Saturday, August 13, 2011

Going over and above....

With our immediate family spread from one end of the State to the other, we're looking for a central place to meet this year for Christmas.  We went online to the VRBO (vacation rental by owner) website to see what is available in a coastal area not far from San Jose.

Being former vacation rental homeowners ourselves, we've come to realize through our own experience renting vacation homes and listening to the appreciative comments of others, how much it means to people who book a house for a getaway to enter a home stocked with the necessities. People want to open cabinet doors and find things like salt & pepper, garlic powder, sugar, flour, cooking oil and  extra toilet paper.  Who wants to drive to town to buy a 5 lb. sack of flour when you only need one cup!

So I was a bit taken back when one reviewer of a property suggested future renters bring extra toilet paper with them...it was a glowing review, by the way.  The reviewer said "remember this is a rental and not a full-time residence so they don't stock extras." Bring extra toilet paper when you are paying $300 a night?

What do you think?  Yeah, no big deal for us to pack an extra roll of toilet paper.  But it's the little things that make a difference and this is one of those situations where going over and above the norm makes a positive impression.

In the past couple years we've been the blessed recipients of people demonstrating going over and above. I'm thinking of real estate agents who didn't just put a sign in our yard, but worked their tail off to help us prep our house for listing in a slow market or the clerk in a lighting store who gave us a $40 item for free because we'd special ordered some other things from the business. And I can't fail to mention those who've gone out of their way to make us feel welcome and loved as new residents in our town.

Whether it's a business or a personal relationship, it's so easy for all of us to slip into the mediocre mode of comparisons and feel that something or someone doesn't warrant more. Or that worse yet, our generosity may not be somehow equally matched in the future.  What if we tweaked it the other way and actually gave more than is deserved?

To do much better than is necessary or expected....a great way to live!

Image:  istockphoto.com

2 comments:

Michel said...

Your post brought to mind our vacation rental experience this summer. Our hostess went over and above to make our stay delightful by anticipating all possible needs and providing for them. Besides a well-stocked kitchen and extra towels and beach chairs and boogie boards (and plenty of toilet paper!), she provided things I didn't even know I would need. For example, when I brought back flowers from the Farmer's Market I expected to just put them in a drinking glass; but, no, there were vases and scissors in the cottage. Besides being impressed and grateful, it nourished my spirit to be on the receiving end of such thoughtfulness. And it challenged me to "pass it on" to others in my life. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it heartily, as for the Lord."

Coach Sheryl said...

Michel,

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I think I'd like to stay in that place! What a great experience that was for you. I'm sure you'll find ways to do the same for others.