Resigned to Change

In the last two months, my life has truly been a whirlwind of change. I have made a series of decisions that have opened many new doors of possibility in my life. I have crossed a threshold that has loomed at the fringes of my box of possibilities, and I am ready to embrace the liminality of life. It is time for me to Live at the Edge!

I submitted my resignation as the Front Office Manager of The Colonnade Hotel effective August 8, 2007. In just four short days, I will not have a job, and in a few short weeks, I will be heading west on the open road. My plan is to drive from coast to coast stopping in cities and towns along the way in search of the answers to life’s questions. I am seeking to discover my own unique destiny both professionally and personally while spreading the belief that building interdependent compassionate relationships is they key to understanding each other.

During the past three and a half years at The Colonnade Hotel, I have learned a lot about people and the way they interact. I have gained a keen understanding not only of the guests that I have engaged with, but also the employees that I have worked with. I have learned the importance quick informed judgments about people and the need to be compassionate and empathetic in the face of it all. No matter how difficult and frustrating people can be, you must always stay calm, collected, and deferential.

It has taken a lot of patience, resilience, and hard work to maintain my sanity. It is very difficult to have an irate guest yelling at you, whether rationally or irrationally. You have to compassionately discover why they are actually upset in order to not only take care of them, but also encourage them to return. You have to understand all of the complications in their life and try to resolve any issues that they may have with a smile and genuine sympathy. You have to be able to absorb their irrational anger caused by the baggage claim, the taxi driver, their wife, their boss, the weather, and the work week, without letting it affect you personally. You have to be able to continue to provide compassionate service unhesitatingly. After all, it would be your pleasure to do so.

When you truly put your heart and soul into something it is very difficult to let it go. You have to be able to detach yourself both mentally and emotionally. You have to be able to remove yourself from something that you have kept so dear to your heart. I have always said that one of my biggest weaknesses is taking on too much responsibility and putting a personal stake in what I do. This is how I treat my job every single day. Not just because I have a passion for guest service and operational management, but also because I have a passion to help others succeed.

I have spent many long hours supporting and fostering a team of people to provide the highest level of guest service not because it is their job, but because it is something they love to do. When you’re working in the service industry, whether it is hospitality or otherwise, surprisingly enough you have a strong desire to serve others. In many cases, this can be an all-consuming process due to the nature of the beast. Because you are being paid to take care of others, you find yourself being genuine, sincere, and compassionate to their needs and desires.

I used to tell stories about work to my father. I used to share both the interesting and the outrageous things that happened at work. He found it fascinating. He would always tell me that he thought hospitality was my calling. As I moved up the ranks at work, I too wondered if this was something that I was meant to do. It always came easy to me because it just made so much sense. I have valued all that I have learned personally and professional and who knows perhaps I will find myself working in the industry again soon.

As I embark upon this journey, I do not know where I well end up. I do not know where my trip will take me. I do not know if I will return to Boston. I do not know what I will discover about myself or others. I do not have many answers right now, but that is the beauty of this experience. I have time to learn, to grow, and to live. I have the potential and possibility to do whatever I want to do. And that is exciting!

In the past few weeks, when I have told anyone that I am about to travel across the country with only a skeleton plan, their eyes light up. My trip creates an excitement inside them because of the limitless possibilities that I have ahead of me. They are able to live vicariously through their past or simply a theoretical voyage in their future. It is in these reactions that I know I have made the right decision no matter how difficult it has been for me.

This was a difficult decision for me on many levels. For the past three and a half years, I have lived in the Boston area and worked at The Colonnade Hotel. During this time, I have forged many relationships that I hold dear to my heart, I have had many experiences that have changed me as a person, and I have lived life fully by balling out of control on a regular basis. I will miss my job, my friends, and my home because these were the fundamental aspects of my life. But as I have always said, if you create the background, the foreground will create itself. I have a new canvass, a new set of brushes, and it is time to see what picture will be painted next…I’ll see you at The Edge!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max - I've enjoyed your blog and hope you keep posting during your trip...


11:55 AM  

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