Last night, after a very, very long day at work, I checked in at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Winston-Salem, NC. The front desk attendant reminded me why I always choose a Marriott Hotel when I can. His name is Russell. He said I can call him Russ.
Now, the moderators of this discussion know that I'm quick to compliment a great hotel, great staff, and great service. That being said, I choose very carefully who I nominate for the "Spirit to Serve" award. That's because if I had too many submissions, they would be ignored like so much spam in your inbox.
To date, I have only nominated two individuals for the award, and I'm happy to say that when I revisited their hotel, I saw their certificate prominently displayed. So, I'm batting 1000, let's hope that trend continues.
Back to Russ. When I arrived, he greeted me by name. I was a bit taken back, because it had probably been years since I last stayed at this property. When he saw my reaction, he remarked that he made it a point to know the names of all the Platinum Elite customers that stay at his location. It was at this point, I knew that there was something exceptional about Russ.
He offered me the obligatory welcome gift or bonus points. I looked longingly at the frozen pizza and let Russ know that I hadn't had time to eat that evening. Russ said, "well, tonight we had our reception sponsored by Hooters. It ended not long ago and I thing there are still some wings, would you like them?" I was thrilled. The thought of microwaved pizza was not enticing, it was simply sustinence. But wings! I was shocked when he brought out a clam-shell to go container that must have had 50 or more wings inside. Russ brought me a plate, napkins, and silverware, and invited me to take as many wings as I liked. I took a few, because I was pretty sure that he had set them aside for himself in preparation for a long night-shift. Russ said, "I thought you said you were hungry, you'd better take all of them."
With a plate full of wings in one hand, and a diet pepsi from the marketplace in the other, I walked away, feeling like I was walking on a red carpet. Russ trailed me, and opened my door for me. I was really impressed. It was as if Russ was reading my mind. I put the wings and drink on the table in my room, and returned to the lobby to park my car. Russ pointed out the best spot, well-lit. But this looked like it was made for a compact car. This is probably why it was unoccupied. When I inquired, he explained that the space was small, but as long as I backed in, I wouldn't have any trouble fitting in.
I could go on and on about Russ' spirit to serve, but I think that those with whom he works know him already and feel as strongly as I do. I sincerely hope you award Russ. He really went the extra mile for me, and deserves high praise!