When you work in hospitality, you get a lot of “good” guest stories. You know, like the guest who is determined to order a “Bacon Cheese Burger, without the bacon and cheese” *rings up hamburger* “NO I ORDERED A BACON CHEESE BURGER NO BACON OR CHEESE”. The person who demands something special for a birthday or anniversary. And the requests for rooms that don’t match the reservation they booked (i.e. requesting better views or different bedding than they booked. OF COURSE you are always welcome to request these things… but the “good” stories come from the people who weren’t expecting to get a no from these requests.) And when you work in guest facing positions, it is so very easy to focus on those negative stories–they’re our party trick, and have a lot of popularity online. Hey, I have read many a “entitled customer” listicle. But this year, 2020, I challenged myself to write 1 good guest experience for every shift I work this year.
The first step in making this a reality was deciding where I was going to keep these stories. I thought about repurposing the bullet journal I attempted last year (RIP). I considered an electronic version: word document, calendar app, and notes app. I was looking for a devotional planner, one that maybe would combine my day to day with a goal of mine (growing spiritually). But I accidentally ordered a planner that was in the amazon cart and it ended up being absolutely perfect for this challenge. This planner was in my cart for being aesthetically pleasing… how millennial of me. Honestly this planner would not have been my first choice, I was not really sure about it when it came in–but it is PERFECT for this goal. There’s a month over view page for each month, which is where I actually write anything I need to do (mostly my work schedule so that I can correspond to my good guest of the day and make sure I am writing one each day.) But then the weekly sections have large index card size blurbs that are just completely blank. There’s no fun facts, no weird margins, and there are consistent sizes for each day. This planner is a bit plain for my usual tastes, I’ve been a pretty consistent Lilly Pulitzer Planner user. With pretty designs on each month and tons of stickers I really was not sure about this planner… But I am so glad I accidentally bought it haha.
My long winded story about my planner over… I have 2 weeks full of great stories now and I have noticed a big change in my mood about work. I really cannot recommend this enough to people working in the hospitality industry! So many of our guests are absolute angels and so many great conversations are had. We forget the magical moments we make because we are “just doing our job”. It is way too easy to let that one mean person ruin your day, and I am done letting them do it. I want to take time to remember: the excitement of the family who had pure joy at not knowing someone was sending them some treats and the little girl dancing around with the balloon that has her favorite character on it.
Some days have been easier than others to find my highlighted guest, and others there may be too many to choose from. But I would challenge you to remember 1. When you are speaking with a GREAT guest, make a note of it and put it in your pocket. When you speak with a frustrated one, turn on the charm and see if you can turn it into the story you write down. Sometimes I think guests think we want them to be miserable… and sometimes they tell us our suspicions are true. But **spoiler alert** no Cast Member (or person in hospitality) every wants you to have a terrible day. We want it to be magical, and we want to remember the magic we made.