A cheap date at a Holiday Inn.

I wanted you to understand what it means to provide someone with an exceptional customer experience, and I wasn’t necessarily the customer. I had recently written this letter to the General Manager of the Oceanside, CA Holiday Inn (Oceanside Marina).

I hope this makes it to the GM.

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize one of your employees, Mr. J—– B—; and I’m sorry it took so long for me to write this. I am a published columnist of customer experiences related to the Food Beverage and Hospitality (FB&H) services industry. You see, as a customer, I believe every customer deserves a great experience. That’s what brings them back.

I was part of a training course being offered through Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Our group was there for 3 days mid week to learn about procuring government services and how to write up “Performance Work Statements”. Essentially we were there to learn how to explain in writing what it is we want from a contractor providing services to a government organization.

That nonsense aside, myself and several other civil service employees were not necessarily used to eating lunches away from our desks. Several of us ate lunch down in the Oceanside harbor the first day, but we had thought we noticed a microwave oven in the lobby of your hotel; so I made plans for myself to bring my lunch in the second a third days and sit in my car and do some work from my tablet.

For the second day of our class I had brought my lunch in the form of a plastic tupper with some left-over pasta, BBQ pork ribs and a jalapeno pepper. That morning I tried to locate the microwave to help expedite my lunch since we normally only have a 1-hour timeframe in which to get to a restaurant, eat and return to our seats for the afternoon session. I looked everywhere in that lobby area for a microwave and couldn’t find one. I even made pre-arrangements with another student staying in the hotel that had traveled in from a more distant location to use their room microwave; but before I went that route I figured I would ask the front desk just in case I happened to miss it somewhere I wasn’t looking in that lobby area.

I asked J—- who was working behind the counter at that moment if there was a microwave available. He indicated that there was not but he would gladly take it into the kitchen where the employees heat their food if needed. He asked me how long to put it on for and I said about 4 minutes.

About ten minutes went by and I hadn’t seen J—-. I asked another employee in the office area of the lobby as to J—-’s whereabouts. The other employee got up and said, “yeah, I wonder where he is”. Just about that moment J—– walked out from the kitchen carrying a plate of hot food, a dinner service linen roll with knife and fork inside and my empty tupper. The food was actually arranged and plated nicely as if it had come from a chef in a professional kitchen. As he handed it to me he apologized for taking so long because he needed to “wash the container”. I told him he didn’t need to do all of that as I was going to just eat in my car. He even offered me a seat in the dining room of the café if I would like.

Well I didn’t eat my lunch in the dining room; and as a matter of fact after eating my lunch in my car from a restaurant plate with linen napkin, I felt very awkward returning a dirty plate to J—– for him or someone else to clean. I asked J—– for his business card and told him what I do as a writer.

I was very appreciative of him treating me like . . . honestly, a guest in his home. Now that’s what this game is all about.

Please ensure this guy gets the ol’ pat on the back and possibly something a little bit special; because that’s how he made me feel, and I wasn’t even staying there.

Thank you



7 thoughts on “A cheap date at a Holiday Inn.

  1. Ohhh wow that was nice of him!!! and it is nice of you to acknowledge him!

    1. I like to make sure good employees are recognized. Thanks for reading.


  2. Andy, Thank you so much sor this. My General Manager pulled me to the side and showed me this. Like i said not everyone will be my customer but everyone in this hotel is my guest.

    1. Just wanted to show that you make a difference and that sometimes people do appreciate it. Hope life treats you well. You deserve it!

  3. Great blog! Thanks for following my blog. And I really enjoyed this post about recognizing and appreciating truly outstanding service. Jessy

    1. I also recognize truly shitty service too . . . it just doesn’t always look so good when written.

      Thanks for watching after us.


      1. Appreciate the positivity! 🙂 Jessy

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