“So, who’s the guy with the ketchup in his pocket?”

The last post I did was the re-telling of a funny story that Dave, the concierge at the rehab center where I resided for ten days, had told me.  But some of the attention that post brought wasn’t about the story itself as much as about the fact that Dave’s job was as a concierge.  And my friend Katharine at Wise Dogs, left a very funny comment about that:

Katharine says:

A concierge? Your rehab center has a CONCIERGE???

Sandy, if you post something about a pool guy, I’m making a reservation for the day that I have a joint replaced!

Sandra says:

Yes, Katharine, they had a concierge, but it wasn’t because they were fancy smancy — it was because they were realllly all about patient care and comfort. I think of it comparing favorably to a stay in a favorite aunt’s guest room.

p.s. I didn’t see a pool guy (or a pool), but maybe he was just off that week.

My response to Katharine says it all.  This was NOT a hoity toity place.  It was a clean, comfortable older facility that stressed patient service and care above all else … hence the presence of a concierge.

concierge |kô n ˈsyer zh; känsēˈer zh|, noun: an employee whose job it is to assist guests

But while the concierge at a hotel might do cool stuff for you like recommend good restaurants near-by or arrange for theater tickets for you, Dave’s job was much more down to earth.  My favorite part of his job was that he came around in the afternoon with a cart of coffee, tea, cider and cocoa.  And when he would stop in to see if any of those sounded good to you, he would always have a few words of conversation too.  A wonderful combination to look forward to when you are confined to a bed most of the day.

He would also help deliver meal trays, get you water and/or ice for your ever-present water mug, etc.  Anything he was able to do to help the medical staff attend to the patients’ comfort, he did.

One evening my friend, Linda, was visiting (she visited many times, and I will never be able to repay her for those visits that were just to cheer my day … and sometimes she even brought me a malt to make SURE I was cheered!).  Anyway, Linda was there when my dinner tray arrived, and the entree was a hamburger accompanied by potato wedges.  As I started to assemble my sandwich, Dave appeared in the door with a bottle of ketchup in his shirt pocket, and wearing his always welcome smile.  He asked if my meal was all right, and then asked if I would like some ketchup for my hamburger and potato wedges.  I said, yes, I would like some … so he withdrew the ketchup bottle from his pocket, put a healthy squirt on my plate … and asked if that was enough.  When I assured him it was, he “re-holstered” his ketchup bottle and went on his way down the hall dispensing ketchup and good cheer.

Linda loved the picture of Dave dispensing ketchup “as needed” (certainly a more cost effective way than putting those squirts in little cups that might or might not be used and possibly having some of it wasted.  I admire that they were being wise in little ways like that.)  So from then on Linda thought of Dave as “the guy with the ketchup bottle in his pocket”.

So, yes Dave’s title was concierge and he fit that title because his job was to “assist guests” in any way he could.  And, God bless him, that he didn’t have any preconceived notion of what was and wasn’t “his job” — he was willing to do anything that was needed, including being the purveyor of ketchup on burger night!

7 Responses to “So, who’s the guy with the ketchup in his pocket?”

  1. Linda says:

    Dave really is in the perfect job for him. He always has a smile and a word of cheer and encouragement, not to mention the ketchup.

  2. Margaret says:

    What a wonderful job for such a cheerful guy! More businesses should pay this much attention to their customers!

  3. Sandra says:

    Linda — You are right — Dave is perfect for that job. He was certainly a blessing to me! (AND to my burger) 🙂

    You are absolutely right, Margaret. Other businesses could certainly learn a lesson from my rehab center and how they emphasized “customer” care in every way.

  4. Katharine says:

    All right, even if there isn’t a pool guy (yet), I’m sold on this place! Whether it’s called patient care or customer service, they’ve got employees who get to do what they enjoy and who are affirmed in their pursuits. That is indeed a win-win!

  5. Sandra says:

    I totally agree, Katharine. If you lived near-by, I would definitely recommend this rehab center to you, if/when you needed one.

  6. Hilary says:

    Sounds like a great place and Dave sounds like a great Condiment Concierge.

  7. Sandra says:

    Hilary — IT is and HE is! 🙂

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