We checked into the Tower Suites of The Palace Hotel, and encountered a desk agent who seemed aloof. She said, “Hello,” not “Welcome to The Palace.” “Checking in?” she inanely asked. “No,” I said, “I’m taking my luggage out for a walk. Of course I’m checking in!” Then told me our room wasn’t ready. I explained to her that this wasn’t the deal, and when the concierge walked over and greeted me by name, welcoming me back again, she suddenly became rather flustered and found the exact suite we had reserved was, indeed, available.
While shopping that afternoon, we had our obligatory New York hot dog from one of the carts lining 50th Street. It was about 35°, and the guy running the cart said, “Hi, folks, how can I help you?” He explained our choices with the dogs—they now have giant, grilled hot dogs at the bargain price of $5 each—put them together, thanked us very politely, and then said, “Who can I help next?”
The woman wasn’t very passionate about admitting guests to a luxury hotel, and the man was quite passionate about selling people hot dogs on a cold corner. This isn’t about training or environment or background. This is about native enthusiasm.
And enthusiasm is something you have or you don’t. It’s the most valuable trait you can hire.
© Alan Weiss 2014