Friday, November 5, 2010

Acts of Kindness

Of all the wonderful memories of my experiences last week at Journalfest, some of those that really stand out are associated with the amazing people I met and the very kind things they did for us.

For example:

Doug, the shuttle bus driver who picked us up when we first arrived in Seattle, had just started to leave the airport when he heard there was one more person who had just arrived, so he turned the bus around to pick her up, saving her the aggravation of trying to make arrangements to get to Port Townsend, a two hour drive away.  On the drive, John entertained us with tidbits of information about what we were seeing as we drove, telling us about the local history and geography of the area. When we got to the town of Port Townsend, Kim asked if he could do a quick tour down the main street since most of us might not make it back into town given that we didn't have cars to make the 10 minute drive, and John quite willingly granted this request without hesitation.

Tony, Matt and Dave drove the shuttle cars, taking people back and forth between locations at Fort Worden as needed.  They were also on hand to help up carry our suitcases up and down stairs as required, without being asked - we just walked out of class at the end of the day and there they were, at the top of the stairs, waiting to give a hand.  Here's a picture of Tony carrying my wheelie bag, filled with all my art supplies, and another lady's bag up the stairs of the Schoolhouse to our second floor classroom:

Then there were the people that made and served the food we ate while we were there.  My friend Heather has an allergy to wheat.  Once the food staff found this out, they made sure they always had a gluten-free english muffin toasted and waiting for her.  Heather said it was the best gluten free bread product she had ever tasted and they saved the wrapper for her so she can look for the product at home.  Here's a picture of the always smiling Tammy bringing a muffin to Heather:

When we realized that those people leaving on the shuttle bus at 8 a.m. for the ride back to the Seattle airport on Sunday morning would miss out on the regular breakfast service, the kitchen staff arranged for a continental breakfast to be ready for us at 7 a.m.  We were so glad not to have to make that 2 hour trip on an empty stomach!

These days, customer service seems to have gone out the window along with politeness and manners.  But it's the little things like this that really make the difference between a good experience and a great experience.  To all of these wonderful people, I say thank you so much for all that you did for us, it is appreciated and remembered.

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