Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Day at the Waterpark: Laughter, Water Rides, Gifts and Gray Hair

On Friday, I took my family to an overnight waterpark. We have been planning our "Staycation" for several months and our kids were very excited for the getaway in our own town.

The role of CEO or any of our positions for that matter is never easy to leave behind at the hospital. There are constantly areas that we are trying to improve or others we want to continue doing well. After arriving at the waterpark, I remembered seeing Undercover Boss with the CEO from this waterpark. I was pleased to see that the check-in lines were pretty easy and we were able to get settled into our room and get our kids to the waterpark in short order. Once in the waterpark, I was having difficulty taking off my work hat and started to further assess the safety of the park The lifeguards all seemed to have a strong focus on safety. They were clearly fanatical in the walking patterns they took to watch over the water areas. I did note some areas of rust, leaking and touch-up needs. Many of these same issues exist in older facilities and I know it is a constant job taking care of these on a daily basis.

Their gift shop was a must stop shop for our kids. Of course, all the items were broken within the that standard? Drives me nuts but that seems to be the norm in these type of shops - I should not be the norm. I may have to send our Gift Shop Auxilians over there as they run the St. Joseph gift shop like a Fortune 500 company!

All in all, just like hospitals, it was all about ensuring safety first. Of course the waterpark focuses on our fun and overall experience. The experiences always seem to come down to those little moments where the team goes just a little "above and beyond." My kids loved the ride where one of the employees gave just a little stronger push than the others. Just like in hospitals, that special caring touch by our employees, physicians and volunteers is what always separates the good from the great experiences.

On the way out, we were getting changed in the locker when my son said he overheard someone saying mean things about me. He said there was a boy staring and his father said "stop staring at that you want your hair to turn gray look his!"

Oh well, you have to take the good with the bad sometimes. Happy Halloween everyone.

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