My wife Anna and I took a trip this weekend. We drove for seven hours to go see the Indigo Girls with our daughters . Our oldest is 13 and a huge fan. We removed her from her community in Maine a couple of months ago, and she has not been nearly as nasty about that as she could have been. She earned it, and we promised, and so we went. We found that they were playing at a small venue outside of Fort Collins, North of Boulder, on the other side of the Rocky Mountains from where we are. OK, why not.
We left on Friday morning and arrived in the afternoon, road burnt and wired from the travel, but happy to have landed. Saturday morning we went into Boulder and had a great time window shopping (which is the only safe kind of shopping to do there). We had a great meal and went back to the hotel to get ready for the show. Due to a slip of attention on my part, and possibly some sneakiness from Hotwire, our hotel was not in Fort Collins as we thought, which would have been quite close to the venue, but about 1 1/2 hours away instead. Oh well, what's a little more driving at this point?
We drove, and in fact drove through a very impressive storm, complete with the kind of rain you really can't drive in, winds high enough to bend trees to the ground, and National Weather Service alerts that portended baseball-sized hail and tornadoes. It was biblical, apocalyptic, Good times. Did I say it was an outdoor show?
Happily the storm moved on as we drove and by the time we were approaching our destination it was mostly clear, with no sign of the gully-washer we had driven though ever having reached this area. We turned off the main road and headed up into a canyon, following the Poudre river, referred to and pronounced locally as the "the Pooder". After 20 minutes of winding up this road and seeing only a few other cars, I started to get excited. I love these women, I've seen them 3 other times. It's safe to say they largely wrote the soundtrack to my 25 year relationship with my wife. And yet this was no major event center we were heading to. We came around the bend, my GPS lady announced that we had arrived at our destination, and I saw a little burger shack with a wooden fence around it. This was the place?
It was indeed. We waited a few minutes for the doors to open into the courtyard, where we could see the stage and the enclosed area for the fans. It was small, and the river was right there, you could just walk into it from the yard. Soaring up behind the stage was a beautiful mountain, cradling us, a natural amphitheater.
OK, this is cool, I'm happy. We inquired about food and were put on a waiting list. We had 2 hours before the show, so we were happy to hang out. When purchasing the tickets, I opted for "VIP, Bird's eye seating". It was $4 more per ticket. We like to sit, so it seemed the thing to do. I saw the little deck, just off to the side of the small area where I imagined there would be standing and dancing. There were no seats, just an empty deck. Oh well, at least we could stand there or down below as we preferred. I decided that we should go up there to see how it felt, so up the stairs we went.
This is where it gets good.
We were approached by a security guy, who checked our wrist bands to make sure we were allowed in this exclusive area. (really, it was a 10 x 12 deck, just 5 steps up from the ground) He cleared us, all alone on our little platform, and left us there. We looked around, declared it to be ok, though seats would have been nice. Suddenly a woman appeared with comfy camp chairs and introduced herself, saying she would be taking care of us for the night. I like it when people say that to me, it makes me feel safe and looked after. It's usually not true, but I like to hear it anyway.
This time though, it was true. She set four chairs up, right up at the front of the deck, and said she would go check on our table. She would let us know when it was ready. She would save our seats for us until we came back. She would run a tab for us. Would we like anything while we waited? Holy crap. This is what $4 got me? While the other folks were filing in, jockeying for a spot on ground, leaving at least one member to defend their territory while drinks and food were fetched, we were cared for. Our places were reserved, we left and had dinner, we came back. We were no longer alone on the deck, but our front row seats were waiting for us. we had drinks. We had a great view not only of the stage, but of the mountains and the river. The sun had come out and was slowly slipping behind the hills. My daughter, who doesn't smile much lately (in a completely age-appropriate way) was happy. She felt special, we all did.
Of course, we all ended up down with the throng in front of the stage by the end of the show, and it was a great concert. My girls' first concert.
This is how I want my clients to feel when they come see me. Cared for, special, listened to. They will not receive a cookie-cutter massage. They will not be met by a stiffly polite and largely indifferent practitioner. They will be remembered upon their second and subsequent visits. Their preferences will be noted and followed through with. They will build a relationship with me so that as time goes on and their needs change, their care will shift with them. They are all VIPs to me, every one, every time, and I wouldn't have it any other way.