Posts Tagged New York

The George Factor Spells Customer Service


When Carol and I are in New York City to see a Broadway musical or two our trip is not complete without a pre-theatre dinner at Sardi’s Restaurant. Why Sardi’s?  First it is the perfect spot to dine because the staff knows that we are going to a Broadway show and time is important, but there is a far more important reason. The first time we visited more than two decades ago, the Maitre d’ was George. George was the perfect image for the restaurant – gracious, charming, personable, impeccably groomed, and witty. He made us feel that we were in exactly the right spot and that we were in his personal care for the evening. What a talent! What an experience! George had the ability to make us feel as if we were his only concern. He was absolutely present in the moment with us.

On a subsequent visit just before 9/11 we were disappointed to learn that George had retired. It was a real letdown; however, we still had a delightful time. On our most recent visit I inquired about George and if our waitperson had known him. “Oh yes,” she said. “The patrons adored George, but we hated him.”

“Why?” I asked. “He was so good at what he did.”

“He was a strict task master. He questioned us about the menu items. If you did not know the soup of the day, he would send you home. If he saw you eat something in view of a patron, he would reprimand you. You had to be properly dressed or George would have a talk with you. Don’t misunderstand me. He was kind. He was strict but always fair.” Every detail was important to George. Nothing escaped his notice.

Now I understood why we enjoy Sardi’s so much. It is that absolute attention to detail that seems effortless. There are literally hundreds of places to eat in the theatre district, but most give you that hurry-up feeling. We need your table for someone else. This never happens at Sardi’s. Although the dinning room is full, the atmosphere at Sardi’s remains for the patron calm and relaxed. Everything outside might be in a rush, but not inside.

The atmosphere is such that it promotes friendliness and good will. The walls display all of those caricatures of famous show biz celebrities and of course there is the off chance that you will see one of the stars.  Conversations spring up between total strangers and you share one of those delightful moments that will never occur again. It is friendly and relaxed but never intrusive.

From a customer service perspective, I would award the restaurant five stars. I am not a food critic, but our food has always been excellent, except for the bread pudding which I have learned not to order. If you want bread pudding go to Poogan’s Porch in Charleston, South Carolina.

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February 17, 2014 Is Random Acts of Kindness Day

We shouldn’t need a day set aside to practice acts of kindness – random or intentional. Arthur Caliandro, retired pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, said, “Be kinder than you think it necessary to be. The other person needs it far more than you know.” I have seen his words spelled out in my own life. I have been the recipient of untold acts of kindness great and small. I am surrounded by friends and family.

Not everyone is so fortunate. At least during this one day let us try to be a little more thoughtful, a little kinder that we might otherwise be. Perhaps none of us set out in the morning to be unkind or thoughtless. It just happens. With a little thought we can change a bad situation into a good one. It doesn’t take much. Start by smiling at everyone you meet. Speak to her or him in an upbeat manner. I think you can take it from there.

At the end of the day take stock of your day. I’ll bet that you will feel happier more at peace.

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Christian Civility Brown Bag Lunch at Chautauqua

Baptist House l will lead a brown bag lunch discussion on Christian Civility at the Baptist House  at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York State at 12:15 on June 26. The event is open to everyone. Rev. Bud Brown, resident chaplain of Baptist House, said, “This is certainly a topic that is very appropriate at Chautauqua. Mitch’s book,  Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, is  available as an eBook at Barnes& or or from Publishers.  Mitch is the founder of Say Something Nice Day and Say Something nice Sunday. This will be the fourth year for these discussions.

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Archbishop Dolan Support Letter

This is a wonderful letter of support for Say Something Nice Sunday from Archbishop Dolan of New York. Say Something Nice Sunday is June 05 this year.  We want every church and every denomination or religious group to join the celebration.
Archbishop's Letter

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