Thursday, 6 July 2017

20. Home Away From Home

Delighting customers is a part of every business if it is to survive. It is not always obvious what will delight a particular customer but after you have done everything that is generally expected by your target customer, taking it a notch higher requires that you give your team the leeway to make some impulsive decisions that will not influence the bottom line adversely but pleases the customer. Given, some customers will still want to drive you up the wall to proof whatever ...

The ladies arrive at the hotel. It is a small Hotel Apartment – hardly 20 units by the look of it. The Apartment units are set on two blocks behind a 3rd long two story  building that houses the recreational areas; a restaurant, the lounge and a spacious gym above. This third building is the front of the complex so outside guests can also use the recreational facilities. A blooming garden with a large sparkling blue pool separates the recreational block from the residential areas. Being a small outfit with few walk-in clients, the front office staff is limited however the facilities are exceptionally clean and well maintain – obviously the handiwork of a larger efficient back end team. 

Their apartment is beautiful but only has 2 bedrooms. It is decent, actually nice, but Meline, ever fussy, will not pass an opportunity to criticise and so asks for extra beds in the most arrogant tone she can master after the long trip.

‘How do you expect us to share beds. Can we have another bed in each room?’ 

Being a reasonable well trained staff or probably because she is used to irate travellers, the Receptionist continues to respond in a personable manner, ‘Yes Ma.’ 

She  promise to send housekeeping with the extra furniture within the hour and after ensuring the sisters are otherwise comfortable, she leaves. Away from the stranger's presence, Penrice speaks. ‘I think it is just fine, we are only here for a few days two nights at most’ 

Meline, ‘You don’t know what will happen. She doesn’t know we are here’

Penrice in defense of Elan know my sister she would never let us stay in a hotel knowing we are here. 

Meline sneers then sighs, ‘Mmmh! Let’s wait and see.’ 

The phone rings. Jenny picks it, it is Olu and Dela at the reception. Dela, ‘Thank God you found your way, we were so worried.’

Jenny, ‘We are fine. We got a good cab driver who brought us here. Can you give me your number just in case? We will shop for local lines later in the evening.’ 

Dela, ‘ Sure will leave a note with the receptionist. A driver will come pick you – ‘

Jenny, ‘No, no we will be fine. We already have this driver and he is really good. We already agreed on a daily rate with him and he is happy to ferry us around and show us Lagos.’

Dela sounds cautious, ‘Ok you will just give us his details so we can contact him in case of anything?’

Jenny gives Dela the details of the cab driver; his name and number. Realising that Elan is to be discharged in a day’s time and that a surprise party was being organised they schedule to meet Al in the morning. She disconnects the phone and excitedly announces they will meet Elan’s husband next day.

While the sisters are happy about the news, Meline is sceptical probably expecting someone with some old gizzer with a deformity as no one in their normal mind would have married her at such an advanced age  let alone a wealthy man who could have anyone at that! She announces her cynicism as she looks out at the view of the glittering pool and blossoming garden.

Meline, ‘Well, can’t wait to see this man who finally got my cousin heart or should I say whose web captured my cousin?’

The others all agree in unison. The first day in Lagos almost over, they soon settle in their rooms. To a large extent, they feel comfortable and at home. Just what Elan  would have wanted had she arranged for their visit. 

 At reception Dela and Olu leave. While stepping out Dela notices the number plate of the vehicle she has just been told is the taxi for the sisters. She frowns as the vehicle is not a cab looks round to see if there is a driver but there is no one.

As they drive out she notices a man looking at them from the shadows. She cannot exactly make him out but notices his locs


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