Kevin Henry, Editor
It's 12:45 a.m. in Juneau, Alaska, and I'm not happy.
After settling in at 10:30 p.m. and expecting to hibernate the rest of the evening like one of the bears in the woods not far from my hotel door, I've been awakened by my upstairs neighbors. They're yelling. They're swearing. I can hear every word through the thin layer separating my ceiling and their floor. I'm guessing they've had one too many Alaskan Ambers because their yelling and swearing has now turned into accusations and fighting. I've laid in bed for about 20 minutes listening to them, but when one threatens to pull out a gun, I decided I've had enough. The last souvenir I want to bring back from my trip to Alaska is a bullet wound. I get up, pack my bags, and head to the front desk, ready to check out and find a hotel where I can finally get some sleep.
When I get to the front desk, I'm greeted by a college-age kid (I can say kid since he's half my age, right?) whose look on his face immediately asks, "Why do you have your bags with you?" When I explain the situation, he looks around and says, "OK, I'm a little scared." This is very reassuring to me. When I ask him if he thinks he should call the police, he tells me that isn't what's scaring him.
"I'll kick those people out after you leave," he tells me. "I'm worried about having to refund your money because my manager is going to kill me."
Ultimately, he comes up with a plan and even gives me a script if the manager calls me to ask why the two-night stay was refunded. He's gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me out, and I truly appreciate it. I'm tired, but I'm certainly not as cranky as I was when I first showed up at the front desk.
The front desk worker has no problem refunding my money and doing the right thing, but he's having problems figuring out how he'll explain it in the morning when his boss shows up. Still, he did the right thing and devised a plan to help the customer. It's a good lesson in customer service and reminded me once again that we're all in the business of pleasing the consumer, even if it's not the easiest or most comfortable situation.
Yep, that's my eye-rolling travel story of the moment. What's yours? I'm putting together some of the best, worst, funniest, and head-scratching travel stories in the dental industry for a future edition of Proofs. You can send me yours by dropping me an e-mail at [email protected].
This week, keep doing the right things for your customers. Take it from this bleary-eyed Okie; doing the right thing makes a big difference.
➢ In late April, the American Dental Association released its list of cities that will host the ADA Annual Sessions through 2018. It's an interesting list with some interesting choices.
Among the interesting selections are a return to San Antonio in 2014, and a November trip to Washington, D.C., in 2015 (just 12 days before the Greater New York Dental Meeting).
Here's the entire list...
2014 — San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 9-14
2015 — Washington, D.C., Nov. 5-10
2016 — Denver, Colo., Oct. 20-25
2017 — Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 19-24
2018 — San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 27-Oct. 2
How will the dental teams receive these selections when it is time for them to decide whether or not to make the annual ADA pilgrimage? That's the main question. You and I both know that we'll be there because it's the ADA. (I mean, come on, there's no way a company would ever skip the ADA, right?)
I'd love to know what you think about the list. Did the ADA get it right or wrong? Are we in store for some great shows or are we headed back to Kansas City in 2001? Let me know by dropping me an e-mail at [email protected].
Oddly, the 2013 meeting wasn't included on the list (I'm guessing because the dates and location have already been announced). I'm very interested to see how it will be for us all to be in New Orleans for the 2013 ADA Annual Session … that opens on Halloween. Yep, the French Quarter on Halloween. I'm guessing there might be a few legendary stories that will come out of that meeting.
Read on ... this is your magazine.