What do you have to do that's more important? (a eulogy, sort of)

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seashanty

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i think it was a post of gillum house that made me want to post this. the one about sort of acting as tour guide (as many innkeepers often do) and getting a booking from it.
the owner of the little hotel across the road from where i used to innkeep in maine passed away last month.
one day i was hot, tired, exhasperated and feeling harrassed when i got a few (dozen?) calls in a row asking about the area while i was cooking and serving breakfast ... where to go ... where to eat ... what to see ... and none were turning into bookings. they were calling me like i was the local tour guide.
i walked out the door, away from the ringing phone, up the hill and there was bud. 'what's up? you look like fire,' he said. i told him about having to answer all those phone calls ... people who just wanted to know about the area ... and i was so busy.
expecting some commiseration.
and all he said was ' what do you have to do that's more important?' and he walked across the road, into his place.
i just stood there ... more important?? was he kidding? i had breakfast dishes to do, laundry to do, rooms to flip, guests to check out. he had more staff, more help, yada yada
his place was seemingly always full. if not with the regular b&b crowd who returned to him faithfully year after year, with folks who came to the area to work briefly on a job, even some folks doing a this old house special stayed with him.
i had to stop and think about it.
this was a man who avoided email and favored the phone.
who wanted nothing to do with online bookings and wrote all his reservations in a spiral notebook.
NOT taking advantage of the internet and what it had to offer
but this was a man who was KNOWN. he was that place. if you asked someone where they were staying, they'd answer 'with buddy'.
he answered the phone ... HIMSELF ... all the time. and talked. where to eat? go here. where to see? go there. over and over and over again. and guests felt they knew him. i watched him in action. he'd stop everything, pick up his notebook and sit down. and answer the phone.
so, back inside to my place i went. the phone rang.
and i sat down. glanced at the pile of dishes, but stopped what i was doing and sat down. and answered.
and told someone about the ferry and to wear sneakers ... (i don't have any) ... stop at reny's and get some cheap ones ... reny's? yes. you've got to go to one. told them where the closest one is. where are you staying? (just a day trip)
yada yada (again)
i resisted the impulse to get her off the phone. told her we had rooms available if she decided to spend the night before or after the day trip (no)
let her go.
a few days later, this woman came in wanting a room for the night. it was oine of my callers from earlier in the week who didn't want to book ... and she expected me to remember her (luckily i did sort of remember and lucky for her we did have a room).
i don't know if this approach led to more bookings overall or not ... i was still rushed, harried, overworked and underpaid ... but i think so.
i can''t get bud's words out of my mind. especially now that he's gone and my trip up to see him in september isn't going to happen. i don't know how his place will evolve now that it's being run by family. his sister is still in charge of the cooking.
but when i answer the phone now, even if i'm doing a major multi-tasking ... i try to stop ... and try to focus just for a few minutes on that caller. it still feels like forever to be on the phone but i do it.
and i have to remind myself a lot
what do you have to do that's more important?
 

Alibi Ike

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Excellent points. All of them, including how he had a lot more staff and he was able to get out and about and keep up on the local gossip. And that place IS very well known in the area.
Actually, some of the best in-state gossip comes from that little spit of land! The guy who runs the ferry mentioned you when he dropped off brochures. 'So, how's that friend of yours doing now that the other people took over?' (Shaking head. Not happy about the situation.)
 

bbinnsitters

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Agreed, excellent points and great story. He probably died a happy man - he was doing what he wanted to do (marketing basically) and he hired great people to do the rest (all the grunt work!) Go see them in Sept. as you planned, give them your condolences and tell them your story with their loved one - they will appreciate it and maybe they are looking for a replacement for Buddy! (With Nantucket in your back pocket!)
 

Don Draper

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Sounds like a very sad loss for everyone in that corner of the world...glad he was able to do what he enjoyed right until his end.
 

seashanty

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Excellent points. All of them, including how he had a lot more staff and he was able to get out and about and keep up on the local gossip. And that place IS very well known in the area.
Actually, some of the best in-state gossip comes from that little spit of land! The guy who runs the ferry mentioned you when he dropped off brochures. 'So, how's that friend of yours doing now that the other people took over?' (Shaking head. Not happy about the situation.).
Alibi Ike said:
Excellent points. All of them, including how he had a lot more staff and he was able to get out and about and keep up on the local gossip. And that place IS very well known in the area.
Actually, some of the best in-state gossip comes from that little spit of land! The guy who runs the ferry mentioned you when he dropped off brochures. 'So, how's that friend of yours doing now that the other people took over?' (Shaking head. Not happy about the situation.)
awww, you just made my day ... my week ... maybe my year!
 

Alibi Ike

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Excellent points. All of them, including how he had a lot more staff and he was able to get out and about and keep up on the local gossip. And that place IS very well known in the area.
Actually, some of the best in-state gossip comes from that little spit of land! The guy who runs the ferry mentioned you when he dropped off brochures. 'So, how's that friend of yours doing now that the other people took over?' (Shaking head. Not happy about the situation.).
Alibi Ike said:
Excellent points. All of them, including how he had a lot more staff and he was able to get out and about and keep up on the local gossip. And that place IS very well known in the area.
Actually, some of the best in-state gossip comes from that little spit of land! The guy who runs the ferry mentioned you when he dropped off brochures. 'So, how's that friend of yours doing now that the other people took over?' (Shaking head. Not happy about the situation.)
awww, you just made my day ... my week ... maybe my year!
.
seashanty said:
Alibi Ike said:
Excellent points. All of them, including how he had a lot more staff and he was able to get out and about and keep up on the local gossip. And that place IS very well known in the area.
Actually, some of the best in-state gossip comes from that little spit of land! The guy who runs the ferry mentioned you when he dropped off brochures. 'So, how's that friend of yours doing now that the other people took over?' (Shaking head. Not happy about the situation.)
awww, you just made my day ... my week ... maybe my year!
Don't ever think you didn't make an impression there. It's the kind of place where you probably wouldn't ever hear 'good job' from anyone but they're all keeping track.
 

gillumhouse

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Thank you, SS. It IS my policy to speak with people and LISTEN. I had an e-mail exchange a couple days ago with a lady asking about availability for a 1 night 2-rooms to have a first face-to-face meeting in 30 years. Suggested things to do in the area, told her we have had many meet in the middle (she was afraid I would consider it silly), and suggested a 2-night. That they arrive, get a good night of sleep, and then spend the day doing a "getting to know you". She booked this morning for the 2-nighter. Of course thre are a lot of get the ingo and go away - his morning I took the time to look up phone numbers of a motel for a guy who is working in the area - not my kind of guest nor wanting my rates but perhaps some day he will want a place to take his wife or girlfriend..... Whatever, the MONEY will be spent on my area.
 

MTLLodge

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What a gift he gave you! Thanks for sharing it with us. Sorry to hear he has passed.
 

gillumhouse

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SS, forgot to say that your eulogy proves that some of the best philosophers are "unknown" men named Buddy. His name said it all.
 

Penelope

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SS, forgot to say that your eulogy proves that some of the best philosophers are "unknown" men named Buddy. His name said it all..
gillumhouse said:
SS, forgot to say that your eulogy proves that some of the best philosophers are "unknown" men named Buddy. His name said it all.
You got that right

 

Copperhead

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Thanks for sharing. New words to keep in mind when the dishes are piled up and the phone rings!
 
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