Friday, December 26, 2014

Of Course... it is NO PROBLEM

The Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs is beautiful.  It is warm and traditional while being modern and efficient.  It is also among the friendliest hotels I have ever been too, Five star service with a friendly smile. The term "family" is used a lot, not just because that's the way they make you feel, but because so many employees have been there long enough to be considered family.  One generally gets the feeling that every member of the Broadmoor family is glad you are their guest.  There was, however, one thing that was  completely missing during my stay.
I have issues with the term "No Problem" used by service providers.  You ask a waitress if you can order a cup of coffee and a bagel, she says "No Problem".  You ask if you could get just a little cream, "No Problem."  Excuse me but could I get the check? "NO PROBLEM". It becomes a meaningless sound that no one listens to. Mostly it sends the wrong message to a person who is at that moment your client.  
Doing our job should never be just no problem. We should be glad someone is paying us to do it.  If it is a problem, find something else to do that is not a pain in the ass and do that.  The client is giving us money for our service. Why do we respond by saying that it is "no Problem".  Are we saying it's no problem for me to take money from you?  If the phrase has become meaningless that is all the more reason to stop using it.  I actually paid a restaurant bill in cash once.  The waiter said, "Do you need some change?"  I said, "No the rest is for you."  His response?  "NO PROBLEM".  
That was what was missing at the Broadmoor... "No Problem" I did not hear it even once.  When you asked for something the response was, "Of Course" or "absolutely".
"Could I order a cup of coffee and a bagel?"  the response was, "OF COURSE". Of course I can, that is what they serve and it is why the waiter is there.  It was charming and more linguistically correct. It just made me feel like family.
The Broadmoor is also a very dog friendly hotel.  I was occasionally shocked to see an owner and their dog walking the halls or through the gorgeous lobby. I got used to it quickly and engaged dog owners in conversation about my dog Boo.  Most of the dog owners were under the impression that they owned the greatest dog in the world; it was my job to correct them with the fact that the distinction goes to my dog Boo.  
On the last day of our trip all the friendliness became a habit with me as well.  I was coming out of the coffee shop, with a cup of coffee, "Of Course."  Just outside the shop in the lobby was a large black standard poodle sitting next to a window display of fine jewelery.   It was a beautiful dog extremely well groomed but not cut in that fruity poodle way that is so clownish.  I looked down at the dog and said, "You are absolutely gorgeous."  The owner of the dog saw me looking and nodded a "thank you".  
I looked up just in time to make eye contact with a very pretty young lady who turned on her heels from looking in the jewelry store window. She assumed for a moment I was referring to her.  She was trying to process the idea of some "older" gentlemen coming on to her in the lobby of a grand hotel.   I was completely speechless but shot a glance to the dog and shrugged.  She sorted out what had happened and her face lit up with a smile as she played along and said, "Why Thank you."  
It was pleasant enough until a 6 foot 2 guy just within ear shot of this exchange turns on his heels.  He is the young lady's husband or boyfriend or maybe even body guard.  He did not see the dog that started the whole thing,  he simple saw the two of us smiling and exchanging a moment.  He frowned at me with a look that said, "Do I kill you now or wait till we are outside."  Like in so many other moments of stress, my mouth takes over with a babbling cadence.  It went something like, "Ha, Ha, I was talking to the dog... not your wife. Ha Ha" By this moment the dog and the owner were no where to be seen.  "Oh, not that I don't think your wife is also attractive. You see.... but  I would never...." babble babble ending with, "Well, I guess I have to take this coffee to my wife, she is right over there.. Merry Christmas." 
As I walked away I was hoping I would hear the sound of laughter.  I didn't care if they were laughing at me or with me.  But there was only silence, of course.  That is one time when the phrase "no problem" would be appropriate and welcomed.
Have a Happy Last Week of December.  May 2015 be more than you could dream of in every way.
As you were,


P. Grecian said...

May you be inscribed for a really good 2015, Jay, with only happiness and health...and no problems.

Bill Matthews said...

Maybe the staff were hooked on the old TV series, "Alf." "No Problem!"