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For the last five years or so my CEO Leaders Group has met at Pearl restaurant in Bellevue or its (former) sister restaurant Koral. In September I was frustrated when I received a call saying my meeting the next day would have to be moved from the private room to the general restaurant area because someone else wanted the room, and was willing to pay a guaranteed minimum fee.

We worked it out, we didn’t have to move, but it was still on my mind when I reserved dates for January and March. So, I asked if this could happen again.

The manager, Kristi, who happened to be on maternity leave in September, replied we would never be bumped or threatened with it again as we’ve been a loyal customer for a long time. She said it was her replacement who was going with a strict interpretation of the rules.

“Rules are meant to be interpreted” was a topic when I facilitated the annual conference for NW Student Exchange in October (as there are obviously a lot of rules with foreign exchanges). Great customer service means you grant some leeway to some

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