The Actual Friendly Skies

We’re flying from Marrakesh to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to connect to Tenerife. The flight is two hours on a prop (ATR72) with about 50 passengers and two flight attendants. They serve non-alcoholic drinks, a sandwich, cookies, mints, and two services of hand cleaners. On the 20-minute flight to Tenerife, the airline serves water, cookies, and a mint, along with the hand cleaners. I’ve been on some one-hour US flights in first class where you’re lucky if you …


The Best of Alan

From my ad lib collection: Irate woman arguing with me over a book that hadn’t yet arrived: “You know, you remind me of my ex-husband.” Me: “Why am I not surprised you have an ex-husband?”   Man introduced to me by someone mentioning all of the books I’ve written: “I never heard of any of your books.” Me: “Does that say more about me or about you?”   Man who wrote me that he found seven typos in one of …


Fog

This is our first morning in Nantucket this year that isn’t bathed in sunshine. There’s substantial fog, here on the beach, which I think is caused by cooler air being swept in over warmer water. It has its own allure. I can see the Atlantic about 30 yards away, but not the horizon. However, out on the lawn it’s business as usual. The robins are patrolling and a couple of rabbits are munching, A seagull is drinking some fresh water …



Why Service Matters

On the way to church Saturday at 4:30, I realized I had forgotten to make dinner reservations. I called Siena, one of our favorites, from the car and the hostess said they couldn’t accommodate us at 6, which I had suspected, but then she said, “Hold on,” and came back on the line to confirm the reservation. When we arrived, I expected to be seated in Siberia, but we had our usual preferred table in the wine room. The manager, …


Higher Tech, Higher Touch

I purchased the iPhone X because I enjoy having the latest Apple phone and I bought Apple originally at $17, the best investment in my history. So, I’m kind of loyal. The phone came with a minute set of suggestions for use, and an online tutorial. However, it also comes with an offer of a free, personal, interactive session with an expert. I made my reservation (I had dozens of times to choose from on various dates), clicked on the …


Go Pats

I’m heading for the Patriot Game in Foxboro today, taking a train out of Providence to beat the parking-lot traffic which develops before and after the game. They don’t allow drop-offs, so I can’t take a limo. (The limos have to go into the $120 limo lot. This is how Bob Kraft just bought two new 767s for the team.) It’s sort of like skiing, by the time you get to the top of the hill with all the equipment …


Shut the Door!

I once worked for a brilliant but erratic genius named Ben Tregoe, who founded the consulting firm I was employed by in Princeton. I eventually rose to one of the highest positions in the place, and reported to him. One day he called me and asked me to come down to his office.This was never necessarily good, and I was wondering what was going on. I arrived and he asked me to sit down and then said, “Watch this!” He …


Pleased to Meet You

The guys who set up the continental breakfast for my meetings at the Times Square W Hotel these last two days introduced themselves to me and shook my hand. They were Claudio and Cyrus. They’d ask if everything was okay and were immediately responsive if I asked for anything at all. That is a trait more valuable than a frequent guest program, or a room amenity, and is a sign of good management hiring good people. That’s why I keep …


Drugs

Over 100,000 people are employed by the pharma industry alone in Puerto Rico. What do you want to bet they will restore power and manufacture greatly needed pharmaceuticals much faster than the government gets anything going? They are currently providing more generators, securing fuel for the generators, and providing transportation for workers who are isolated and unable to overcome roadblocks and damage.