Years ago, I was a bellman at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. It was one of several hotel jobs that I was fortunate to have during my career. I loved being a bellman.
I was one of the first people to give a warm welcome when guests arrived, and I was one of the last to offer a fond farewell when they left. Most of my time was spent in the hotel’s porte-cochere, which is the covered entrance where vehicles pass through when dropping guests off or picking them up.
Just like your face, the porte-cochere is the face of the property. It must be kept clean and presentable at all times, because it is the first impression.
One night, around 9:45PM, a large delivery truck drove up to the porte-cochere and stopped. The driver was playing really loud music and then he left the truck (with the music on) to go into the lobby. The truck was so large that it blocked most of the porte-cochere.
My bellstaff colleagues and I didn’t see a big issue with the truck being there…after all, it was ONLY a truck, and it was ONLY going to be there for a little while, right? Right?!
That “little while” turned into 15 minutes…of a large delivery truck…in front of our luxury hotel…playing loud music.
Around that time, the hotel’s general manager came and saw the scene:
- Large truck – CHECK
- Loud music – CHECK
- Blocking the porte-cochere – CHECK
- Hotel bellstaff looking indifferent (including me) – CHECK
He was livid! Not necessarily because of the truck, but because we (the bellstaff) felt like nothing was wrong. He looked at us in a deeply disappointed manner and said, “This is NOT who we are.”
That’s all he needed to say for the message to sink in. More than anything else, our job description was the same as the mission statement, and that was to provide a “warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience.” The loud truck that was parked in the face of our hotel was not warm, relaxed or refined.
The lesson I took from that episode was to always know who I am and what I stand for.
By default, certain things should bother you because they don’t align with who you are. There are certain places you shouldn’t go to and certain people you shouldn’t be with because they don’t align with who you are.
Your internal compass should act as a filter that keeps you honest to who you claim to be and who you aspire to become. As a child, your parent or guardian may have been that filter for you, but now you have to be the one to protect your integrity.
NEVER allow anyone, anything or anyplace move you away from what you stand for. That is your blessed place. Protect it. Appreciate it. Grow it.
Only then, will you be in a position to consistently affirm the blessed nature of anyone else.