It’s so unusual to find someone who really loves their job these days. As a matter of fact, it’s becoming more and more rare. I just love when I find these folks.
This week, I had the opportunity to speak in Springfield, MA. It was a very bleary, wet, cold day–one that suggested that winter was right around the corner. I arrived at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel early. Quickly, I located the rooms where I would be presenting.
When I walked in the door, there were two men setting up tables and chairs. One of them came up to me, introduced himself as Hector Martinez, and shook my hand.
The first thing I noticed about Hector was his smile. It wasn’t a “business” smile. It was a “joyful” smile. There is a big difference! A business smile is one that a person puts on because they have to. A joyful smile reflects what’s going on inside the person. Because of the way that people are reacting to today’s world, I see fewer and fewer of these joyful smiles.
Hector asked me what I needed, and then proceeded to “make it happen.” These were just things that have to be changed in order to make things run smoothly, like how the tables are set up–nothing more than small logistical issues.
But then he began doing some other things.
“Do you need the Internet today?” Hotels almost always charge for this. I powered up my MacBook and he logged me in using his password!
Then he asked if I had parked in the hotel’s parking deck. I had, and had noticed that the fee was going to be $12.50 for the day. “I don’t want you to have to pay for parking. Let me have your parking ticket and I’ll take care of it for you.”
Wow! He didn’t need to do these things. He was doing it to be nice. What a representative for his company!
He came back with my validated parking ticket and then asked me, “How about a cup of coffee and some danish? There’s a Starbucks downstairs and I can go get you some.”
I thought to myself, “I believe I’m falling in love!!!“
When he came back with my coffee, I asked him, “Who Are You?” I had a big smile on my face. “Hector, I travel all over the country. I’ve been in over 1000 hotels in the last eight years. You’re different my friend! What makes you so good at what you do? What drives you?”
Hector smiled and then began to tell me his story.
Hector is 34 years old. He is from Puerto Rico and had come here when he was 19. He’s been working for the Sheraton for 15 years now.
It seems that when Hector first came to the United States, he couldn’t speak English. So he was hired to clean rooms. After a year or so, the head chef of the hotel’s restaurant started to notice what I’d noticed–Hector’s smile. He told me that he was so happy to live in the United States and that he just always had a smile on his face.
The chef asked for Hector to be transferred from housekeeping to the kitchen. He wanted to work with this person with the great attitude. (Don’t we all!)
Hector used to point to things like a glass or coffee cup and ask the chef what they were called in English. He began to learn.
Soon, he got a promotion in the kitchen. He continued to learn and grow. And he kept his great attitude.
Hector then shared with me that he is a Christian. He has been very active within his church for years. Early in his career, when he wasn’t earning much money, he used to take a large part of it and gave it to homeless people. Now he can give more. He told me about the church that he goes to and how it’s growing. No wonder with people like Hector leading and serving!
Hector now uses his position within his company to encourage younger people. He tells them that they too can grow and prosper if they work hard.
Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Hector has a GREAT attitude, pure and simple! He is now the assistant banquet manager in one of the largest and most beautiful hotels in Springfield, MA. He supervises people. He wears a tie, and is a very productive member of the hotel’s team.
As a matter of fact, I would say that Hector is an ambassador for his organization. I will be in many more hotels and venues over the coming years. I will forget most of them–they become a blur over time. But I won’t forget the Sheraton in Springfield or my new friend, Hector Martinez.
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says,
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Hector’s light shines! There’s no doubt in my mind that God is pleased with him.
I think we can all learn a thing or two from this extraordinary man!