Day 671: Giraffe spa day

Yesterday, on my way home from work, a man tapped me on the shoulder as I waited for the subway. The fact that I didn’t thwack him with my purse is a good deed in itself. (I startle easily, especially when trying to tune out the crowds of commuters.)

When I turned around, he was smiling and holding up my office security badge (which are like gold (esp. at today’s prices) at our company).

I’d been rushing to get to the platform and it must have gotten knocked off my belt loop. I was touched by his kindness in running after me to make sure I got it before the train took off and thanked him profusely.

I was reminded of his good deed today when I read this amazing story about another lost item returned… in style!

Recently, my family and I experienced the Ritz-Carlton signature customer service in a way that will be talked about in our family and at my company for many years to come. My wife and two children spent a few days at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island (Florida) while I was in California on business — sadly unable to make the trip with them. Upon returning, we discovered that our son’s beloved stuffed giraffe, named Joshie, had gone missing. As most parents know, children can become very attached to special blankets, teddy bears and the like. My son is extremely fond of his Joshie, and was absolutely distraught when faced with the idea of going to sleep without his favorite pal. While trying to put him to bed the first night home, I decided to tell a little white lie.

“Joshie is fine,” I said. “He’s just taking an extra long vacation at the resort.” My son seemed to buy it, and was finally able to fall asleep, Joshie-less for the first time in a long while.

That very night, the Ritz-Carlton called to tell us they had Joshie. Thankfully, he had been found, no worse for wear, in the laundry and was handed over to the hotel’s Loss Prevention Team. I came clean to the staff about the story I told my son and asked if they would mind taking a picture of Joshie on a lounge chair by the pool to substantiate my fabricated story. The Loss Prevention Team said they’d do it, and I hung up the phone very relieved.

A couple days went by, and we received a package from the hotel. It was my son’s Joshie, along with some Ritz-Carlton-branded “goodies” (a frisbee, football, etc.). Also included in the package was a binder that meticulously documented his extended stay at the Ritz.

It showed Joshie wearing shades by the pool (my original request/suggestion)…

Joshie getting a massage at the spa…
Joshie making friends with other critters…
And Joshie driving a golf cart on the beach (who knew giraffes could drive?).
My son’s Joshie was even issued a Ritz-Carlton ID badge, made an honorary member of the Loss Prevention Team, and was allowed to help by taking a shift in front of the security monitors.

Needless to say, my wife and I were completely wowed by the Ritz-Carlton Loss Prevention Team. My son, on the other hand, didn’t care so much about the binder and was just happy to have his Joshie back. I’m sure he’ll have a greater appreciation for it as he grows up.


P.S. And my good deed? When I got on that subway car I was waiting for at the beginning of this post, a vacant seat opened up but I kept standing and let someone else take it… gave me a chance to put my security badge away in my bag. šŸ™‚


4 thoughts on “Day 671: Giraffe spa day

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