I just returned from attending (and speaking!) at TED in Monterey, CA. If you don’t know about TED, it’s quite the conference. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, which is all certainly in abundance. It’s hard to describe the experience, but a few of the attendees this year included Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Pierre Omidyar, Dean Kamen, Larry Brilliant, Murray Gellman, Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Cameron Diaz, Forrest Whitaker, Jeff Skoll, JJ Abrams, Tracy Chapman, Bill Clinton… and me!

I spoke at TED University and was even mentioned in the TEDBlog as one of the day’s top speakers (thanks, Diego!).

But this posting is not about me or one any of the other people at TED. This is about Enis, my housekeeper at the Monterey Marriott. Like I’ve done a few thousand times at every one of the hundreds of hotels I’ve stayed in around the world, I left a small tip on my pillow. Not much, maybe $3.

When I returned from the first day of TED, this note was laying on my bed:


A personal thank you note! Hand-written. Dated. Signed.

I felt very good about leaving that $3 tip for Enis. Good enough to up the tip to $5 the next day.
I received a note from Enis that day and every day after, too. Her tips went up.

I spoke with her as I was leaving for the airport. She was as bright and friendly as I expected.

Was the Marriott a great hotel? Not really. But I’ll go back because Enis made it great.