Before I left for my vacation I met with our social media vendor and she asked me, respectfully, if I had the time, to write a piece about respect. A piece about respecting other people's time. Here it is.
On this fifth night of my Caribbean vacation, sitting on my balcony overlooking the marina, it hit me. Respecting other people's time is - respecting people, period.
While I sat there, taking in the gorgeous view, I watched the housemaids, maintenance men and the poolside wait staff leave their day job behind and go home to their families. There was an obvious shift change between the hours of 5 and 6 pm. I’m guessing. Who really knows the time here - we been calling it “island time” for the past several days as we have made our way to and fro, from shop to shop. OK, back to respecting people.
Each member of the staff here has a job to do, and they have done it all so… respectfully. I am certain of that after watching Judith, our housemaid, perform her duties today, she was insistent that our suite be as clean today as it was the day we first arrived. She is very respectful of the guests and their time here, respectful that we are here to relax and enjoy. Despite my best efforts to shun her away from our lunch dishes, she stood there in our tiny kitchen and washed the dishes before parting ways - wishing us a good afternoon. Let me take you back, to this same time last summer and tell you about a time that the lack of respect I felt, caused me to take action that I never thought possible.
My family and I were vacationing at the “happiest place on Earth.” Yet, I was incredibly unhappy. Because, instead of having fun and being present with my family, business was interfering. When did a payroll deduction take precedence over the joy of a 13-year-old when the Seven Dwarf's Mine Ride finally opens? (It doesn't.) I let the business guide me, and my vacation, to a disrespectful place. Disrespect to my family and to those fantastic Disney World people all around me. The client didn’t respect me, or the service I provided, and made that abundantly clear when they picked their battle that fateful Monday. It's been over a year and I still think about the lessons learned;
1. Client/Vendor relationships are a two-way street and work best when the lines of communication are open and expectations are clear (and agreed upon).
2. Employee/Employer relationships are also a two-way street and work best when the lines of communication are open and expectations are clear.
3. Families stick. 'Nough said.
This summer (well, this whole year), I have vowed to not let the business take me to an ugly place - a place where I was working all the time, and not taking time for me or to truly be present for anyone else.
This year, this vacation… no planning, no pressure. My staff vocally expressed their concerns that no planning on my part, may not be a good game plan for anyone in my traveling party. Me? Go on vacation without a plan? Guess what. Turns out, I don't need no stinking plan. ;)
Check a little email in the morning, check a little email in the evening, surf the net, finish two books that have been bedside for almost a year, learn to make crepes (when in the French West Indies), and create. Create eight watercolor cards and forty-eight stamped cards. Complete an obstacle course while hanging in the trees. And oh yeah, there are the naps. Naps anywhere and everywhere, poolside, in the car, on the beach, on the balcony, sometimes even on the bed.
That's been my vacation and the best part of it - clients, staff, and even family were respectful of my time. Even if it is island time.
Leanne E. King, CEO & President
Business Crusader by day, gardener and general crafty person by night - committed to writing something.