Winter Came Early for Me This Year

Terry Matthews-Lombardo

And the above picture is proof positive!  In case you can’t tell by the huge smile on my face, that was A-OK with me even though I had to travel about three hours in air time to find the fluffy white stuff.  You see I live in sunny Florida so any chance I can get […]

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Can Airline Safety be Sexy?

Whether or not you’re a frequent flyer or just occasionally visit ‘the friendly skies’ (I know use of that quote dates me but seriously, that’s what we used to call them and hey, news flash – before 9/11 many flights actually were consumer friendly and enjoyable), you’ve probably seen some of the recent safety videos offered up by most of the major carriers.  Although I’m not sure who went first, I think it might have been Virgin Airlines with this sexy, funky, crazy version released last year and now seen by over 9 million people.

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Welcome to the Experience Economy

Keeping up with industry buzzwords, I learned recently that we have left the SERVICE economy behind us and are now in the EXPERIENCE economy.  (Technically, this happened a few years back.  For data and details, check out the book The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore that was last updated in, um. 2011. Full Disclosure:  Not the first time I’ve been late to the party. Just sayin’ .) Anyway, here in the wonderful world of hospitality we still believe that service is king, oh yes we do! But, the current challenge is to find more and better ways of providing excellent service experiences at the same time that we’re embracing unemotional systems, policies and procedures.

To put it in a hospitality-hotel nutshell, if you’re smoking your iPhone and are addicted to technology (yes, you out there, currently tapping your thumbs on your you-know-what), do you really want or care about that smile delivered with your room key at hotel check in, or would you prefer to bypass human interaction at the front desk and unlock your room with an app that you’ve downloaded on your very own hand-held piece of legal crack (aka iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Nokia Lumia, or whatever you’ve got)?

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Which Way to the Lobby Bar?

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I do love me a good hotel lobby bar, and yes, living here in Orlando we’ve got a plethora of great ones to choose from, so lucky us!  But I wonder how many locals take advantage of this chic and oftentimes cultured opportunity?  What’s that, you’re asking?  Where’s the ‘opportunity’ in a local having to shed the flip-flops (please?) and drive all the way out to park themselves in the middle of the insanely populated tourist and convention flow (eeuw!)  just to pony up to a bar?  Let me count the ways…

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Waking Up In the City That Never Sleeps      

So I’ve just returned from another visit to New York City, and even though I’ve been there about 100 times (+- a few), I always learn some things and come away with a slightly different perspective on life when I leave. Case in point.  When I left Orlando, there was a huge controversy brewing here […]

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Do You Work In the Hospitality Industry?

I do, and in fact every job I’ve had during my adult professional career has been grounded in it. Further, each job I’ve held has allowed me to conquer the learning curve, and then provided a springboard to the next opportunity; and that seems to be the pattern of everyone I know who is gainfully employed in the wonderful, sometimes wacky world of hospitality. The job possibilities are [almost] endless, especially here in Orlando, and since I’m a perfect example of going all over the map in this industry, I’ll share with you some of the more interesting positions I’ve held…

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The Good, Bad and Downright Ugly About This Industry

GOOD= interesting jobs, great opportunities for upward movement, nice perks (when you get them), pretty darn good (mostly) work environments.

BAD= lower hourly pay (until you reach management level), potential for odd hours as we are a 24/7 industry, repetitious dealing with crazy tourists who are (sometimes) hot-tired-sunburned-angry at having to wait in another line-dressed like tourists who actually don’t care what they look like (and for the most part, we can’t argue with that belief, right?), etc., etc., etc.

UGLY= repetitious dealing with crazy tourists.  Oh, did I already mention that?  Well, it’s worth repeating.  Again.

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Welcome to the Hospitality Hive!

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU for visiting the Hive!  I’m honored that you’ve peeked inside to check me out, and hopefully we’ll get to know each other through an open exchange of dialogue that we’ll keep ‘buzzzzzzing’ about (pause for long groan while wondering if this author is going to overuse that overly dramatic descriptive word; then switch to happy face after receiving author’s personal assurance that it simply won’t happen – that’s a TML promise!).  After all, this industry is first and foremost about, well, hospitality, which is loosely defined as friendliness.  So that explains why so many who enter this line of work describe themselves as ‘people-persons’, right?  (Well, at least that’s what it said on their resume, sigh. . .)

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Do You ‘SEA’ Salt?                       

Have you ever seen a ‘salt shaker’ like this? When you’re on a cruise, you become accustomed to being ‘wowed’ at meal time.  Sometimes it’s the food that excites your taste buds in ways they have never appreciated before.  Other times it’s the exceptional service that just makes you smile and want to pack up that special […]

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