Helping A Stranger…
Being kind is not a new phenomenon. Kindness has become a definite movement and it’s heartening to see more and more people reaching out, being nice and taking the time to make a difference. No matter how big, OR how small.
Working in hospitality, we are surrounded by ‘good’ people every day. To work in this sector you have to have many natural aptitudes; and kindness is definitely one of them.
What that doesn’t mean is that you become complaisant to kindness. When you see people taking the time to go above and beyond, taking a genuine interest, it still fills you with a warm glow.
Kindness In Hospitality…
Hospitality in my eyes, has its very own gene pool of staff. Just as we need in life to produce a happy society – with human communities made up of an array of characters and human bands – hospitality needs that too!
Take the New Continental Hotel; we have THE full mix of amazing staff to make the perfect Conti blend!
We have the strong and silent; the fast and curious; the nurturing and empathetic; the clever and witty; the quiet and shy; the patient and determined; the funny and generous…with the common thread throughout being kind and passionate.
From The Top Down…
From our Directors and leaders through to team members, we have a perfect and eclectic mix of characters; all who are kind and all who are generous with their time in order to help each other, our guests and our community alike.
Something that placed a clear lens over this beautiful mix happened at the end of June; and it happened thanks to a perfect stranger.
Meeting The Perfect Stranger…
They were not guests staying at the hotel, but they came into the foyer clutching a beautiful black & white photograph. Greeted by our receptionist they told of their tale, an enchanting narrative that captured our receptionist and instinctively she wanted to help.
Within minutes, the Director, our Development Manager and receptionist were busy trying to fill in the blanks with their local knowledge and of course Google!
Meet Henny Korver | New Friend and Dutch Journalist…
The gentleman was a Dutch journalist called Henny Korver. He had visited Plymouth several times when younger in the 70’s. He came to document the Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (STAR) from Plymouth to the USA. Inaugurated in 1960 and celebrating 60 years in 2020.
During Henny’s stay all those years ago, he frequently visited a pub in Millbay Docks. With so many happy memories and friends that welcomed him – he had never forgotten their kind hospitality and friendship and wanted to go back. He wanted to revisit the city that captured his heart and take a stroll down memory lane.
But all Henny had was his memories and a photo; he couldn’t remember exactly where it was – or what it was even called.
The idea that he might be reunited with the places he held so dear seemed impossible. Plymouth is a city that’s regeneration and changes caused Henny disorientation. With only a few hours left in Plymouth to find what he was looking for, and nearing the end of his search, he felt like he may not find his little piece of Plymouth.
Then he found us!
Resembling the image captured on the photo he came in to ask, on the off chance, if this might have been the hotel that he had stayed in during the 70’s. Then perhaps he could trace his steps back and find his memories. Sadly we weren’t the hotel, but we were keen to help!
So, using Google and our own memories of Plymouth we set Henny off with a route and a potential place, ringed in red on our hotel map!
We all hoped that Henny would find his little piece of Plymouth – but never thought we would find out. That was until we received an email from Henny Korver & Eline Verburg from their home in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
They Did It!
In the email they shared their thanks and told us how this part of their trip, visiting Plymouth, was a real highlight of their holiday. And that Henny indeed found what he was looking for.
Although there is no ‘hard’ evidence to suggest that we are all hard-wired for kindness, here at the New Continental Hotel it’s safe to say that helping people enjoy their time in our city IS what we are hard-wired to do! Helping people and offering kindness leaves us all thinking and feeling ‘I’m so glad we did that’.
Simple acts such as holding a door open for someone, can really change someone’s day, smiling or simple human interaction makes the day a little better. Here at the New Continental Hotel, we lead by example and have Directors that empower and enable kindness and generosity because they give it so full heartedly themselves.
It’s been called the Virtuous Circle, whereby one good deed begets another and little by little we make the world a better place to live. A ripple effect occurs and little by little people become happier.
For us, receiving the email and photos from Henny & Eline was exactly what we needed to remind us that kindness takes just moments – but the happiness it gives lasts a lifetime.
To the two that were strangers and who are now friends…
From all of us here in Britain’s Ocean City to you in The Netherlands, and with the Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race uniting us – we hope to welcome you back soon to make new memories in Plymouth.