Kool Derby

Recently, I stayed at a hotel in Chennai, India while on a business trip. After working late at the office one evening, I forgot to put the power adapter for my MacBook Pro in my computer bag. I only realized this mishap the following morning when I went to boot up the machine. It was 5:15 a.m., and my ride to the office wasn’t expected until 9:45 a.m.

I did have about 70 minutes of battery power, so I could do a little work. However, in less than 60 minutes, the MacBook was dead, which meant I needed to initiate Plan B. My back-up plan was the iPad and, unfortunately, I didn’t charge this device after landing in India. I suppose the two movies I watched, and book I read, exhausted the device.


My morning was not off to a good start, but I did have the power adapter for my iPad. I could, at least, charge this device and check email.

Not so fast! As it turns out, I also left the international converter at the office, meaning that I lacked the capability to charge any of my devices. Soon after, my Blackberry shut down after I used it to respond to more than 20 emails.

Meet Mr. No

I called the front desk clerk, and he basically told me that I was out of luck. While they did service many US customers, they did not have an extra adapter. I tried to make a point that it was good policy to have this gadget for those of us who were silly enough to leave it behind. However, I quickly realized this was my fault, and I decided to keep quiet and look for a solution.

Meet Leyingse

I had more than three hours to wait for my ride, so I decided to have a cup of coffee, and consider my available options. The plan was to find a way to charge my iPad. My waiter was Leyingse, a young and vibrant worker. He had a different pace about him, and I could tell he was a solutions-person.

I informed Leyingse about my situation, and he pondered how he could help me. He could have easily told me that I was out of luck, but that was not his style. He thought about the situation for a few seconds, and said:

“We have a computer in the kitchen. I think there is a connection similar to what you have in the United States. Let me check.”

Within a couple minutes, Leyingse returned with a smile on his face, and said:
“Sir, I think we can make it work. If you wish, follow me and let’s give it a try.”

We walked to the kitchen, and Leyingse found an open outlet where I could connect my iPad. I powered it for about 30 minutes, while I enjoyed my Indian-style breakfast. The iPad received enough of a charge for me to check my emails, and I even had a chance to catch-up on the headlines at ESPN.

The Point

The picture you see in this article is of Leyingse. I asked if I could take a picture of him with my iPad, and he obliged. It’s not often that we run into customer-driven employees like this. He probably violated a policy or two, but he found a solution for a customer in need.

Leyingse reminded me to avoid settling for just good enough. When working with my next customer, I’m going emulate his commitment, and exceed expectations. By doing so, I’m sure I will leave a lasting impression on the customer – just like Leyingse did on me.