Going the Extra Mile

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Courtesy in tourism is considered a must-have. Any organisation that deals with the public tends to have had training at some stage so that they can achieve high customer satisfaction ratings. Usually it comes down to politeness and a willingness to help – and that seems to satisfy most providers.

But going the extra mile to deliver the kind of service that makes the customer say “wow” is rare. Living in the south-east of England, it could be that we are not used to people going the extra mile.  As everyone lives in their own little goldfish bowl, it is easy to forget how different life can be elsewhere. Providers in my bowl deliver an efficient, courteous service which is perfectly acceptable but you couldn’t claim that it was friendly. But it exists and here are some people who have gone up in our esteem and deserve to be recognised.

In Haverfordwest, I stayed at the Tangiers Farm. It is a small guesthouse. I had no complaints at all but the owner went the extra mile and earned my gratitude by collecting me from the station and then, the following day, drove me to an appointment I had. She didn’t have to take the trouble but by doing so, she will be remembered by me for a long, long while.

I had a similar experience in Glasgow this week. I used the subway and entered the wrong side. An employee saw my mistake, came out of his cubicle and used his pass to let me into the right side. No look on his face of having another idiot to deal with, just a courteous bit of assistance. On the subway itself a mother got on with a child of about eight. There weren’t any seats available but a girl in her twenties with a half shaven head and  look that suggested that she wasn’t to be messed with was on her feet instantly offering up her seat. Don’t judge a book by its cover is the conclusion. Up in the University of Glasgow, trying to find the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, I was staring at a sign when out popped a porter to ask whether he could help. Pushed for time, I had no way of taking in the Art Gallery, Museum and the Charles Rennie Mackintosh House. The porter spent a few minutes discussing the merits of each so I could decide. He needn’t have left his hut, and having done so, he need not have discussed the pros and cons of each but he did.

Going the extra mile or merely the hospitality and courtesy you find outside the south east of England?

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