BUSINESS-KINDNESS AND CONSCIENCE

Posted on January 31, 2010

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Two little stories, first one of kindness…as tourists trek around Ghana on public transport they sometimes encounter problems.Here in Kumasi, one such issue is the State Transport bus schedule from here to Cape Coast and Takoradi. The first bus departs at 4:00 a.m. and then there is only one other bus at 12 noon that is often booked, for obvious reasons. Not only does Four Villages Inn provide free transportation- so no taxi hassles etc., -we provide a small snack of sandwiches featuring Four Villages Inn Meats cold cuts “to keep you going”. Sandra Corbaciogla, our first visitor from Turkey, was so thankful for both the lift and the sustenance. “HOW KIND,” she said.

Sandra had had enough excitement during her visit. At dusk the evening before , after a day touring Kumasi and the villages with our guide Comfort, they went for a drink on a first floor outdoor terrace bar. A sudden Harmattan storm blew in… Chairs went flying, the lights went out. Here’s Sandra’s comments of her day’s excursion in Comfort’s review book:

“Thank you for a lovely, exhausting day! Won’t forget the thunderstorm at the bar!”

and about her stay at FOUR VILLAGES INN, here’s what she wrote:

“Thoroughly enjoyed my short stay here! Thanks for all the travel tips!”


And now a story of conscience
: Over the years, a certain N.G.O. in Accra has been sending its personnel to Four Villages and last week was no exception. The reservation was for one night and one person.

Around four that afternoon, the phone rang and it was the fellow coming. asking if we had a second room which we did. Now here’s the pathetic fallacy in this little ditty, a freak violent wind storm blew in, blew out and the party arrived.

Two fellows came in and I showed them the rooms. The employee of the N.G.O. said he had been a Peace Corps for a couple of years and then had joined the staff of the N.G.O. and he had been working there for two years. He said they were going to their vehicle to talk to the driver. He came back made some small talk and then explained that he had a crew and they thought it best to stay together and he was sorry for “wobbling”.

So, after the consternation subsided, I got thinking-the nerve…so I wrote the N.G.O.’s lovely secretary we deal with:

“Hi _____________,
Belated Happy New Year. All the very best in 2010!

We held the room for _____________. He phoned and asked if there was a second rooms and we had one.

When they arrived, I showed them the rooms. He went out and conferred with the driver and his companion. He then returned, said he had a “crew”, apologized for “wobbling” and left!

I’m just glad that we didn’t any lose business.”

Then a letter came from the lovely secretary:

Dear Chris,
I am very sorry to hear this. The initial arrangement was that __________ will stay in your hotel and driver will get a nearby hotel to sleep in. I was not informed of any crew. Please accept my apologies. I will take this up with ________ when he gets back.
Kind regards
_______________

I wrote back to the lovely secretary:

Thanks _________. I just thought that this kind of behaviour reflects badly on _______________.

Until next time….

And then….a letter from the Director:

Dear Chris

___________has sent an apology to you. I am sorry that our consultant did not stay with you at Four Villages Inn. There seems to have been some breakdown of communication (we didn’t know for example he was travelling with others).

I’ve written to our consultant explaining our good relationship with your hotel and this is not the sort of behaviour I expect of someone travelling on ____________ business in Ghana.

Please accept my apologies.

When you are in Accra it would be a pleasure to take you for dinner. Please let me know when you are in town.

Regards,

_________________
Director

So that’s the little story. I could write reams on the psychology of the situation. Suffice it to say, that daily one has to keep ego in check. It is so easy to become self important here and make decisions that are just not acceptable…One day I’ll write more on this….have you got anything to add?

Hey, I just remembered, this same scenario happened just a couple of weeks ago-only that was a no-show. See post dated 2010-21-01 entitled “VALUES HIJACKED-PRINCIPLES UPHELD”.

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