Saving the day – solving a potential crisis

Managing projects, as I keep repeating, is about managing people and problems.  I have a great example of a manager who handled a customer situation ideally.  I was the customer.

I’d valet parked my car at a restaurant (Morton’s in San Jose) and the remote beeper had broken off my keychain.  I handed both the key and the beeper to the parking attendant, asking him to be very careful to keep both together – and not lose the beeper. 

Another fellow actually parked and locked the car – and carefully placed the beeper into it for safe keeping.

Hours later, when I went to retrieve my car, the valet parking attendants were unable to open the door.  SURPRISE!   After jocking back and forth with them giving me the usual “not my fault” I went inside the restaurant and got the night manager Don to come and help me.  He was wonderful.

He talked to the valet attendants in a polite and friendly tone of voice, and when he learned from them what had happened, he called the owner of the company who agreed to come down and solve the problem.

Don apologized to me, invited me back into the restaurant and offered to treat me to food and drinks.  I accepted an appetizer and some water, since I’d been there earlier at a food-filled reception.  As I was waiting, he came in often to check in with me and to give me a progress report.

The owner of the Valet parking service arrived about 1/2 hour later, had the right tools to break into my car and retrieve the beeper – also apologized – and I went on my way with no hard feelings.

It’s wonderful when people treat you correctly and work with you to solve problems.  Don, and the owner, whose name I don’t know, did all the right things and I left a happy and satisfied customer – instead of being angry and disgruntled.

ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.  Diamond Associates


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