Inside Out

I’m in a surgical suite this morning for my routine, five-year colonoscopy. HIPAA rules are paramount in these places: patient privacy at all costs. Yet, you can clearly hear the conversation with the receptionist and each patient checking in, and you can watch people in the prep room and hear the conversations between them and the nurses. This is Rhode Island. There’s at most three degrees of separation in the entire stat! I was hoping to meet one of our …


Quality Service

We had a pipe burst in our rental home (fortunately, new tenants not due until December) and the plumbers, restoration people, and insurance company all responded within 45 minutes—on a Saturday. Cleanup and restoration began immediately and the adjustor made an appointment on Monday. THAT’s service. How’s your responsiveness?


Why Problems Are Really Opportunities

The Nikko Hotel in San Francisco, where I’m facilitating some workshops, does not, for some strange reason, provide the Wall Street Journal. I mentioned to the meetings manager how odd that is, and she responded by stopping on her way in to work to purchase one for me each morning. That’s how you turn a problem into an opportunity. I anticipate she’ll be managing  one of their hotels in the near future.


The Funnies in Real Time

I don’t know the source of this, someone sent it to me this morning:   ANOTHER CHAPTER OF “THEY WALK AND REPRODUCE!!Actual call center conversations!   (Maybe they really are?)Customer:     ‘I’ve been calling 700-1000<tel:700-1000> for two days and can’t get through;                       can you help?’Operator:      ‘Where did you get that number, sir?’Customer:     ‘It’s on the door of your business.’Operator:      ‘Sir, those are the hours that we …


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 …