I’ve been staying with my parents in Florida the past two weeks. My step dad has had some medical challenges and we have since found my mom as well. I’m the only one in the family in a place where I can be here with them, yet still keep my business going. Fortunately I’m lucky enough to have a team of people ( our mermaid pod) who work with us and handle all our operational needs with the cottages and guests, so I can be working remotely with the reservations and marketing . My friend, Susan Jacobs who is taking a mini sabbatical from her career is staying at Dutton Waller and also jumped in and be a true help to all. Thank you team!!!
I caught a glance of myself in the mirror this week while waiting at yet another doctor’s office. I had my cell phone in one hand, my blackberry in the other, my day timer on my lap and my boat bag at my feet with papers. My Marriott friends who I’ve been reconnecting with via http://www.facebook.com/ will totally appreciate this….. a big part of our job in sales was travel out of the office which is why the company completely equipped us with the tools we needed to communicate while out of the office. Over 20 years ago, my boss at the time- Kevin Patterson- made sure we had exactly what we needed if a customer wanted to talk to us while out of the office. Kevin who was the man brave enough to ask the first President Bush and Bill Marriott for a job. He was in the military and working the White House- one of the young marines who was there for all the ceremonies and gatherings. He happened to help Mrs. Marriott at a White House function, she told her husband he should find that nice young man a job and before you know it , Kevin made sure that the President and the Marriotts had connected and when he finished his tour with the marines was working for Marriott! Sorry- long story but I loved that about Kevin!
ANYWAY- Kevin was the one that had us install the original car phones that remained attached in your car. He also made sure we all had pagers so our customers could page us, then we could run to our cars and return the calls from our car phone. Yes younger people reading this blog, that’s how we used to do it in the olden days! Of course as technology improved we moved up to cell phones, computers, then lap tops, and of course the original blue Blackberries. I left my Marriott career two years ago but I’m sure they all have iPhones now. I still love my Blackberry and carry the older model that has actually keys for each letter and the screen is big enough so I can see everything without squinting. When I purchased it a year ago, none of the stores carried this, you have to go on line to buy one… I realize this is like using a computer before Microsoft Windows, but I gotta say , for what I need, I love it.. I just googled Blackberry Older version to see if I could find a picture to down load and found there are pages devoted to people like me who love their older blackberries!!! I need to take great care of my little one because she is becoming an antique and hard to find.
I laughed when I saw myself in the mirror at the doctors office because for years when I traveled the country and world, this was how I worked. Airports, taxis, lobbies of customers while waiting. There was one trip from Palm Springs to LAX where my wonderful “brother and sister “friends from Marriott, Steve Conklin, Judy Stern and I ( someone else was driving) all were on our phones and blackberries the entire drive taking care of our customers. We laughed when we all realized this, but this is the complete norm for traveling and working business people. The great part about all that training is I’m completely able to work any place where I am planted. I had a guest yesterday tell me they knew I was out of town helping my parents and I was very quick to say ( maybe a bit too quick and I’m sorry for that) that me being out of town has nothing to do with the business. What I should have said is all of the above, that my wonderful years of Marriott training and traveling has enabled me to be any place , any time and carry on work. It’s just how we do things !!
Thank you again to my team for carrying on and thank you Marriott for training me how to work remote!