Friday, June 13, 2008

A Little Pet Peeve

I just got back from another HTG trip to Albany for HTG2. Great couple days of meetings. We also had the service managers there in a second meeting space and a big thank you to Nathan from MyTech who facilitated that group. Two very powerful days for two groups.

One of the things I depend on when I travel is wake up calls. Last week in DC, I was at the Marriott and had a very nice room. The check in process was great - they met me as an Elite member of their program and got me to my room in record time. Part of the process was finding out what welcome treat I wanted and what time I wanted my wake up call the next morning. I told them 5:30 which is my normal time (even though you eastern people are really getting me up at 4:30). Well, no wake up call. I awoke purely by accident at 7:09 and was supposed to be ready to go by 7:30. I was not pleased. I hurried and it all worked out even though I didn't get any breakfast from the concierge lounge like I had planned.

This week, at HTG2, I stayed in a Hilton property and deja vu - same experience. Check in was smooth - they took my wakeup time - no call. This time I woke up a little earlier - 6:15 but still not as planned and it screwed up my day. I am a pretty focused guy - schedule driven and planned. Minutes matter to me. Not denying the sleep was good, but it really did get me off on the wrong foot.

Big deal? Not really in the grand scheme of life. However, in both cases, an extremely positive experience 99% done right was tarnished way over 1% by lack of follow through. I often worry about this when I have a flight to catch, like this morning when I had a 3:30 wake up call which came on time today. But I set the alarm because I no longer felt I could trust the hotel. It is the little things in business that sometimes make a big difference. Had these little mistakes caused me to miss a flight, the tone of this blog would have been much different. But that is the key - we never know when our failure to pay attention to detail will be the straw that breaks the camel's back - if you know what I mean.

Those who know me are probably getting a chuckle out of this because a detail person I am not. If life depended on my ability to even notice details let alone make them happen, I would be dead. Fortunately God blessed me with a partner in my bride who helps take care of those things. It doesn't excuse my lack of attention, but she can cover my you know what pretty darn good after 30 years of practice. That is the other part of reality we need to get - when we are weak in any area - we need to admit it and surround ourself with those who are able to do what we are unable to get done well. That is the secret of HTS - we have a team of brilliant folks who are stars at what they do. They make it happen. It sure isn't about me. So pay attention to the small stuff - don't sweat it - but make sure you get it done!


Erick Simpson said...

Hi Arlin;

It pains me to hear you recently experienced 2 scenarios that reflect why I have stopped relying on wake-up calls completely. I set the in-room alarm clock, as well as my trusty cell phone/pda - it has never let me down, no matter which of the many time zones I'm in during a busy travel schedule.

I'm sorry to say I have lost my faith in other people making certain a critical function like delivering a wake-up call is executed properly.

Erick Simpson - HTG1
MSP University

Stuart R. Crawford said...

Arlin, the little details matter so much. I have stated to our staff at IT Matters in the past that we can do 99% correct and make one small mistake on the desktop and we are painted with a brush that we don't know what we are doing!

The little things are the items that make the biggest impact!

What are we doing today to make a big impact?

Does the service station wash your windows?

Is the rest room clean at your favourite restaurant?

The little things matter.

Awesome post.

Stuart Crawford
IT Matters