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Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Yes" (and "No way")

When I was growing up at Pinetrees, I was always told that the most important thing in hospitality was to say yes immediately and work out the details later.  “Just say yes” was something I heard over and over. 

No matter what a guest wants, there has to be a way.  My mum, Pixie, was famous for giving a guest her own bed.  It was summer school holidays and Pinetrees was full.  The guest had booked a room with a double bed but, after seeing the room, demanded a queen.  Pixie said yes immediately and then worked out that it was her bed or nothing. 

The “just say yes” philosophy has been a blessing and a curse for me.  It didn’t help me at all in my old job as a lawyer.  I was forever agreeing to do things for clients and then realising that the only way to get everything done was to work all night or all weekend – disaster!  However, the same approach worked really well for managing Pixie.  When I came home to visit, she always told me what to do: “take a jumper, you’ll be cold”, or “ring me if you’re going to be late”, that kind of thing.  For years, I would tell her angrily that I could work it out for myself.  Eventually - I’m a slow learner - I realised that it was much easier just to say yes and do as I was told.  Pixie wasn’t trying to boss me around; she was showing that she cared about me. And most of the time, the advice was right.

I wonder if I’ll ever be able to teach my toddler.  At present, her favourite expressions are: “NO!”, “NO WAY!”, “GO AWAY MAMA!” and ‘DON’T WANT TO!”.  She may have a good future as a lawyer.

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Perhaps she does have a different career path ahead of her.
    Perhaps my children will all be lawyers also ;-)