Monday, August 01, 2005

The People Business

I went to my cousin's wedding yesterday at the Wyndham Condado Plaza. The wedding was simple and elegant. The food was delicious! The accomodations were acceptable, the service was average, except for one employee who I found delightful.

Her last name is Quintana, she has been working at the hotel since she was 17 years old. She is currently in her 60's. She was assigned to the Powder Room, making sure there were enough clean towels to dry one's hands, that the basket carrying mouthwash,emergency sewing kits, hand cream and matches was always full of supplies, and to lend a helping hand to any ladies who might be a bit tipsy.

Throughout the evening I found myself going to the Ladies Room just so I could talk a bit with Quintana, listen to some of her anecdotes and life stories. Observe her interact with her charges, like a mother hen with her chicks. Give out advice along with the bath towels, and keep everything on the up and up.

To some Quintana is just an employee, the hired help, someone assigned to that position so she could get a paycheck at the end of the week.

From where I was standing she was so much more. Caretaker, lending hand, a friend and confidant to some, a ray of sunshine for others. There was a degree of comfort in her presence. She is the kind of person I describe as a Human Band Aid (need I say more?).

Before I left I asked Quintana if she had ever aspired to be in management.

The answer was a simple No!

She's in the people business. Service is her specialty.

Two quotes come to mind when I think about last evening:

- It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success. (George Washington Carver)

- Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. (Leonardo Davinci)



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