Beautiful day in Edinburgh, Scotland. You have no idea just how HUGE that castle is until you see it live, looming over the city. Fantastic!

It was a big night on the boat. Formal night. I bought a new beaded girl purse. Mark wore his tux and we even had a formal portrait taken. It was lobster night in all the restaurants. Before going to dinner we had to have our pre-funk cocktail with Sid and Mel our two favorite bartenders. Chatted up Paul Burton, the signer/piano player that I think Simon Cowell would even like (one of his favorite slams to a contestant is that they sound a lot like a cruise ship performer). A perfect night, so far.
We went to dinner kind of late. 9:30 pm. All the restaurants close at 10:00 (with the exception of the buffet which is open a staggering 24/7 because some people have to eat – and eat – and eat).

We were seated in the DaVinci Dining Room at table number 157B. The waiter hates his job. Or maybe he was just having a bad day. Either way, it was sad. Every employee I’ve encountered on this ship has been exceptional. Even the gal tidying up the restroom (or toilet as they call it in the British Isles) greeted me. You can’t walk down the hall without being acknowledged by the Cabin Stewards who are constantly creating wow experiences in your room. (shout out to Oliver our Cabin Steward who also bothered to learn our names and greeted me as Miss Denise – I love that).

Today’s lesson from the Love Boat. When you give exceptional service, your members’ expectations will rise. And when one employee throws the pen and receipt down on the table with total indifference after you’ve ordered a $74.00 bottle of wine, you notice. I like to consider myself a good customer. I think it is, after all, a relationship you are trying to build. And as with any relationship, it takes two people. I was so startled by his actions I felt somewhat responsible. Had I said or done something to piss him off? (Catholic Guilt). So I made sure to look him in the eye and thank him when he poured my wine. Nothing. We ordered. Appetizer, soup course, salad and then the lobster. We got in and out of there in less than an hour. He was waiting for us to put our salad forks down and BAM next course. I get it. He wanted his night to end.

It reminded me of being a teller. I know that feeling you get on a Friday night – 3 minutes till closing, you’ve already begun to balance your drawer and that one last member comes in. Dang! But you gotta suck it up. They are the reason for your job.

I know that the Princess line really prides themselves on providing exceptional service. Sid and Mel and Oliver are delivering it flawlessly. But table 157B threatens to undo all of their hard work with his surly attitude. Brand is your reputation, not your logo.

Corporations don’t have values, people do. And so your corporation becomes the accumulation of all employee’s values. I’m sure that the culture at Princess will spit out this negative waiter. He clearly does not share the values.

In the meantime Chicky-Peas “I’m back on dry land once again….” (name that tune). And as the British so eloquently put it – “Here’s wishing you a safe journey onward.”

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