The TV & The Concierge

I am not a great TV watcher. I haven’t been since the early 70s. In my 5 years at university and the the 3 hospital years that followed I think I only watched rugby and The Old Grey Whistle Test with any consistency. In one house where I lived, there were 5 people, three spent their evenings smoking & watching TV and the other two of us did neither. I have always preferred radio, music or a book.

Now, even with hundreds of channels I still find it hard to watch anything that might appeal without being ruined by hype or repeated hooks to keep me watching as if I had the attention span of a gnat. Add to that a deep suspicion and antipathy towards anything that is associated with the name Murdoch and I’m struggling.

So I tend to stumble across things, frequently on-line and when I’m in the UK. Although I pay a UK TV licence fee I am denied the opportunity to “catch up” when I’m outside the UK. I know that it’s possible to use a proxy to watch, but that’s illegal. Surely it isn’t beyond the wit of the beeb to devise something for we licence fee paying ex-pats.

Whilst we’re here, don’t ever start me on 5Live digital’s repeatedly hyping its programmes only to be told that “due to rights reasons” I can’t listen. Long wave cricket or via ECB is legal and online is not. Tripe.

In recent months I thoroughly enjoyed “The Men Who Made Us Spend”, Jaques Peretti’s 3 part account of how consumers are manipulated.

Yesterday I stumbled across the second in the series of Hotel India, the documentary series set in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. Like everyone else I am fascinated by India, my only visit there was 28 years ago and is still vivid. The organisation of a staff of 1500 in one of the world’s top hotels would overwhelm many, yet it seems to run smoothly, most of the time anyway. The quality and commitment  of the management, the structure of the staffing and everyone’s understanding of what they are to do is obvious.

One of the lessons that I learned was what concierge service is really about. There has been much said and written about providing concierge dentistry (good piece from Marc Cooper) and medicine & here & here & here.  I’ll be interested to see how the Apple Watch & others will be used for this, tho’ how soon we’ll get to the sort of monitoring that Dave Eggers described in The Circle I’m nor sure.

What is clear is that you must build an environment with close support and meticulous attention to detail.

One of the butlers providing the concierge system summed it up for me when he said that his role was to be that of a “Man Friday”.

He went on, “You say you want it, I will get it or do it. Our guests come back time after time, my job is to engage with them. It is all about having a relationship with them.”

I would like that statement to be printed and framed and recited by every dental team member at the start of every day.

Why not?

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