Sunday, August 02, 2009

Brush with Celebrity

Every once in a while, in my corner of the world, wherever that happens to be, I occasionally meet a famous person. My latest brush with celebrity was Saturday morning at my job as a front desk clerk at a small boutique hotel in Lewes, Delaware. I cannot mention the name of this famous person out of respect for his privacy and my position at the hotel but I can say he is a very well known person. I’ve seen him on TV for the past twenty years or so and have always admired him and his candid, straightforward way of explaining the issues in the field in which he is a recognized expert. He is also in charge of a large government agency which has a budget of billions of dollars.

I haven’t met or encountered that many celebrities in my lifetime but I have found the encounters to be very interesting. I have a chance to see what they’re really like. The famous person I met this weekend was a very pleasant, unassuming, down to earth man who, if you didn’t know who he was, you would never suspect he is a world renowned figure in his field. I was very impressed by him and his family. They all seemed so normal. What really impressed me was every time he went by the front desk, he always said “Hi!” to me like he really meant it. I think he did. That’s more than I can say for many of the guests of the hotel. To most of them I'm the automaton behind the front desk who dispenses the keys to their room, tells them how to get to the beach and advises them of the best place to get a crabcake.

In the two and half years I’ve worked at this hotel, I’ve had the occasion to make reservation for important people. Almost always someone else, usually their assistant or travel agent makes the reservation. They always make it clear that they want the best room because they have a very important client. Not so this gentleman. In fact, the two rooms he rented weren’t two of the best rooms (of course all of the 22 rooms and 2 VIP suites at the hotel where I work are great.) They were on the second floor, with a partially blocked view of the canal. Almost all of our guests want the room with the best view of the water. This guest made the reservation himself. He came in with his family. Neither he nor his family demanded special treatment. They were just a pleasant as anyone could be. What a delight.

Coincidentally, on Saturday I also took a reservation for another famous person. He is an author whose book I have. His wife made the reservation under his name. When she spelled out his name I told her “I think I know who your husband is.” I mentioned the book he had written and the fact that he is often on MSNBC (which I watch all the time) and she said “You’re right, that is my husband.” He is checking in tomorrow night when I’m on shift again so I will meet my second celebrity in less than a week. I can’t wait to see what he’s really like. Boy I love my job!

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