for that weekend.
Now, it gets good.
Without any prompting on my part, the reservation rep asks if I’ll hold for a few minutes while she “sees what she can do.” I’m listening to the hold music and slurping on my Monster Energy Drink for a couple of minutes, and then she comes back on to tell me that BAM! Not only can I get a room on the night I originally wanted (which in 2013 actually is our anniversary), but I also can have that aforementioned expensive, elegantly appointed suite, and I get it at a rate cheaper than what I paid last time. She had spoken with the hotel concierge or manager or whomever, explained our situation, and (hopefully) that I’d been cool about the entire sequence of events and that we had a genuine desire to stay there and nowhere else on the night in question. Apparently, that was enough to leapfrog us past whatever other party had requested but not actually confirmed/reserved with payment however many rooms for their group.
My response: “TAKE MY MONEY. I WILL BOOK THAT ROOM RIGHT NOW.” I mean after all that extra effort on the rep’s part, how do you say anything else?
So, while I’m sure somebody somewhere is going to be irked that their kinda sorta but not really reservation is being dorked with, I’m smiling at my good fortune. The rep could’ve just as easily told me to call back after a certain period to see if the wedding party released their hold on the rooms, or whatever, or recommended me to a partner hotel, but instead she did whatever magic she did to help me out. That’s the sort of above-and-beyond action that nets you a Customer for Life.
(EDIT: The establishment in question is The Raphael, a truly beautiful hotel here in Kansas City. The hotel and its staff are first-rate, all around. Not only will we make a habit of staying there for “special occasions” and whatnot, I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a night away from it all. If you can afford it, splurge for their Presidential Suite.)
Next up: Dinner reservations at one of those high-falutin’ Plaza restaurants, but the WardMojo is flowing at full strength, now, so I expect to encounter no difficulties….