MY TRIP TO JAMAICA

 

From: Steve Larson
Wtown Team,

Below is EXTREMELY long winded.  This will probably be the longest email I will ever send.  For that, my apologies.  If busy, snooze it for a later date or delete.  If you don’t know what the snooze tool is, stop, lets get that email feature in your arsenal right now.  You may learn one thing, you may laugh once or you may think I’m nuts.  Worst case scenario, I wasted 5 minutes of your time and I’m being selfish by reliving a heck of a trip as I type this.
Notes/observations/thoughts:
– FLYING:
     Hurry up and then wait.  Flying internationally we were told to be to the airport 2.5 hours early.  When we arrived no one was there to collect luggage nor was security open yet.  We could have slept another hour and been a little less like zombies.
     *Drexel analogy =  When do they need it?  NOPE.  When do they REALLY, TRULY need it??
– FIRST IMPRESSIONS/WELCOME:
     This is where the resort got the hooks in deep…immediately.  It set the tone for our trip and we knew we made a good decision on where to honeymoon.  We landed in Montego Bay, blasted through customs uneventfully, and were greeted by a gentlemen who insisted we drop our luggage.  He showed us to the resorts “club” in the airport.  It had 2 CLEAN bathrooms and a tap full of free, cold Red Stripe.  We were told it would be 30 minutes for our driver and shuttle to arrive to take us to the resort.  15 minutes later we were filling up our mugs and climbing into the shuttle. <—-  Under promise, over deliver!!!
     After an informative commute with a friendly driver we wheeled into the resort.  Somewhere between the airport and the resort, they COMMUNICATED to their team our names and that we were newlyweds (without us knowing).  They had our luggage unloaded and 2 cold glasses of champagne waiting for us before we could climb out of the van.
      **Drexel analogy = Client’s names on chalk board door, having floor plans and files ready BEFORE they get here, offering coffee and/or water, spelling and pronouncing names correctly etc. All of these minor details are huge on first impressions.
– PREPARATION:
     We went snorkeling twice.  We were 10 minutes early both times, yet we were second in line.  A gentleman beat us into the line, onto the boat and into the water both trips.  He had only 1 leg!
     **Drexel analogy = no excuses. plan. prepare. DO IT. The weather on February 3rd is going to be shitty.  Everyone at work, on the news, and on your phone is talking about the 6″ of snow  in the forecast.  Guaranteed that gentleman would start his drive early and be here on time.  Weight limits & price increases…they happen every year.  Be ready. Be prepared.
– READY. FIRE. AIM:
     Rick’s Cafe.  For those not aware, its a bar & restaurant on a cliff.  There are a few spots where guests can jump or dive off of the cliff….2 of which are uncomfortably high.  Those who slowly approached, toed the line, read the caution/warning sign, looked for the deepest water, checked the wind etc. NEVER jumped.  Those who just kicked off their sandals and handed their sunglasses to a friend and sent it, JUMPED.  Of all of us who jumped, no one wished they hadn’t.
     **Drexel analogy = ready, fire, aim.  #5secondrule.  Anybody who gave themselves time to think about what could go wrong came up with an excuse. 5,4,3,2,1 GO.
– OUT OF COMFORT ZONE?
     Snorkeling.  Samantha, my wife, drank a snorkel full of salt water 1 minute into our first trip.  Struggling, slightly panicked, uncomfortable and nervous, she was staring back at the boat immediately.  Shortest snorkeling trip ever?  Nah, she knew how much I was looking forward to it and how rewarding it could be so she adjusted her goggles and attitude. 45 minutes later we had seen lobster, puffer fish, eagle rays, an anchor, a canon, ballyhoo, yellowtail snapper, brain coral, barracuda and a shit ton of other stuff not native to Lake Winnebago. Kudos to her for grinding it out.  Yep, we went again 2 days later and it was one of her highlights from the trip.
     **Drexel analogy = growth, change, development.  Getting into uncomfortable spots will make you stronger/better/smarter.  Stick with it.  Grind it out.  Be patient.
– PERCEPTION:
     Our room at the resort was pretty underwhelming.  It was old, dated, needed a facelift/remodel etc. BUT, it was perfect. Huh? Yeah, everything else made it great.  The welcome, the staff, the weather, the beach, the water, the drinks all made a mediocre room look like the Ritz Carlton.  Total OPPOSITE of Nick & Emily Whitty’s Buffalo Wild Wing experience 3.5 years ago.  Their wings tasted the way they always do, but because service was shit, communication was shit, delay was long and they weren’t warned, drink glasses were empty = it seemed like the wings tasted like shit!
