Tony note: I was researching through the Mind Capture archives for stories on exceptional service and came across this true story that happened to me when I was on the road in August of 2013. While I haven’t forgotten a dress shirt since then, ironically I did forget my pink tie last Fall before a speaking engagement in strangely…the same city! There must be something about Seattle and short-term amnesia. Anyway, enjoy the story and the service lessons learned~

Last week I found myself in a new predicament that can best be described as Shirtless in Seattle. As I was preparing for a talk and getting dressed in my hotel room at 7:20am, I noted to my shock and horror that I packed my blue suit, shoes, tie, belt but forget one key apparel item: my white dress shirt! In all my years of travel this was a first.

In a state of initial panic and embarrassment my mind went into “OMG and what do I do now thinking?” As my mind raced through a series of options, I immediately went into high speed action mode. I picked up the phone, called the front desk and asked, “Where can I find a men’s dress shirt?” After the operator processed my question, I was transferred to the Bell Captain who I would soon refer to as Saint Rick. As he picked up the phone, I repeated my question. After a few seconds to process and think about my oddball request he answered, “Well, you could take a cab and head to Target to get a shirt.” My mind said NO as I needed to be downstairs in 20 minutes for my sound and AV check with the client. This option was off the table.

I was floored by what Rick next mentioned in a casual and off-handed way, “Well, I do have a white dry cleaned dress shirt that someone left here a couple weeks ago. Maybe it would fit?” In a hurried pace I answered with my room number: 211. Within 2-minutes a knock and Saint Rick appeared at the door with the white dress shirt in hand. Like a miracle, I threw it on over my undershirt and it fit! After a tip and almost bear hugging him, I resumed getting ready and bolted to the meeting room with 10-minutes to spare.

Here are the five key life-lessons from the lost dress shirt incident:

#1. Tacking action versus worrying is ALWAYS the best starting point

#2. It’s okay to ask for help instead of trying to be the Lone Ranger

#3. When you are sincere and humble yourself, you’ll be amazed at how others will often times step up to assist you

#4. Option based thinking and having faith in others is a wonderful thing

#5. Deep down at the core humans are good as Rick from the Edgewater Hotel proved last week in Seattle

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