Stand out from the crowd: Many years ago in a small hotel in Philadelphia, USA, an elderly couple, on a business trip from England, approached the night clerk seeking a room. “We have tried several other hotels,” said the man, “but it seems there is a convention in town and they are all full. Do you by any chance have a room you could let us have?”
The hotel clerk shook his head sadly and said, “I’m sorry, all our rooms are taken as well.” Then, seeing the couple’s dejected look, the clerk thought hard and came up with a suggestion: “Look, I will be working on the desk all night and so I don’t need my room. Why don’t you take that?” The couple were taken aback by his kindness and generosity, and after a little more persuasion they accepted his offer.
The next morning when they were checking out, the elderly man said to the clerk, “Young man, you would make a great hotel manager. How would you like me to build a fine hotel for you in New York City and then you could come and manage it for me?” The clerk smiled politely and jokingly said, “Sir, I would like nothing better in the whole world.”
They parted friends and the clerk thought nothing more about it until a couple of years later when he received a letter from the man, along with an invitation; an offer of a round-trip visit to New York to come and visit – guess what? – his new hotel. It turned out that the elderly gentleman was William Waldorf Astor, or Viscount Astor (the British peer). His hotel was the (now-famous) Waldorf-Astoria on the corner of Fifth Avenue in New York City. The clerk’s name, the man who went the extra mile and dared to be different, was George C. Boldt. He became the Waldorf-Astoria’s first manager and went on to become one of the greatest hotel managers in the world.
R. Ian Seymour
R. Ian Seymour, excerpt from Discover Your True Potential