Making a Difference One Waffle at a Time

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Making a Difference One Waffle at a TimeHow many attendants have a “Wall of Fame” with plaques and pictures from guests they have served?  Alfred Dorsey has two walls adorned with memorabilia from friends he has made in the breakfast room over the years.  Sweet and solicitous, “Mr. Alfred”—as colleagues and guests at Country Inn & Suites in Pineville call him—is a natural candidate for anyone’s choice of “Mr. Congeniality”.  It is no surprise to those who have met him that he is the recently named Country Inn & Suites Employee of the Year.

Mr. Alfred epitomizes the “friends hosting friends” motto of the Country Inn & Suites brand.  General Manager Diane D’Amico says, “Many guests choose our hotel just to experience Mr. Alfred.”  Couched in his Southern charm is a proficiency at providing expert service.  In an age of electronic tracking of guest preferences, Mr. Alfred simply remembers things about people—names of their family members, their occupations, recent illnesses, and what they like to eat in the morning.  Guests who have become Mr. Alfred’s friends include U.S. Marshals and members of the FBI, as well as fashion models.  He takes such good care of the Army National Guard guests who come to Camp Beauregard for weekend drills that they have designated him an honorary first sergeant, “because that is who looks after the troops.”

Mr. Alfred treats everyone the same; whether child, young adult or senior citizen.  When a group of girls was staying at the hotel for their “World Series” of softball, Mr. Alfred found out which girls hit homers the night before and sent breakfast to their rooms the next morning as a special “Congratulations”.  Mr. Alfred also has knack for making friends with those who are, well, not too friendly.  “They may be in a bad mood when they come into the breakfast room, but by the time they leave, they are talking nice to me,” remarks Alfred.  A happy man, Mr. Alfred is sort of irresistible.  “e has a kind soul and compassionate spirit,” explains D’Amico.  Plus, common sense tells him, “If you treat them well, they will come back.”

When he’s not hard at work providing excellent service to his guests, Mr. Alfred reads the paper, watches sports, plays chess, visits family and attends the Nazarene Baptist Church in Alexandria.  And when he is at work, Mr. Alfred still feels at home.  He is empowered to assist housekeeping, answer the phone when the front desk is busy and bake cookies for meetings, and he even weeds the flower beds.  Mr. Alfred’s enthusiasm for life spotlights everyone with whom he comes in contact.  Maybe he grads a little too much about the accomplishments of his friends; but after all, what are friends for?  Since Mr. Alfred insists on treating everyone as VIPs, he receives no argument!