Conversation with ? Irene
Hurricane Irene, we were ready for you! The news stories heralding your arrival gave us pause to worry, and you certainly left your mark on our friends and neighbors (who remain in our thoughts with hopes for speedy recovery) on Long Island and in New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of New England. Even in New York City we buckled a bit … but we did not break.
In fact, you inspired the travelers stranded in the city to be understanding and grateful for a safe roof over their heads and to show as much concern for our staff as our staff was showing to them. You inspired them to fill our bar and restaurant in record numbers and to befriend total strangers who were also stranded.
You tried to scare off our staff and prevent them from coming to work. Instead they stayed at the hotel or found rides in the city because you shut the transit system down. And they worked around the clock to service our guests without complaint — they were just happy to help.
You inspired them to cross over to other departments to help as well. You inspired front office agents to make up rooms, maintenance engineers to deliver extra towels and pillows and front of the house managers to work the line and cook. And wouldn’t you know it … our guest service ratings shot through the roof as a result. Our guests were appreciative and very generous in their praise.
Have to say, Irene, you made me very proud of my team. They really rose to the occasion to overcome their own fears to get to The Benjamin to comfort and serve stranded out-of-towners. In speaking to many other GMs in New York, their teams shined through just as well, yet another example of what New Yorkers are made of.