How Do I Say Thank You?
I know in the past that I have complained about bad customer service. I try to also rave about good customer service. This post is not just a rave about great customer service, it's about kindness and caring. And I'm also looking to anyone who is reading this for a suggestion as to how I can truly thank this person. (Is cold hard cash too cold?)
Once or twice a year my little family heads to Skytop. Since I have food allergies, I rely on the restaurant staff to take care of me. In my many years I've been going for the most part, they've done a bang up job. There have been two instances where I've had a problem. The second and most problematic time, I was able to have a serious conversation with the resort's manager and since then things have gone very well. This is not just because the resort takes food allergies seriously, but because there are certain employees who really understand the severity of food allergies. They have not only kept me safe, but have become friends that I rely on.
There is one person in particular who has been an incredible help to me, Zoe. She worked in the dining room (I'm afraid I don't know what her exact title was) and what she decided to do was remarkable. She took a menu, wrote down what I was allergic to and spoke with a chef. She highlighted the items that I could have and wrote notes if there had to be a substitution. Then, the day that I arrived, she sat down with me prior to dinner and went over everything with me. I had plenty of options to choose from and it made me feel very comfortable. (Although I ALWAYS point out to the wait staff that caution needs to be taken as I have food allergies.) She worked long shifts and she was often there for breakfast AND dinner to oversee every detail. Truly Zoe did something that very few people have been able to do, make me comfortable and relaxed while I am dining out.
There was just one problem that I discovered over the summer. Zoe had been promoted. Instead of working in the dining room she now oversees the coffee shop (on the main floor of the lodge) AND the market (on the lower level) which serves light food, but is mostly known for its ice cream sundaes and milkshakes. Am I happy for her? You bet! She is a tireless worker and is so incredibly organized, how could they not promote her? (I hope it came with some good monetary benefits as well.) But it left her out of the dining room. And while my dining experience this summer was good (I have no complaints), she has spoiled me with her attention to detail and focus.
When I saw her over the summer (I had to seek her out; she is a friend), I told her how much I missed her in the dining room. Again, while all was good, she just gave that extra attention to detail and I think she was a little disappointed that the person I was now dealing with did not review the menu with me beforehand.
When I made a reservation for a late autumn vacation, I texted her that the family was coming back. Jokingly I told her to "whip" the new guy into shape. She didn't do that. Instead she took matters into her own hands, even though it is no longer her job. She made note of what I could eat and what I like for breakfast and put together a daily "breakfast menu" for me. She planned everything out. The she reviewed the dinner menu, sent me a copy of what I could eat and gave a copy to the dining room staff so that everyone working in the dining room AND the kitchen would be aware.
This isn't just going above and beyond, this is...well I don't know what you would call it? Uber compassion? Ultra Care? Super Duper service?
I cannot thank Zoe enough for all that she has done and continues to do. I would like to do something for her, but I have no idea what. This woman works long, hard hours at a resort and I don't know enough about her "real" life to come up with something that would be appropriate. So if there is anyone out there in the service industry who would like to give me guidance, I'd appreciate it.
For now, all I can do is sing Zoe's praises and follow her example in my everyday life. To listen and care; because that's what is important. No matter who, no matter where, listen and care. It makes a difference.