As a 18 year employee at Costco, one of the first bullet points I read on an Annual Performance Review was being … ‘showtime ready’. Meaning that by the time the WAREHOUSE doors open for business that all the merchandise is fully stocked, all tools are cleared from the floor, and swept and clean aisles i.e. showtime ready.
The first 13 years though as an employee of Costco were spent at Costco Travel. Being #showtimeready held a wholistically different meaning for me …
About 5 years ago I was still working at Costco Travel therefore sometimes I traveled for business reasons. And even while traveling, especially on behalf of Costco, you should always be Showtime Ready! One of my last business trips, called Familiarization Trips or FAM for short, was to Puerto Rico and Aruba.
Must be nice, you chide?
In order to appreciate this story, you need to know that Costco will maximize their investment in you. That translates into full itineraries from sun up to sundown on each day of travel. Honestly, I would do the same. A typical day is a group breakfast, followed by a full day of 5 to 6 hotel site inspections, and finally a group dinner or activity.
Of course, nothing that involves humans operates exactly on schedule like a Swiss watch, so adjustments are required on-the-fly.
One particular day in Puerto Rico we were terribly off schedule due to unforeseen events. Like I said, not perfect. Our group leader, also my manager, devised a plan in the van while traveling back to the resort for dinner.
Thankfully the dinner was hosted by the resort that we were staying at: 5-star St. Regis Bahia Beach. She advised us to hustle up, get ready, and meet up in 45 minutes. The resort staff did a great job of zooming each of us back to our rooms with speedy golf carts.
The resort was St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, located in the El Yunque National Rain Forest, so it was easily one of the most posh places I’ve seen, let alone stayed at. A day prior on our site inspection of St. Regis the sales rep explained that you’ll see all sorts of animals, plants, and bugs! It’s a rainforest for goodness sake. I would anticipate something like.
I digress …
I busted into my room like the Kool-Aid Man with the words, OH YEAH! I laid out my clothes for dinner, quickly stripped down for a Navy quick shower. The shower area was ginormous, y’all. It was easily 20 feet by 30 feet of tiled area which was bookended by a deep soaking tub that was every woman’s dream, and rain shower head and massaging nozzles on the other end. I don’t like getting blasted by cold water simultaneously in the face, chest and nuts (3 nozzles) so I swiveled that apparatus towards the tiled wall while the water heated up.
I watched the water smack the wall, and trickle down into a trough run off. Suddenly a small dark colored object leapt out of the trough on the tile next to me!
OH! MY! GOD! I screamed like a teenage girl being murdered in a shower.
After the initial heart failure, yet still breathing heavily, I gathered up the courage to investigate the object.
Picture this. I’m stark naked, ready to look at this thing. I prayed it wasn’t a tarantula. I happily discovered it was a frog. Since I wasn’t wet yet, I calmed myself down enough to walk back into the bedroom to retrieve my iPhone to capture a photo of my new “friend”.
A small percentage of my mind thought this might be a brown colored poison dart frog that humans could be poison at the very touch of skin. After my photos were done, and phone put away, I returned to the shower.
I grumbled to the frog still sitting there.
“Aiight, Showtime, my new shower buddy. You stay there nice and polite, and I’ll stay over here respectfully. You can bounce out after I leave for dinner or stay, I don’t care.”– yours truly
I quickly finished up getting ready, and rolled out to the designated pre-dinner meeting place. I was the first of the Costco Travel group which was unusual. And one rep from St Regis was there. I introduced myself, and she did the same.
I asked, “So Michelle. Do you live on property like many other hotel personnel?”
She smiled, “I sure do. I love it here.”
“Awesome,” I acknowledge. “How long have you lived here?”
She replied, “Two years.”
I drilled down, “In those two years, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of animals, plants, and bugs here. Correct?”
“Correct,” she answers.
I then withdraw my iPhone, unlock it, and immediately find the photos of Showtime. While presenting the phone to her, I ask, “Are you familiar with this type of frog? Is it poisonous?”
“Oh my! That’s a coqui frog!” she exclaimed.
I state flatly, “You didn’t answer my question.”
She rambles, “I’ve lived here for two years, and never seen one. You’ve been here one day and you found these elusive frogs.” She pauses, “Wait. Where did you say you find this?”
I mentally sigh. I huffed, “I didn’t say. But to answer your question I found it in my shower while I was in it! So are coqui frogs poisonous?”
She lets out a laugh, “No. They are harmless.”
I mumbled under my breath, “Thank God for small favors.”
While I dinner I found a lull in the conversation so I recounted my new shower buddy, that I named Showtime Ready! The table full of people heartily laughed at my proclamation.
And no, he wasn’t there when I returned to the room after dinner.
Ever since then, every time I hear the question if I’m showtime ready by a Costco Manager or not I think of that coqui frog visitor and wonder how he’s doing.
It’s a gentle reminder though, you should always be Showtime Ready.
More from me later,