A Tale of No Pants and Free Champagne

No, this post is not about Andrew Weiner.  It’s a true story that has some great career success implications.

Every once in a while, I come across someone who gets and uses my career advice intuitively.  That was the case this week.  Rebecca Tisbe is the Housekeeping Manager at the Hilton Manhattan East in New York City.  I spent three nights there this week.

On Tuesday, I sent a pair of trousers out to be dry cleaned.  I had an important meeting on Wednesday and wanted to look good.  They weren’t returned by 7:00 – and hour after they were supposed to be.  I called the housekeeping number as directed on the receipt and spoke with Rebecca.  She investigated the matter and told me that the trousers never came back from the dry cleaners.

I told her that I needed them for an important early morning meeting the next day.  Rebecca could have said, “I’m sorry, I can’t do anything about that.”  Instead, she got in touch with the dry cleaner and arranged to have the trousers delivered to my room by 7:00 am.  She also removed the dry cleaning charge from my hotel bill and offered to send me a bottle of wine or champagne to make up for the problem.

Later that evening, I found an envelope under my door.  Inside was a note from Rebecca that said in part, “Please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience you endured during your stay due to your dry cleaning not being available upon request.”

Now that’s service! 

Tweet 100 in my career advice book, Success Tweets says, “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”  Rebecca cares – a lot.  And in my book she is an outstanding performer.

When you care you do your very best.  Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of one of my favorite books: To Kill a Mockingbird.  There is a passage in that book that has always stuck with me.  It’s in Chapter 11 and is spoken by Atticus Finch, the father, played by Gregory Peck in the film.  He’s speaking to Scout, his daughter…

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

It takes courage to care. Because when you care, you put yourself out there.  You do your best.  And doing your best can be a scary thing.  When you care, when you consciously do your best and fail, it is heartbreaking.  But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.  But when you succeed – like Rebecca did in solving my small dry cleaning problem, you can take great pride in your accomplishment.

I remember when I applied to graduate school at Harvard.  I decided that I was going to demonstrate to myself how much I cared by writing the very best application I could.  I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook if I didn’t get accepted by saying, “I could have written a better application, but I just didn’t spend the time I should have.”

When I put my application in the mailbox – we still did quaint things like that back in the old days – I was proud of what I had written.  I knew it was the very best I could do.  I was also frightened because I knew that my best might not be good enough.  After all, both of my other degrees were from state schools.  Who was I to think that those credentials would get me accepted at Harvard?

I cared about the quality of my application, so I did the very best I could.  The story in this case has a happy ending.  I was accepted and got my degree.  Even if I had not been accepted, I would have been proud of myself because I cared enough to write the best application I could, and I dared enough to admit it to myself.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Successful people are proud of what they do.  They care.  They follow the career advice in Success Tweet 100.  “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”  Does your work show that you care?  Or does it reflect an “it’s good enough” attitude?  Take it from a career success coach, if you want to create the life and career success of which you are capable be like Rebecca Tisbe, Housekeeping Manager at the Hilton Manhattan East.  Make sure that how much you care shows through in every single piece of work you do.

That’s my career advice on caring about what you do.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of my latest career success book Success Tweets Explained.  It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

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