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I can’t stop thinking about her…and my wife understands.


We had just returned from a trip to the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona for a much needed getaway weekend. For weeks we had run from one project to another at the office, the most recent a company party hosted at our house where we served 250 lbs of boiled crawfish (I’m a Cajun boy from south Louisiana) and entertained about 50 people. Needless to say we were totally spent and our weekend was much needed.


We talked about Emily all weekend…


The facilities were impressive, the grounds immaculate, the food exceptional, but we talked about Emily all weekend…


Emily Cortez was charged with taking care of our room, not exactly what some would consider the most high profile position at the hotel. When she came to our room the first morning, within minutes you could easily tell that her heart was in her work. It was very important to her that she had prepared the room properly for us, that our needs were fulfilled and expectations exceeded. As my wife and I are both highly allergic to feathers and down, we always call ahead to request that any down pillows or comforters would be removed from the room before we check in. Even though we have done this countless times, I have always been amazed that never (not ONCE) had those accommodations been taken care of.


Emily was different. It was not only important to her that our request was taken care of, that we were cared for, not just have our room cleaned. She went to great length to explain to my wife how she was able to get the glass shower door to shine and sparkle, which is no easy task. There was even an offer to help us find the cleaning supplies she used, even to the extent of volunteering to stop off on the way to work and pick some up for us. The pride she took in how well she did her work was evident. We found ourselves looking for her as we walked in and out of our room, hoping for another opportunity to get infused with her vibrancy, her joy.


How many times do we get caught up in our daily frustrations, in the interruptions, griping about the sometime mundane tasks that must be done but give back minimal satisfaction? Do we lose sight of opportunities that are presented daily to infuse someone with a smile, a helpful hand, a moment of thanks or encouragement, the chance to express to someone that signal that they are important to you? Are we putting energy into those we interact with throughout the day or are we taking energy from them?


Was our time at the Phoenician special, memorable? Yes, for the beauty of the facility, the phenomenal food, and exceptional service. What I find amazing is that my favorite memory of our trip was a smiling face, a gentle heart. Emily made us feel special, that we were her favorite guests (as I am sure she does with all of the guests she cares for) by the small steps she takes each day, consistently and with purpose.


Emily has become an important part of my memory…and my wife is glad.