     **Drexel analogy = If we dot our I’s, cross our T’s, handle everything the way we should, we may be able to get away with 1 crooked stud in a bunk of lumber.  Strong relationships and WOW’d clients can make up for a bogey.  Our room was the crooked stud or delaminating door and it was beyond okay!  Put it this way, the rooms were not great, yet the resort has a 90% returning client rate.  Hmmf
–  BALANCE
     It rained every day in the afternoon.  Bummer right? Nope.  A blessing.  Less sunburn, a reason to sit on a balcony and have a beer and listen to the rain.  A change in scenery.  A reason to talk, to grab lunch with resort staff. A cool time to sit and laugh with strangers in a hot tub in an absolute down pour.
     I locked my phone in the safe in the hotel.  Refresh, recharge, disconnect, play, party, celebrate, and as the Jamaican’s said “no worries”.
     Did I think about work, yes.  Was it refreshing knowing that the lights would be on and that this big blue ship was pointed in the right direction while I was gone? Hell yes. That is cool!   A compliment to the team that runs it.  Kudos to you.  May of 2019.  3rd biggest sales month to date…not 3rd biggest May.  3rd biggest month…EVER.  Keep doing the small things well.  Block and tackle.  Snag the high hanging fruit first.  Hold your teammates accountable.  Be the best, and do it with a smile.  Lets roll!  This battleship is solid.  Its gas tank is full, it is well oiled, its getting stronger.  Did Nick and the team change a few tires over the years? Yes.  Where there slight jogs in the navigation to get around pot holes, yep.  That’s why it is as solid as it is.  No one wanted Nick to leave, but he deserves a BIG thank you and a congrats to him and his family.  Change.  Change won’t stop. Neither will growth or development.  The mission remains the same = Supply. Happiness.
Random stuff:
– Tips/Gratuities:
     The resort was all-inclusive with a no tipping policy.  I attempted to tip most of their team.  All accepted, but 2.  Those 2 had emails sent to the manager. No I didn’t tell him that all the others accepted tips, just that these 2 would not. Kudos to them.  ETHICS.
– Jamaican Millwork:
     The door on the bathroom was a louvered barn door.  It must have come from one of those trees that was 90% air.  Not a lot of privacy.  Glad this was a honeymoon, not a first date! HAHA!
– Middle of the food chain:
     I snorkeled with 2 types of fish = fish that you can eat, and fish that can eat you.  Head on a swivel!!
– 5 second rule
     I read half of the book on the plane en route to Jamaica.  Funny line that I thought of while snorkeling.  “Does a fish even know what water is?” ?????
– KFC
    Yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken. Very expensive and popular in Jamaica. Odd
– Uniformity
     From airport to resort we passed many groups of students walking from school.  They were all in uniforms.  Color coded per school & level in the education system.  Dress for success.  Rock the Drexel blue. Keep your trucks clean and make a great first impression when strolling into a jobsite or when a client pulls into the yard.
     Sidenote: These kids were walking.  Some of them miles one way.  They have access to buses.  They choose to walk, talk and hangout with their friends rather than hop on a bus.  Pretty cool
– Borders
     From the airport to resort we passed through several Parishes, I believe these are the Jamaican version of our counties or states.  Ryan Powers can correct me if I butchered this part.  Anyway, at each border we were stopped….by baby faced youngsters in full camouflage yielding AR-15’s.  What a welcome!  Usually when I drive from WI to the U.P. I just see a Pure Michigan sign!
– Winning Attitude
     The locals had nothing material.  They barely had roofs that didn’t leak yet they were extremely happy.  This may have been their faith, the weather or the ganja but I know it wasn’t money.  This was probably the biggest eye opener for most visitors.  If you take anything from this email, let it be their attitude.  Their service…with a smile, was impressive.
– “Island Time”
     They moved slowly.  Like they truly had no worries.  It could not have been more different than when we touched back down at the Charlotte airport where it was a stressful race for everyone.  I have no clue how they were able to find anyone fast enough for a bobsled team.
That is all that I have for now.  Sorry again for the novel.  Thanks for the support while I was gone and thanks for your patience as we fill the Millwork Specialist role.
Be you and be great today!

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