I've been frequenting Sheraton D Cube since 2010. Recently, I've stayed here on about 4 or 5 different occasions in the past 6 months. It's good thing that I did.
Long story short- this story is about Rona, one of the associates of the hotel.
Being the dummy that I am, once I arrived at the hotel, I've realized that I left my backpack at the airport. In my backpack was my passport, business laptop, business tablet, foreign currency, and medication. All hope seemed lost. I’ve recalled that I left my backpack at the parking lot while loading my luggage. In complete darkness and at place where anyone could just easily snatch it away- virtually 0% chance of retrieval. My business laptop, tablet, cash, medicine, and other personal belongings seemed to be lost with it. I tried to keep calm but my head was spinning- snowball in hell’s chance of retrieving it. In 20 years of business travel, this was my biggest moment of crisis. Once I’ve arrived at the hotel, Rona was at the entry foyer with two other employees. I asked for some help expecting nothing more than an obligatory- “I’m sorry, here is the phone number to the Airport Lost and Found”. To my surprise, Rona took ownership and called the Airport Lost and Found and calmly described my situation. She directed one of the airport employees to out to the parking and scour the area. She was good- she gave step-by-step instructions. Surprised at her poise and leadership….. This entire situation was out of Rona’s control, but some people just find a way to make things work, and Rona seemed to be one of those people. My wife and I went up to the Club Lounged while waiting, albeit without much hope.
About 10 minutes later, Rona called saying that the backpack was found……. Yes it was luck that the backpack was not “stolen” but it was Rona’s leadership and quick thinking that saved the day. She went on to explain the entire situation and how it would unfold if I were to retrieve my bag. She gave me directions on where and how and all the different ways for me to retrieve the backpack. I began to head back to the airport to retrieve the bag and she called 3 times to update me on the situation and to check up on how we were doing. To add to that, she made additional phone calls to the airport staff to hold my bag until I got there because their closing hours are 10PM and I was going to cut it really close. She made sure that an airport employee would be there through the closing hours to ensure that my backpack would be there.
Rona is an uncanny employee. She saw several steps ahead and made sure that all permutations and combinations of scenarios were covered. An employee with a heart and the intellect. She’s a keeper.
In 20 years of travelling for business, after hundreds and hundreds of night in world-class hotels and millions of miles, I’ve never met anyone like Rona.
My luck (good) would have it that I ran into Rona again. I sprained my writ a little working out and called for some ice. Rona was working in the office that night and she happened to answer the call. She made sure that I got enough ice and bags to ice my wrist. She also offered to send some first aid as well. Again, an associate that has the ability to look ahead several moves ahead to ensure our well-being. After 30 minutes, she called saying that she’ll send up ice and bags whenever I needed them.
Rona didn’t need to go the extra mile. It is I who lost the bag and it is I who sprained my wrist. I pay what I pay to eat and sleep at the hotel- nothing more nothing less.
Being in Operational Excellence I truly believe that Rona is an example of all the training and processes that the hotel management has implemented. In a world where so many things can go wrong, you try to implement as robust of a process you can with the best possible training and things still go wrong. That’s why you hear 100 complaints for every 1 compliment. Without world-class system/process, that one complement is so tough to receive. I don’t know how I can ever thank Rona for what she’s done. I want to thank the Hotel Management and Rona for an absolutely wonderful stay.