Brenda’s Blog – December 24, 2013
“They call me Virginia, the navigator…I am glad you found us.”
It was getting late; I had driven many miles; I was ready to quit. All well and good except for one thing: I couldn’t find the hotel. It was a national chain with an address near an interstate exit. No problem, so why was I lost? Why was I getting frustrated?
Finally, admitting defeat I called the hotel and sweetly said, “Where are you?” (Probably not so sweetly!) “People get lost all the time,” she answered before giving me turn by turn directions.
“You are without a doubt the hardest place I have ever tried to find.” Laughingly she said, “Yes, everybody ends up calling, so the regulars have a name for me: “Virginia, the navigator.” Her voice and manner was truly sweet.
“Why in the world are you built so far back on this crazy site and why in the world don’t you have signage?” “Oh, that’s easy. Our owners are from out of town and they already had this piece of land. The other hotels are owned by one man and he made it impossible for anyone else to put up any signs. You have to really want to get here!”
Virginia was a model employee with a tremendous sense of hospitality, but her employers had put her in a tough spot. Virginia understood making lemonade from lemons.
Max DePree says servant leadership is providing all the resources necessary for the employees to be all they can be, accomplishing all they can. Where do we hinder others from achieving? Where do we tie weights around their ankles, expecting them to run a winning race?
And then, what circumstances hamper our progress? Do we recognize the power we have to become a Virginia, or do we collapse into complaining and mediocrity?
How can we create an environment for others that challenge them to succeed? And how can we respond to our challenges with humor, and professionalism?
A well-known newspaper column years ago began his answer to a little girl’s question: “Is there a Santa Claus?” with the famous words, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
The same spirit of love, hope, and goodwill the newspaper correspondent described still exists in this modern day Virginia. Merry Christmas to you, Ms. Navigator. Thank you for being a lighthouse on a dark night.