May 1 Proofs Note from the Editor

By Kevin Henry
Editor, Proofs

It's 12:45 a.m. in Juneau, Alaska, and I'm not happy.

After settling in at 10:30 p.m. and expecting to hibernate the rest of the evening like one of the bears in the woods not far from my hotel door, I've been awakened by my upstairs neighbors. They're yelling. They're swearing. I can hear every word through the thin layer separating my ceiling and their floor. I'm guessing they've had one too many Alaskan Ambers because their yelling and swearing has now turned into accusations and fighting. I've laid in bed for about 20 minutes listening to them, but when one threatens to pull out a gun, I decided I've had enough. The last souvenir I want to bring back from my trip to Alaska is a bullet wound. I get up, pack my bags, and head to the front desk, ready to check out and find a hotel where I can finally get some sleep.

When I get to the front desk, I'm greeted by a college-age kid (I can say kid since he's half my age, right?) whose look on his face immediately asks, "Why do you have your bags with you?" When I explain the situation, he looks around and says, "OK, I'm a little scared." This is very reassuring to me. When I ask him if he thinks he should call the police, he tells me that isn't what's scaring him.

"I'll kick those people out after you leave," he tells me. "I'm worried about having to refund your money because my manager is going to kill me."

Ultimately, he comes up with a plan and even gives me a script if the manager calls me to ask why the two-night stay was refunded. He's gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me out, and I truly appreciate it. I'm tired, but I'm certainly not as cranky as I was when I first showed up at the front desk.

The front desk worker has no problem refunding my money and doing the right thing, but he's having problems figuring out how he'll explain it in the morning when his boss shows up. Still, he did the right thing and devised a plan to help the customer. It's a good lesson in customer service and reminded me once again that we're all in the business of pleasing the consumer, even if it's not the easiest or most comfortable situation.

This week, keep doing the right things for your customers. Take it from this bleary-eyed Okie ... doing the right thing makes a big difference.

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