Thursday, October 9, 2008

The best part about dealing with celebrities

In my job, I have to deal with famous people (or Famous People's People) on a regular basis. None of this fazes me in the least-- after all, they are just normal people doing their jobs-- and I do everything I can to fulfill their specific requests without judging.

Perfect example: a few years ago I had to take care of, arguably, the biggest rock band in the world. The lead singer wanted (among other things) a full sized coffee maker, Starbucks coffee, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white wine, six local beers, six imported beers, a bottle of Scotch, a particular mineral water, and many assorted sandwiches and snack foods.

Some of the people in my organization who saw the full list snickered....if buddy needed all that for a one night stay, he must be a major alcoholic with an eating disorder, ha ha.

Noooooo....not even a little bit. Think about your own life; you come home to your house at the end of the day, and you feel like having...what? Do you want a beer, or do you want a glass of apple juice? You paw through your fridge, trying to decide between the leftover chicken or a container of yogurt. Just because you have four or five types of liquor in your house, doesn't mean you're going to drink them, does it? The point is you have a choice.

Celebrities on tour don't have a home, don't have their own creature comforts. And so yes, some of them ask for what appears at first glance to be "everything". The end result is they use about 5% of what you put in their rooms....but at least they have a choice, they get to feel like normal people, too.

I love this part of planning for celebrities more than any other. No, I don't want to meet them. No, I don't want tickets. I just want to be the one who provides what they need.

So I have this celebrity coming next week. I received her rider ("list of things she'd like") a few weeks ago, which included a particular mineral water, and today I finally spoke to her manager again.

Manager: So you can get the organic vegetables, right?
Me: Yes, it's already done.

Manager: And there's no problem about her dog?
Me: No, we're a pet friendly hotel.

Manager: Great. Oh, and don't worry about the water, I know now that it's not available in Canada.
Me: Yeah, but I have it.

(long pause)

Manager: (sputtering) What are you talking about, every place we've been in Canada they told us it's not available!
Me: It's not, they don't sell it in Canada.
Me: We called Atlanta and had it shipped. No big deal.
Manager: but but but but but but every other hotel told us they couldn't get it.
Me: Well, uh, we did.

THOSE are the moments I love, the moments when I get to show these people that my hotel rules all, that we take their needs seriously and will do whatever it takes to make sure they feel welcomed.

(And when I further told her that Atlanta had sent me way more water than I asked for, and she could have it to take with her on the tour bus for the other Canadian stops? I think I made a new best friend.)


Pamela Dawn said...

Dear Irma,
I am sending you loads and barrels and basketfuls of love your way.. you are a very precious person, to God first, and your family and your extended families and friends.
Even in matters of your work and job your a lovely being. I know that I am several days late in reading up on your blog, but I want you to know you are loved!! (oh and by the way, I think that it is sooooo funny how men can just not see what is right in front of them!!! red, blue- maybe they are color blind???? ;)
I do love "catching"up with you and seeing your life! Blessings to you- Pam

forestsister said...

good girl! exceeding expectations :) when we had a certain rocketman staying with us in dubai, he asked for 5 pans of various diet jello flavours as one of his 'specialty' items to help him with his low-cal snacking habits. not only that, but everything he wanted in his suite was to be mirrored exactly in his manager's suite. he was very cool...track suit and all.